Everyone knows that practicing yoga is a great way of life as it helps people become physically and mentally stronger and helps reduce stress and tensions of life. What people don’t know is that it is also one of the most effective workouts for burning fat, for people who are 40 or above. Yes, you heard it right. Yoga can actually help reduce your weight and burn the extra calories in your body. The following are the yoga poses for weight loss which you can start practicing now and see your weight go down in 3 to 4 weeks.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar is a series of yoga asanas which are done one after another in succession. It has amazing techniques and poses meant for weight-reduction as there are various forward and backward bending poses that stretch the spinal cord and further enhances stretching the whole body. It is hard to believe but this is a full body workout that gives great results. It has a strong effect which helps in detoxifying your body’s internal organs through abundant oxygenation process which furthers up the deep relaxation effect.
ArdhaChandraasana (Half-Moon Pose):
This is a great pose to tone down your bums, upper and inner thighs. The extra stretch done on the sides of your tummy will help burn off extra calories.
Steps for this pose–
- First, stand with your feet joined together.
- Now raise your hands over your head and grasp your palms together. Now extend this stretch by trying to reach for the ceiling.
- Now exhale, and slowly bend sideward from your hips, keeping your hands together. Remember to not bend forward and to keep your elbows straight. Clearly, you will now feel the stretch from the tips of your finger to your thighs.
- Inhale slowly and get back to the standing position. Repeat this pose on the other side.
This is a breathing exercise which helps in oxygenating your body. At the same time, it strengthens the muscles of your abdomen and your stomach. By doing Kapal bhati pranayama exercises, you can get a flattened and toned tummy; and these set of exercises also improve digestion.
- First, sit comfortably on the mat, keeping your spine erect with your palms on your knees and facing downwards.
- Now start exhaling through your nose and start pulling your stomach inwards, towards your spine.
- Then when you breathe out, you automatically loosen the muscles of your stomach.
- Now quickly contract the muscles of your stomach again and then exhale slowly. The muscles of your stomach should be pushing out and pulling in the air, so that you keep breathing and not get choked while doing this exercise.
- Do this for about 20-30 times in the beginning. Later on, you can increase its repetitions in a comfortable and easy way.
Veerbhadrasana–1 (Warrior Pose)
This pose helps you to stretch your back, strengthen your bums, thighs and abdomen; and helps you to lose weight as it exerts pressure on all above mentioned parts of the body, thus burning calories and fat.
Steps for this pose :
- First, stand-up with your feet joined together and hands on your sides.
- Now put your right leg forward while keeping your left leg extended to backwards.
- Now bend your right knee gently so that you can get into the lunge position.
- Now you must twist your torso so that you can face your bent right leg.
- Now turn your left foot slightly to the side (at about 400-600) to give you some extra support.
- Exhale slowly, straighten your arms and raise your body upwards and away from your bent knees.
- Now you must stretch your arms upwards and slowly lean your torso backwards in such a way that your back forms an arch.
- In order to get out of this pose exhale and straighten your right knee. Now push your right leg away and return to your original position. Use your hands for support. Do not rush out of this pose else you could injure your back or legs. Repeat this posewith the other leg as well.
Veerbhadrasana-2 (Warrior Pose 2)
This pose is done to strengthen your muscles at the back, thighs, abdomen and also helps with weight reduction.
Steps to do this pose :
- Follow the same steps as ‘Veerbhadrasana-1’, except one change i.e. raising your hands over your head, twisting your torso so your face can move sideways and raise your hands on either side (so that your fingers are extended and are in a parallel condition as of your extended right and left leg).
- Now, turn your head in a way so that your eyes are looking in the same direction as your right hand. Repeat this pose for the other leg as well.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
This pose is great for the muscles of your abdomen and tones the thighs and arms.
- Stand up with your legs aligned together.
- Now put most of your weight on one leg and less weight on the other.
- Now raise the leg with less weight so that your foot faces inwards, towards your opposite knee.
- You can hold your ankle in order to help you pull the leg upwards.
- Place your foot’s heel on the inner thigh of the other leg, as close to your abdomen as possible.
- Now raise your hands over your head gently and ensure that your fingers are pointing in the direction of the ceiling.
- You must focus your mind and try to maintain your balance for as long as possible.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
It strengthens the doer’s core muscles, thighs and tones down the bums, which carry considerable amount of fat and stores extra calories.
- To do this, you must stand straight on your yoga-mat with your hands in front of your chest doing namaste.
- Now raise your hands above your head and bend at the knees in such a way that your thighs come in position parallel to the floor.
- Bend your torso slightly forward and breathe.
- Stay in this position for as long as you can. Then gently get back to the standing position.
Uttanasana(Forward Bend Pose)
This pose stretches your hamstrings and puts pressure on abdominal muscles. It also rushes the blood to your head, which in turn helps your body to switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous system, making you feel relaxed.
- In order to perform this pose, you must first stand straight.
- Now raise your hands above your head when inhaling slowly.
- Now bend forward completely and push your bums back until your palms touch the floor and your forehead comes in a position that it touches your knees. Now you can slowly return to the standing position.
Badhakonasana (Cobbler Pose)
This pose directly reduces the fat present on your inner thighs and strengthens different parts of the body such as spine, muscles of the groin, knees and lower back. It is also helpful in improving digestion.
- Sit on your mat with legs stretched out towards the opposite direction.
- Keep your spinal cord erect while doing so, and bend your legs beyond knees in such a way that your feet are facing each other.
- Now pull your legs with your hands in such a way that your heels must touch each-other and are held close to the abdomen.
- Now hold your legs at the ankles and move your thighs in up-down motion, just like a butterfly flexes her wings while flying. Try and do this as many times as possible.
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)
This pose helps increase the capacity of your lungs so that they can inhale and hold more oxygen within them. This pose stretches out the spine and tones down thighs and abdominal muscles. It speeds up the digestive system & helps you to digest food more efficiently, and thus, it helps in losing weight.
- Sit in such a way that your legs are stretched out in front of you, in a way such that your feet are kept together while your spine remains erect.
- Now you must bend your left leg and place the lower half of your left foot and bring it besides your right hip (you can also choose to keep your left leg straight).
- Now,take your right leg and place it on your left knee and place your left hand over your right knee, with your right hand behind you.
- Twist yourself at the waist, by twisting your shoulders and neck to the right side and try to look over your right shoulder.
- Remain in this position for some time and keep breathing in and out slowly.
- To come back to the starting position, continue breathing out and release your right hand first (hand behind you), then release your waist and chest. End with releasing your neck slowly and get back to the sitting and relaxed position. Repeat on the other side.
Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose)
It is a terrific pose that tones and strengthens your shoulders, arms, abs, back, butts and thighs.
- To start this pose, you must lie flat with your tummy towards the floor.
- Now place your palms by the sides of your face and bend your feet in such a way that the toes are in a position of pushing the ground away.
- Next, push out your hands and raise your bums in the air.
- Your legs should be flat and facing the floor yet away from it, as much as possible while your neck should be kept loose. This position is known as downward dog pose or ‘adho mukha svanasana’.
- Now breathe-in and lower your frame in a way that your arms are in a perpendicular position to the floor, and your shoulders and chest remain directly above your arms. You must focus on keeping your fingers from flaring out and try to keep them closer. You will find that the muscles of your stomach are tightening up. Try to hold this position for a while or for a few minutes.
- Exhale and lower your body gently towards the floor (similar to coming out of a push up position while in a gymn). In order to end this pose and get out of it, you must do ‘bhujangasana’. You can also simply roll to the side and push your hands away and get back to sitting position.