Most people who practice yoga don’t think it can help with weight loss, but it sure is. You can try these 7 yoga poses for weight loss the next time you hit the mat and see it for yourself.
Although yoga is generally a calm practice in which you come into contact with your own mind and body, you can get sweaty after doing some of these yoga poses for weight loss.
How to promote weight loss
There is one rule above all that explains how to lose weight. You have to expend more energy than you consume. This is called the calorie deficit, a fundamental law of thermodynamics.
In other words, the number of calories you eat should be less than the number of calories you burn. Sounds simple, right? It’s not.
It is because each body is different. The amount of calories your body burns depends on gender, age, height, weight, level of physical activity, and even genetics.
One thing is for sure, however, training increases the energy your body uses to keep it functioning and this is where certain yoga poses can help.
Disclaimer: Yoga poses for weight loss will not help you lose fat. As with any other sport, it is necessary to maintain a healthy eating habit as well as to practice daily physical activity.
Read more: 5 Common Fat Loss Mistakes
Okay, you know how to promote weight loss, but how can yoga help you? It’s a simple matter of finding the right yoga poses.
Positions that attack multiple muscles are the golden nugget of yoga poses for weight loss.
With that in mind, standing yoga poses might not be the best approach if you plan to do yoga and lose weight at the same time.
Types of yoga for weight loss
There are many types of yoga to choose from. When choosing your type of yoga, you may prefer a slower pace focused on breathing, or perhaps a more dynamic movement.
For weight loss we suggest power yoga, a general term used to describe a fitness-focused vinyasa-style approach to yoga. Power yoga incorporates a series of poses performed in sequence, which allows your body to work harder in less time.
However, the next X yoga pose for weight loss will not focus on just power yoga, but rather any movement that promotes weight loss.
7 yoga poses to lose weight
1. Chair pose – Utkatasana
Simple and effective, this is how you can characterize Utkatasana. Well, at least it sounds easy, but maintaining the position could be one of the hardest yoga poses for weight loss that we’ve listed here.
The chair pose can be thought of as the yoga squat because you will be holding onto the squat position in the middle of the movement. Your quads, hamstrings, and calves will feel the burn after a few seconds while doing the chair pose.
- Stand up straight with your hands at the side of your body, near your hips.
- Raise your arms to shoulder height, in front of your body.
- Continue to lift towards the ceiling.
- Bend your knees near a 90-degree angle. Feel the weight of your body on your ankles and calves.
- Hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat as many times as you want.
If you want to add instability, you can stay on your toes during the movement, instead of having your feet planted on the ground.
2. Crooked chair pose – Parivrtta Utkatasana
The Parivrtta Utkatasana will work on your lower body muscles and it can quickly tire you out. This is a variation of standing yoga pose of the previous pose mentioned and it will target your thighs, glutes and hips.
- Stand up straight with your feet together. Raise your hands above your head with your arms outstretched.
- With your arms outstretched towards the ceiling, bend your knees. Now you should be in the chair pose.
- Lower your arms and put your joined hands in a prayer position on your chest.
- Turn your torso to the right and place your left elbow on the outer part of your right thigh, resting your arm there.
- Return to the previous position and repeat the movement, this time turning to the left.
3. Bow posture – Dhanurasana
The bow pose is a basic Hatha Yoga pose, it improves digestion and appetite, improves blood circulation and strengthens back muscles while giving your abs a good challenge.
- Lie down on the floor. Face and stomach on the mat.
- Inhale and bend your legs back. Grab your ankles with your hands. Your body should be shaped like an arch.
- All of your body weight should be on your abdomen, the only part of your body that touches the ground.
- Hold the position for 20 seconds and breathe in deeply.
- Exhale and slowly return to the first position, lying on the floor.
4. Laying the boat – Naukasana
Another of the simplest yoga poses for weight loss that targets your back and core while giving your arms, thighs, and shoulders a little bit of challenge. The more muscles you work in a pose, the more calories you burn.
- Lie down on the mat, look at the ceiling.
- Keep your legs and arms straight at all times.
- Slowly raise your hands and legs together. Feet pointed towards the ceiling and hands forward.
- Try to shape your body into a V-shape, holding your stomach and contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold it for 60 seconds and inhale and exhale deeply.
5. One-legged Downward Dog = Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
The descending one-legged dog is a variation and an intermediate level of the descending dog posture.
This exercise does what yoga is: it stretches, strengthens, and lengthens your muscles, from the hips, legs to arms and shoulders.
- Get into a plank position with your hands resting on the mat and arms straight. Also keep your back straight.
- Lift your hips, but keep your hands and feet pressed against the mat. Your body should be in an inverted V shape. This is the normal downward dog pose.
- Straighten one leg and lift it up into a downward three-legged dog.
- Hold the position for a few seconds then change the leg that goes up in the air.
6. Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar
Considered one of the most complete asanas, Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, works your whole body, making it one of the best yoga poses for weight loss. It consists of 12 different yoga poses combined into one cycle.
- Stand on the mat with your feet together, widen your chest and relax your shoulders. Inhale, raise both arms, exhale and bring the palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.
- Inhale, raise your arms above your head towards your back to stretch your whole body.
- Exhale and lean forward, keeping your spine straight. Press the palms of your hands to the ground next to your feet.
- Inhale and push your right leg back and stay in the lunge position. Keep the left foot in your hands. Expire.
- As you breathe in, bring your left leg back and stay in a plank position.
- Bring your knees to the floor and breathe out. With your hips slightly back, you slide your body forward, resting your chest and chin on the floor. Lift your butt a bit. Hands, feet, knees, chest and chin should be in contact with the ground.
- On the cobra pose, you slide your body forward and lift your chest. Look up and inhale.
- Exhale and move to the downward dog position – hips off the floor, in the air, chest points down in an inverted V.
- Inhale and move your right foot forward, into a lunge position, with that foot in your hands. The left knee touches the ground.
- Exhale and bring your whole body forward, keep your palms pressed against the floor, and bring your head closer to your knees.
- Inhale and roll your spine upwards. Raise your hands in the air, stretching your whole body once more back and slightly pushing your hips outward.
- Exhale and bring your hands closer to your body. Relax in this position.
Perform the same movement with the left leg forward.
7. Bridge pose – Setu bandha Sarvangasana
This yoga pose will activate the biggest muscle in your body: your glutes. And if it’s the biggest muscle in your body, then it needs more energy to function, thus burning more calories.
- Lie on the mat face up. If necessary, have a towel or blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck before starting the movement.
- Bend your knees 90 degrees, but keep your feet in contact with the mat. Your hands on the side of your body should barely touch your heels.
- Press down on your feet, inner thighs, and glutes to raise your tailbone off the mat. Keep your feet parallel.
- Lift your buttocks until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor.