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International Yoga Day: How To Lose Weight With Yoga

The word 'Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Yuj' which means the union of your individual consciousness and the universal consciousness.

Yoga is known for healing the body and mind; it is also known for helping in weight loss. If you love doing yoga and is looking forward to lose weight, then this article will be beneficial for you.

Yoga And Weight Loss

Intense yoga exercises help you burn the most of calories, which aids in preventing weight gain. Practising power yoga daily helps you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism.

A study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that yoga is a great way to help with weight loss, prevent weight gain, and reduce stress [1] .

Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

1. Boat pose (Naukasana)

In boat pose, your midriff becomes the base for balancing the body and if you are finding it difficult to lose the stubborn belly fat, this yoga asana will help you. Performing the boat pose yoga daily will let you achieve a toned abdomen, relieve stress and stimulate the intestines, kidneys, and prostate glands.

Note: If you are suffering from insomnia, spinal injuries or hernia, do not try this yoga asana.

How to do:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs together in front of you.
  • Bend your knees and lift your feet so that your thighs are at an angle to the floor, while your shins are parallel to the floor.
  • Raise your arms in front of you in a way that they are parallel to the floor.
  • Straighten your legs while keeping your torso lifted.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds and repeat at least 5 times.

2. Plank pose (Dandasana)

This pose allows you to support the body on your hands and keep the core intact. Doing plank pose strengthens and tones your arms, biceps and triceps.

How to do:

  • Sit on the floor with your hands several inches behind your hips and your fingers pointing forward.
  • Bend your knees and your feet on the floor.
  • Exhale and press your feet and hands down against the floor, and lift your hips upwards.
  • Straighten your legs and slowly tilt your head back.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then sit back to normal position with an exhale.

3. Lion pose (Simhasana)

If you have facial fat, this yoga asana will help tone the facial muscles. When you are in this pose sticking your tongue out, your facial muscles, the spine and thorax are also stretched. This will help to get rid of a double chin. People of any age can try this yoga asana.

How to do:

  • Kneel on the floor and cross your legs and sit.
  • Press your palms firmly against your knees.
  • Open the palms and splay your fingers like the sharpened claws.
  • Inhale and open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out, curling its tip down towards the chin.
  • Open your eyes wide and exhale.

4. Dolphin pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

In this pose, the arms become the base for balancing the entire upper body while you try to stay afloat. Performing dolphin pose yoga will strengthen and tone the arms, biceps, and triceps.

Note: People having neck or shoulder injuries should avoid this yoga.

How to do:

  • Put your hands and knees on the floor.
  • Your knees should be below your hips and your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly above your wrists.
  • Firmly press your palms and forearms on the floor.
  • Exhale and lift your knees from the floor, keep it slightly bent.
  • Keep your head down.
  • Do this for 30 seconds and release your knees with an exhale.

5. Fish pose (Matsyasana)

This yoga pose involves stretching the lower body such as the thighs, abdominal muscles, and hips. This yoga asana is all about twisting and pulling the lower body that aids in burning the extra fat that gets deposited in the most prominent places like the thighs and abdomen.

How to do:

  • Lie on the back on the floor with your knees bent slightly.
  • Inhale, lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and slide your palms under your buttocks.
  • Press your forearms and elbows firmly against the floor.
  • Tilt your head back on the floor.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and exhale.

Note: Avoid the fish pose if you are menstruating, suffering from blood pressure or migraine.

6. Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)

This yoga pose involves the upper body and stretches the abdominal muscles and helps in burning unwanted belly fat.

Note: If you are pregnant or suffering from hernia, do not try this asana.

How to do:

  • Lie on your stomach, stretch your legs and spread your hands on the floor parallel with your shoulders.
  • Inhale and lift your chest off the floor.
  • Firm the shoulder blades against the back.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds and exhale.

7. Garland pose (Malasana)

This yoga is beneficial for those people who sit all day at the desk and accumulate fat in the lower part of the body. Garland pose will help in stretching the groins, thighs, and hip muscles and also enhance flexibility and tone the inner and outer thighs.

Note: Avoid garland pose if you suffer from hip or knee pain.

How to do:

  • Squat on your legs and separate your legs slightly.
  • Exhale and lean forward between your thighs.
  • Press your elbows against your inner knees and bring your palms together.
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and inhale.

How Often Should You Practice Yoga To Lose Weight

Intense yoga practice should be done for at least three to five times per week for one hour. If you don't have that much time, practice for 20 minutes. Also, if you are a beginner, start slowly and gradually to build your practice.
Combine yoga with other low-intensity exercises like cycling, walking or swimming.

View Article References
  1. [1] Bernstein, A. M., Bar, J., Ehrman, J. P., Golubic, M., & Roizen, M. F. (2014). Yoga in the management of overweight and obesity.American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine,8(1), 33-41.