Yoga is an ancient practice that has been around for many millennia. Yoga provides us with tools and techniques to lead a stress-free and tension-free life.
Are there yoga poses for weight loss? How does yoga for weight loss help reduce our weight?
Yoga poses for weight loss is an excellent form of exercise. When stressed, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol, which can cause us to hold onto extra weight, particularly in the belly area. Practicing yoga for weight loss reduces stress and cortisol levels, making it easier to shed those extra pounds.
What are some of the yoga asanas for weight loss? Let us explore.
Yoga for weight loss:
- Sun Salutation
- Warrior Pose
- Bow Pose
- Angle Pose
- Chair Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Yoga Nidra
1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
The king of asanas, Surya Namaskar, is a series of poses often used as a warm-up in yoga classes. It works on the whole body, making it the ideal set of yoga exercises for weight loss. It tones the neck, shoulders, spine, arms, hands, wrists, leg and back muscles. The key lies in the manner in which it is done. For the best results, do it while keeping your navel tucked in.
One round of Surya Namaskar consists of two sets of 12 yoga poses each and burns up to 13.90 calories for an average weighing person. Therefore, you can set a target for yourself and slowly increase the number of Surya Namaskar rounds to 108. When you reach this number, you will find a leaner you.
288 yoga poses in 12 minutes!
One round of Sun Salutation consists of 12 yoga poses.One set consists of two rounds of Sun Salutation:first stretching the right side of your body and then the left side. So, when you do 12 sets of Sun Salutation, you are completing 12 sets x 2 rounds in each set x 12 yoga poses in each = 288 yoga poses in 12 to 15 minutes.
Surya Namaskar calorie calculation:
One round of Surya Namaskar burns upto 13.90 calories for an average weighing person. You can now set the target for yourself. Slowly you can increase the number of rounds of surya namaskar to 108. By the time you
reach this number, you will find a leaner you.
30-minutes workout calorie meter
How much calories are you burning in your 30 minute workout?
- Weight lifting = 199 calories
- Tennis = 232 calories
- Basketball = 265 calories
- Beach volleyball = 265 calories
- Football = 298 calories
- Bicycling (14 – 15.9 mph) = 331 calories
- Rock climbing = 364 calories
- Running (7.5mph) = 414 calories
- Surya Namaskar = 417 calories
2. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) tones the legs, arms and lower back. It also builds stamina which further aids in doing a strenuous yoga workout. While maintaining the pose, it is recommended to take ujjayi breaths (a pranayama that builds heat in the body and relaxes the mind) as it gives strength to hold the pose. Additionally, the Warrior Pose can help improve metabolism by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the muscles. As you build muscle through the Warrior Pose, you enhance your body’s ability to burn calories and fat even when resting.
3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose) is one of the best yoga to lose belly fat. It induces a stretch in the abdominal region, which loosens the fat and tones the arms and legs. While it may not be a direct weight loss tool, incorporating the Bow Pose into your yoga for weight loss can indirectly support weight control efforts by helping to build muscle and improve metabolism. While the Bow Pose can be a helpful addition to a weight loss plan, it should be combined with other healthy practices, such as a clean diet, to see significant results.
4. Konasana (Angle Pose)
Konasana (Sideways Bending Pose) helps burn fat around the waistline, which will ultimately be as effective as any other yoga exercise to lose belly fat. In addition, incorporating Konasana into your daily yoga routine can indirectly support weight loss efforts by helping to improve flexibility and balance, and stimulate the digestive system.
5. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
The higher the metabolic rate, the more fat gets burnt. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) increases the metabolic rate and is one of the best yoga exercises for weight loss. When holding the Chair Pose, your muscles are working to maintain the position, which requires energy. As your muscles work, your body’s metabolic rate increases to provide the energy needed to sustain the activity. In addition, it tones the thighs, legs and knees.
6. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasan (Bridge Pose) involves taking your chest towards the chin and massaging the thyroid gland, which helps produce the metabolism-controlling hormone. In other words, this pose improves metabolism helping to burn more fat. In addition, this pose also stimulates the abdominal organs to aid your digestion.
7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose) is a yoga posture that can help strengthen and tone your back, arms, and abdomen muscles. It may not be a direct weight loss tool, but incorporating the Cobra Pose into your yoga practice can indirectly support weight loss efforts by building muscle and improving posture. In addition, it reduces fat in the abdominal muscles and the stomach region. Practicing Bhujangasana consistently can go a long way in flattening your tummy.
8. Yoga Nidra
Sleep is associated with your weight. The less you rest, the more fat accumulates, leading to a spike in weight. Yoga Nidra is a combination of sleep and meditation with added potency to revitalize our system. In other words, Yoga Nidra is to ‘sleep consciously’. The rest that you get through Yoga Nidra is much more powerful than sleep because the relaxation happens consciously, making it the perfect yoga for weight loss. Moreover, Yoga Nidra also helps you get better sleep. It is a relaxation technique that can facilitate stress reduction and support your weight loss efforts.
Some other tips:
- Do yoga asanas for weight loss regularly: You may be practicing the best yoga poses for weight loss, but if you don’t do it regularly, you won’t see results. This is why it is essential to maintain consistency in any exercise that you do.
- Be patient for the results: Yoga works slowly, but it does work. Don’t expect your weight to reduce immediately. Be patient.
- Add a gym workout to the routine: If you are overweight, or want to burn fat faster, it is advisable to pair your yoga to lose belly fat with a gym workout as well.
- Develop healthy eating habits: Eating habits are crucial while practicing yoga to lose belly fat. While yoga can help you burn calories and build muscle, it’s crucial to fuel your body with healthy foods and maintain a calorie deficit to see significant weight loss results. By choosing nutrient-dense foods, practicing portion control, and timing meals appropriately, you can optimize your body’s ability to burn fat and build lean muscle through your yoga practice. Some habits include saying no to junk food and soft drinks, neither overeating nor skipping meals and avoiding watching TV or chatting while eating. Adopting healthy eating habits with consistent yoga poses for weight loss can help you achieve your weight loss goals, enrich your yogic experience and improve your overall well-being.
- Go outdoors: Outdoor activities are a great way to lose fat. Combining outdoor activities with yoga can create a well-rounded exercise routine that engages different muscle groups and supports overall fitness. Outdoor activities can also provide an opportunity to get some fresh air and enjoy nature, improving mood and reducing stress levels. Allot some time during weekends for group activities like hiking and bicycling.
Your weight loss efforts pay off when you follow a balanced diet and practice yoga religiously. The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Yoga Program offers the best guidance in yoga for weight loss and instructions for a balanced diet.
Video: Yoga for Weight Loss
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It is advisable to perform yoga poses under the supervision of a trained yoga professional.
With inputs from Meena Waghray, Faculty, The Art of Living.