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Best Yoga Asanas For Weight Loss And Toning

By: Padmapreetham Mahalingam

When we think of weight loss, the one thing that pops up in our mind are the countless workouts in the gym or running on a treadmill.

Yet we never consider yoga as great for weight loss. Yoga, which addresses our relationship with our body and mind, does help us to achieve the weight that is comfortable for us.

Most people would deem that yoga is only for relaxation, increasing flexibility and keeping the immune system healthy. However, like other workout options, yoga has benefits, as it is the most effective workout for fighting stubborn fat stores.

best yoga poses for weight loss and toning

Everyone presumes that only cardio can help them knock off pounds faster than yoga. Nevertheless, it is important that you choose the right type of yoga asanas that can help you to burn fat and tone up.

Yoga has the significant potential to harvest physiological as well as psychological benefits. It aids in increasing cardio respiratory fitness, strength, flexibility and overall fitness.

Yoga is a lifestyle program that can help to attain and sustain weight loss goals and it does make one of the best fitness choices, as it helps reduce weight and stress at the same time.

Yoga workout can melt off the weight around your stomach and is a great option when it comes to weight reduction and enhancing your entire lifestyle at the same time.

Here are the some of the best yoga asanas for weight loss and toning. Take a look.

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1. Naukasana

First lie down flat on a mat. Keep your feet together and your arms on the sides. Next try to place your arms straight and your fingers stretched towards your feet. Now inhale and then, as you begin to exhale, try to lift your chest and feet off the floor.

Make sure to bring the shin levels with the floor. Let the weight of your body rest on the buttocks and try to straighten your legs out.

Keep your feet together and arms extended forward with palms parallel to the ground. Try to keep your knees and elbows straight. It is imperative that you balance the entire weight on the back of your bones.

Stay in this position for 2 to 3 breaths and then work up to 5 to 10 breaths. Now, exhale gradually when you bring the body down to the starting position.

Benefits

The boat pose (Naukasana) can perk up the functioning of the lungs and is useful in reducing excess fat from the abdomen.

It improves digestion and relieves constipation. However, this asana is not favourable for people suffering from ulcers and hernia.

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2. Utthita Parsvakonasana

Stand in Tadasana, feet kept together. Then, keep your feet wide apart. Make sure to inhale and then extend your arms to the sides.

In this position, your ankle should be right under your wrists. Next, you need to slightly turn your right foot and leg out in 90 degrees and then turn your left foot in. Now, exhale and bend your right knee to 90 degrees and make sure to place your right hand (fingertips) on the floor, outside of the right foot.

Your right thigh should be aligned with the floor. Now, while you inhale, try to extend your left arm up to the ceiling and your left arm should be crosswise over your left ear (gazing up towards the ceiling).

Remember your palm will have to be facing the floor. Next, try to turn your pelvis and your chest to the left. You can feel the stretch across the groin.

Keep the right knee bent directly over the ankle and your hips have to come towards the floor. Be in this position for 60 seconds.

Breathe and then hold this position for 3 to 6 breaths. Next, inhale and swing your left arm up and try to come to the standing position. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits

This extended side-angle pose increases flexibility of the legs and spine. It keeps the nervous system stimulated and the abdominal muscles stretched. This yoga pose is effective for fat elimination. It stimulates the abdominal organs and increases stamina.

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3. Jalandhara Bandha

This should be practiced after the asanas and pranayama. So, how should you practice jalandhara bandha (the chin lock)?

Firstly, try to be in a meditative pose like Padmasana and keep your spine straight. Place your palms on the knees. Next, close your eyes and relax your body. Try to breathe normally.

Now, inhale slowly and then try to hold the breath. You need to bend the head forward, so as to make your chin touch the chest. The chin should rest between the two collar bones while holding your breath.

The shoulders have to be slightly hunched forward and your arms should stay put. Your breath has to be held inside. If you are finding it hard, then don't strain yourself by holding the breath.

If you are doing it for the first time, then try to hold the breath for a few seconds. Next, release the lock by raising your head and bending your arms. It is important to exhale.

Try to sit straight and make sure to take a few normal breaths.

Benefits

This asana plays a key role in reshaping your chubby face and to rectify double chin. This yoga asana can even tone up your facial muscles.

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4. Adho Mukha Svanasana

Firstly, come onto your fours. Your body should form a table-like structure. Your back forms the base of a table top, while your hands and feet form the legs of the table.

Next, exhale and lift your hips and try to straighten your elbows and knees. Your body will have to form an inverted V-shape. And then, let your hands and shoulder be wide apart and try to keep your feet and hip also shoulder-width apart.

Your toes should point straight ahead. Next, your hands should firmly press onto the ground. It is essential that your ears touch the inner arms and you need to focus your gaze towards your navel.

Try to hold this position for a few seconds and then bend your knees. Now, return to your table pose and relax.

Benefits

This asana can tone your muscles as well as help in building strength throughout the body. It promotes rapid weight loss and makes you feel energized when you practice this pose. It also calms your mind and tries to lengthen the spine.

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