7 Simple & Effective Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss
Do you often look at the mirror and wonder, “How did I put on so much fat?” Is working from home leading to weight gain? Do you still look at your old clothes and puzzle over why you don’t fit into those any more?
Well, we all go through this phase but by the time we realise that we need to shed some weight to be healthy and fit, our body does not cope with us to do heavy exercises and workouts. Our body would have lost all its core strength, flexibility and stamina to do heavy exercises and at this point, we lose all hope of looking slim and fit again.
If you’ve been pondering these questions, then you’ll also have spent hours on end researching gym memberships online and dreaded putting on your running shoes. Well, what if we told you that, you could lose weight sitting at home by tapping into the ancient wisdom of the Yogis.
Yes, “Yoga for Weight Loss”- and no it’s not a myth. Let’s understand how yoga can help you to lose weight and to become healthy. When you are overweight, you often feel too lethargic to get up, get ready and go for a long walk or run.
You need to start with something simple like yoga. You will be amazed to know there are so many yoga asanas for weight loss, that not only helps you to get fit but also aid in bringing you back in shape.
Do You Need to be Flexible to Start Doing Yoga?
At Govardhan Ecovillage, we often get this query that how can I do yoga when I am not flexible. You do not need to be in shape to go to the gym, Do you? Well, there is a relationship between yoga and flexibility, but being flexible is NOT a prerequisite to do yoga. Body flexibility should not dictate whether you practice yoga.
Start doing yoga and over time, you will get there, you will become more flexible. Yoga is not for the thin, young, and beautiful alone. Yoga is for people of all ages. Also, there are posture variations in every asana to make it easier for those with limited flexibility or at an advanced age.
How Does Yoga help in Weight Loss?
We don’t want you to blindly follow a random blog or video to start doing yoga to reduce belly fat. You need to understand the mechanism to gain better results. Though yoga is not traditionally an aerobic exercise, there are yoga asanas that are extremely physical than others. Intense and active yoga asanas help you burn a lot of calories.
Practising yoga also helps to develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism. Your body becomes strong when your core is strong. Your core not only holds your body’s weight but also increases your resistance level to injuries and helps you heal better. Regular yoga practice makes your core strong, flexible and healthy.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
Yoga may seem like a set of stretching exercises, especially, to those unaware of yoga and its benefits. Numerous scientific studies, comparative analyses, and surveys have underscored the effects of daily yoga and the impact it has had on one’s body, looks, and mind.
The importance of yoga asanas is mostly understated as these asanas when practised regularly not only enhance body strength and flexibility but also help in lessening mental fatigue, emotional disorders, and weight loss.
The main objective of yoga is self-realization, helping you overcome stress and anxiety by bringing harmony between your body and mind. Along with shedding calories, yoga helps to
- Improve your flexibility
- Reduce your anxiety
- Boost your brainpower i.e., concentration
- Help you get rid of unwanted toxins
- Regulate your body clock
Yoga is a union between Jeevatma, the individual soul and Paramatma, the universal soul or the divine reality. Practising yoga makes you more conscious of your body. As you become more conscious you become more aware of the lifestyle you lead, the food you intake, the calories, the diet you follow, the amount of rest you give to your body and mind etc. Thus, yoga contributes majorly towards your weight loss journey.
Best Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss
If you are a beginner in the world of yoga and you are eager to do it right, consider looking up guides on yoga to reduce weight. One of the best places to achieve a good start on your journey towards better metabolism is Govardhan Eco-Village.
The sprawling 140-acre campus is designed to allow for a more holistic approach towards healthy living. And one of its biggest attractions is the School of Yoga. At the school, you will learn the basics of this ancient practice through a full-fledged training program.
The scientifically-designed and certified yoga courses & yoga retreats will help you pave your path towards a happier and more optimistic way of life. You will discover how to use yoga asanas to reduce belly fat, keep you mind sharp, increase flexibility and much more.
1. Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation
Surya Namaskar is the ultimate asana that strengthens the back and muscles of the body. One of the major advantages of Surya Namaskar is it’s a complete workout for the entire physical system that can be performed without any equipment.
The Surya Namaskar can be done at a pace faster than usual to burn down a lot of calories. It can act as a good cardio exercise that works on every part of the body and improves metabolism. Moreover, it involves different bends and stretches that help to lose the flab around the body evenly, especially the belly. Watch the video for detailed steps on how to do Surya Namaskar.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
- Helps Lose Weight.
- Increases blood flow to the scalp and boosts hair growth.
- Improves Digestive System.
- Aids in the better menstrual cycle.
- Cures insomnia.
- Improves breathing
2. Paripurna Navasana or Full Boat Pose
Boat Pose focuses on stretching the back and abdominal muscles of your body, making it one of the most useful yoga poses for weight loss. Your limbs, which serve as a balance for enacting the pose will also benefit from muscle toning.
- Lie on your back with your feet straight and arms by your side.
- Take a deep breath. As you exhale, lift your chest and feet off the ground, while stretching your arms to your feet.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds as you continue to breathe deeply.
- Relax your body and repeat 5 more rounds.
Benefits of Paripurna Navasana
- This pose builds abdominal and core strength.
- Tones the leg and arm muscles, and it is beneficial for people with a hernia.
- Hip flexors muscles get weak when you sit too much. Boat pose helps in toning the hip flexors
- It also helps build body balance.
Purvottanasana or Upward Plank Pose
It is an intermediate back-bending yoga pose that builds strength and flexibility. It is sometimes used as a counter-pose to Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana), and full-body, strength-building poses, such as Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana).
- In Dandasana pose, sit with your legs outstretched in the front.
- Place your hands a little behind your hips with the fingers pointing towards the foot.
- Draw your inner thighs in, your belly in and up/
- Inhale and lift your hips up as high as you can, keeping your chin to your chest.
- Shoulder blades should be on your back to help lift your chest up.
- When the chest is lifted, bring your head back.
- During head back, keep your chin tucked to the point where you can’t keep it tucked anymore. Then gently release your head.
- Alternatively, if this feels too much for your neck, you can try keeping the head up and your chin towards your chest.
- Remain in this position for about 5 breaths.
- Exhale and lower your hips back down into Dandasana.
Benefits of Purvottanasana
- This pose helps in strengthening the wrists, arms, shoulders, back, and spine.
- Helps in stretching the legs and hips.
- Improves respiratory function.
- Stretches the intestines and abdominal organs.
- Stretches the shoulders, chest, and front ankles.
- Stimulates the thyroid gland.
Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I Pose
This pose is one of the best yoga for weight loss. Warrior one pose is the first of three related powerful standing postures that improve strength and flexibility. Beginners and those with balance issues may practice this pose with the support of a wall or the assistance of a trainer.
- Stand in Tadasana or Mountain Pose. Exhale and lightly jump your feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
- Align both the heels, exhale and rotate your torso to the right.
- Place the left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend the right knee over the right ankle.
- Raise your arms straight above your head, keeping your shoulders pressed down.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and downward, and lift your chin to gaze at your hands overhead. Hold your pose and then repeat on the left side.
Benefits of Virabhadrasana
- Increases stamina and balance
- Improves coordination
- Strengthens the feet, legs and buttocks muscles
- Builds core strength
- Improves flexibility
- Helps to lose weight
5. Dhanurasana or Bow Pose
Another tough-to-master pose is Dhanurasana, but if perfected, it goes a long way in ensuring overall body strength, improved metabolism, and is one of the best yoga exercises to reduce weight. Dhanurasana is also known to be a powerful stress-busting exercise and is especially useful for women who suffer from menstrual discomforts.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet slightly apart and arms by your side.
- Lift your legs and fold your knees, extend your arms back to hold your ankles in position.
- As you breathe in, lift your chest up off the floor and look straight ahead.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds, breathe out, and reset.
Benefits of Dhanurasana
- Stretches the abdomen and chest, ankles, thighs and groins, throat, and deep hip flexors (psoas)
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Improves posture
- Stimulates the organs of the abdomen and neck
Trikonasana or Triangle pose
Trikonasana is a standing yoga posture that requires strength, balance and flexibility. In addition to a range of physical benefits, trikonasana is believed to aid in weight loss and unblock energy pathways in the body.
- Extend both arms with the legs spread apart
- Turn one foot at a 90-degree angle
- Bend the upper body toward the lead foot so that one arm reaches toward the foot.
- The other hand should be towards the sky.
- Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds and repeat with the other side.
Benefits of Trikonasana
- Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles
- Boosts muscle strength
- Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine
- Helps relieve stress and anxiety
- Improves digestion
- Helps burn body fat and lose weight
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose
Cobra pose is a gentle backbend practised from a face-down position that warms and strengthens the spine while opening the chest.
- Lie down on the stomach with legs stretched with toes pointed.
- Place the hands under the shoulders with palms pressing against the floor and fingers pointing forward.
- Lift the head, shoulders and chest off the ground, keeping the pubic bone on the floor, and the bottom of the ribs and abdomen on the floor.
- Slowly arch the back, lifting the chest upward.
- Stay in the position for 30 seconds and slowly lie straight on your stomach on the ground and repeat it for 5 times.
Benefits of Bhujangasana
- Tones the abdomen and is one of the best yoga asanas for obesity.
- Improves flexibility of the upper and middle back. Beneficial to cure back pains.
- Improves blood circulation.
- Reduces stress, fatigue and anxiety.
In order to chase a spectacular dream life, most of us are stuck on a desk chair with a machine, along with hectic schedules and energy-draining work shifts. This tight schedule leaves hardly any time to unwind, let alone taking time out for exercise to lose weight. Even, sparing a few minutes towards developing the right health and mind seems like a gruelling challenge.
If you find this relatable, don’t worry. We, at Govardhan Ecovillage, can help you come out of it and get your life back on track. All you need to do is participate in our certified yoga courses and rewind yourself at our yoga retreat. At Govardhan Ecovillage, we can promptly put you on the journey to a healthier and better version of yourself with a much needed reset!