Best yoga asanas for weight loss
Yoga is a holistic practice that can be beneficial for weight loss. But you need to combine it with healthy lifestyle practices like – a low-calorie diet, optimum workout routine, staying hydrated, quitting smoking and drinking, and reducing stress. It is true that like other workouts that you might do in the gym, yoga may not be able to burn that many calories. But yoga for weight loss is known for its targeted results and gives you a toned body and lean muscles. It also has a positive effect on your overall well-being which means you can achieve your weight loss goals.
Yoga for weight loss is a journey and will not show any drastic results. You need consistency and dedication and follow the right yoga asanas for weight loss as directed by your yoga teacher.
Yoga for weight loss
Obesity can be a root cause of a lot of health conditions like – heart issues, high cholesterol, joint and back pain, hypertension, diabetes, etc. If you want to shed off excess inches and kilos from your body, now is the perfect time to start. Start including yoga for weight loss in your routine and combine it with a healthy no-junk diet to see visible results.
Here are some of the benefits of yoga for weight loss –
Certain yoga practices, such as Vinyasa or Power Yoga, can raise your heart rate and help boost your metabolism. This can lead to increased calorie burning, both during and after your yoga session.
Helps reduce stress
Chronic stress can lead to overeating and weight gain. Yoga promotes relaxation and reduces stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This can help prevent emotional eating and cravings.
Improves muscle tone
Many yoga poses require you to support your body weight, which helps build and tone muscles. Lean muscle mass can increase your resting metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories even when you're at rest.
Makes you aware of mindful eating
Mindfulness is a core component of yoga practice. It encourages you to pay more attention to your body and eating habits. This can lead to better portion control, making it easier to manage your weight.
Increases balance and stability
Yoga improves balance and stability, which can reduce the risk of injury during other physical activities, allowing you to engage in more vigorous exercise for weight loss.
Brings positive lifestyle changes
Practicing yoga often leads to a healthier lifestyle overall. It can inspire you to make better food choices, engage in more physical activity, and prioritize self-care.
Keep in mind that the effectiveness of yoga depends on various factors like – how regularly you do it, your age, current health status and fitness, etc. It would be best that you ask your doctor which yoga poses you can include in your routine for weight loss. Also consult a qualified yoga teacher so that he/ she can suggest your specific yoga asanas for weight loss based on your age, fitness, and weight loss goals.
Best yoga asanas for weight loss
Here are some of the best yoga asanas for weight loss.
1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
This is a series of 12 yoga postures performed in a flow. It combines forward and backward bending, stretching, and strength-building movements. Repeating Sun Salutations can provide a cardiovascular workout and help with weight loss. Surya Namaskar involves a combination of forward and backward bending, stretching, and strength-building movements. This can provide a cardiovascular workout and help you burn calories, making it a good addition to your weight loss routine. Many of the poses in Surya Namaskar engage various muscle groups, including the legs, core, and upper body. This can help build lean muscle mass, which contributes to a higher resting metabolic rate.
The 12 poses involved to complete a Surya namaskar are –
- Step 1: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
- Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
- Step 3: Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
- Step 4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
- Step 5: Dandasana (Plank Pose)
- Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute with Eight Parts or Knees-Chest-Chin Pose)
- Step 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Step 8: Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
- Step 9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose, Right Leg Forward)
- Step 10: Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)
- Step 11: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
- Step 12: Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)
2. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Camel Pose (Ustrasana) is a yoga asana that can be beneficial for weight loss as part of a comprehensive fitness routine. The pose requires the engagement of the core muscles, which can help build core strength over time. A strong core is essential for overall fitness and can support weight management. Regular practice of this pose and yoga for weight loss in general can help you become more attuned to your body's hunger and fullness cues, leading to better appetite regulation and portion control.
3. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) is a yoga asana that, while not a high-intensity calorie-burning exercise, can be a valuable addition to a comprehensive weight loss and even weight management journey. Bridge Pose can stimulate the thyroid gland, which plays a significant role in regulating metabolism. An optimally functioning thyroid can support weight management. Bridge Pose engages the muscles in your legs, buttocks, lower back, and core. Regular practice can help build lean muscle mass, which can increase your resting metabolic rate.
4. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
One of the best yoga asanas for weight loss is chair pose, also known as Utkatasana. While it may not burn as many calories as high-intensity workouts, it has a lot of benefits, and doing it in the long run will help you lose weight. Chair Pose engages the muscles in your legs, especially the quadriceps and glutes, as well as the lower back and core. Regular practice can help build lean muscle mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate. This means you'll burn more calories even when at rest. Holding the pose can increase your heart rate, which can lead to some calorie burning during the practice. The more you engage and hold the pose, the more calories you can potentially burn. While holding the pose, you activate your core muscles. A strong core is essential for overall fitness and can support weight management.
5. Warrior Pose (Virbhadrasana)
When listing yoga asanas for weight loss, we cannot miss the effective warrior pose. Warrior Pose is also known as Virabhadrasana in yoga. It is a set of postures that involve various standing poses. The Warrior Poses, especially Warrior I and Warrior II, engage and strengthen multiple muscle groups, including the legs, thighs, buttocks, and core. Regular practice can help build lean muscle mass, increasing your resting metabolic rate and, consequently, your calorie-burning potential. While Warrior Poses are not high-intensity exercises, they do require sustained effort and can elevate your heart rate, leading to calorie burning during the practice.
6. Plank Pose
If you thought one minute is not much time, then you might not have been in plank pose ever. It is one of the most beneficial yoga asanas for weight loss and strengthening your core. It engages not only the rectus abdominis but also the transverse abdominis and obliques. A strong core is crucial for overall fitness and can contribute to better posture and a leaner appearance. It also helps in giving you toned muscles. The Plank Pose engages a variety of muscle groups, including the shoulders, arms, back, and legs. This full-body activation increases the overall calorie burn and can help improve muscle tone. Building lean muscle mass, as you do when practicing Plank Pose regularly, can boost your resting metabolic rate. This means you'll burn more calories even when at rest.
7. Upward-facing dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana) and downward-facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
When talking about yoga for weight loss, we cannot miss upward facing and downward facing dog pose. Combine both upward-facing dog and downward-facing dog asanas in your yoga routine and you’ll notice excess inches shedding away from your body. Both these are effective yoga asanas for weight loss. Upward-facing dog pose engages and strengthens the muscles in the back, especially the lower back, as well as the core. A strong core is essential for overall fitness and can help improve posture and promote a leaner appearance. It also engages the arms, shoulders, and legs, providing a full-body workout. Increased muscle activation contributes to a higher calorie burn. Backbends like Upward Facing Dog can stimulate the thyroid gland, potentially aiding in metabolic regulation. A well-functioning thyroid can support weight management. Downward-facing dog pose engages the arms, shoulders, and upper back. This can help build upper body strength, increase muscle tone, and enhance calorie expenditure.
Things to keep in mind when doing yoga for weight loss
- Listen to your body and don’t exert yourself
- Be consistent and try and do at least a couple of yoga asanas for weight loss every day
- Set realistic weight loss goals
- Don’t forget warm-up and cool-down exercises
- Rest and recovery are really important
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times when doing any of the yoga asanas for weight loss
- Do yoga for weight loss under the guidance of an expert only