Yoga for Weight Loss: Asanas That Can Help Burn Fat
People are frequently told to perform all kinds of activities in order to lose weight. However, a majority of these are not supported by any evidence. So, do not listen to anyone who says you can burn it or blow it away, as this is not how science works. When it comes to weight loss, not all body fat is the same.
There are two forms of fat, visceral and subcutaneous. Beer bellies are a symptom of visceral fat, which is the hard fat that surrounds the organs in the abdominal cavity. Conversely, the pinchable, superficial fat beneath the skin is known as subcutaneous fat. This type of fat is not as hazardous as visceral fat. However, it is the toughest layer for anyone to get rid of. Even the slimmest of people can have regions of subcutaneous fat that they find bothersome. A few effective ways to target both visceral and subcutaneous fat are following a proper diet and doing regular exercise.
Yoga for weight loss
Yoga as a practice seems too good to be true when it comes to accomplishing weight loss. On the surface, yoga appears to be the polar opposite of a High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) circuit or a weightlifting program; both of these are commonly recommended exercises for weight loss. A yoga lesson makes your body feel completely different. After the practice, you feel invigorated and not exhausted. Yoga tones and loosens up your body by making it flexible and not stiff.
Which yoga practices are best for weight loss?
If you are searching for a pure calorie burn, fast-paced Vinyasa yoga is the way to go. A good Vinyasa class will take you through a range of moves with a focus on integrating your core and weight-bearing on your hands and feet. Consider following a typical flow from plank to triceps push-up to Upward Facing Dog; you’ll feel a core burn while simultaneously strengthening your triceps and holding your body weight up with your arms. This type of weight-bearing exercise increases your heart rate and builds muscle.
Relatively gentle yoga classes such as Hatha will not burn as many calories. However, it can improve your mental health and reduce stress while teaching you to be more attentive. All of this can help you lose weight.
Yoga poses that can help you with weight loss
Here are a few yoga poses to get you started in your weight loss journey:
1. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Although it sounds simple, this stance may be rather difficult for your abs, which is precisely why it can benefit you.
Here are the steps to do this pose:
- Lie down with your face on the floor
- Bend your knees and place your hands on your feet
- Inhale and elevate your hands, feet, thighs, and chest off the ground
- Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, increase to 90 seconds over time
- Exhale to complete the release
2. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
This posture strengthens your abdominal muscles and calms your lower back.
To do this, you need to:
- Lie down by placing your face on the floor
- Spread your hands next to your shoulders on the floor
- Stretch your legs back to the point where the tops of your feet contact the floor; then, slowly inhale and elevate your upper body
- Make sure your pubis and toes are in a straight line and that they are touching the ground
- Stay in this position for 25-30 seconds
- Release and return to the lying down position on an exhalation
3. Kumbhakasana (The Plank)
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most popular yoga poses. It is one of the most effective ways to reduce belly fat and tone your muscles.
Here are the steps to do it:
- Lay down on your back
- Raise your body onto your arms, which should be straight
- Maintain your balance on the toes
- Decide whether you want to face forward or downwards and act accordingly
- Hold this pose for as long as you can; then, rest for a few seconds before repeating. Each day, try spending more time in this stance.
4. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (One-Legged Downward-facing Dog Pose)
The Downward-facing Dog Pose can assist you in balancing your body and strengthening your abs.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Put yourself in the Downward-facing Dog position
- Raise one leg by straightening it
- Lower the straightened leg under your abs
- Repeat this action 10 times for each leg; then, take a break
5. Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)
This posture is a harder version of the plank pose explained above in Point 3.
To do this, you need to:
- Get into the Downward-facing Dog stance
- Shift your weight slowly to your right side and tilt your body to the right
- Support your weight on the right arm while turning your torso to the right and stack your left foot on top of the right foot
- Raise your left arm in the air
- Maintain this position for 15-30 seconds
- Return to the Downward-facing Dog position and repeat this process on the left side
6. Naukasana (Boat Pose)
This is another pose that strengthens your core and does wonders to your obliques and abdominal muscles.
Here’s how you can practice this sequence:
- Face the ceiling while lying down on the ground
- Maintain a relaxed posture by keeping your hands by your sides. Straighten your legs.
- Raise your hands and legs off the ground slowly, keeping your tummy in and above the ground throughout the practice
- Make a 45-degree angle with your body until you get a V-shape. Hold it for 60 seconds while inhaling deeply.
7. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
This is a slightly more challenging position. So, make sure you’re not suffering from any back problems before doing this pose.
Here’s the process to practice this posture:
- Kneel on the floor, hip-width apart, keeping your thighs straight and perpendicular to the floor
- Place your hands on the tops of your buttocks. Ensure that your fingers are pointing downwards and arch your back inwards slightly.
- Lean back slowly and gently touch. Then, hold your heels with your hands. Straighten your spine but do not put too much strain on your neck.
- Hold this stance for up to one minute
How much weight can you lose with yoga?
This is determined by a variety of factors. Some of these include your sleep cycle, lifestyle patterns, and the foods you consume. It is vital to be conscious of what you are eating when practicing yoga to lose weight. There is no one-size-fits-all solution or miracle weight-loss trick.
Many people wonder how yoga helps them lose weight. The solution lies in the fact that yoga increases the awareness of your body and mind. Yoga asanas for weight loss boost your body’s movement even more. According to several studies, people who practice yoga for weight loss are more disciplined and can avoid overeating junk food. So, if you’re wondering, “is yoga beneficial for weight loss?’’, the answer is a resounding yes.
But if you think you can lose weight in 10 days by doing yoga, then you are mistaken. Yoga for weight loss is a technique that you must follow regularly. Time and practice are required for each yoga pose for weight loss. Yoga, when practiced regularly for a long period, can significantly tone your body. However, it is important to include other forms of exercises like strength training, cardio activities, and outdoor walks in your daily schedule. Yoga will not transform your body completely, but it will assist you during your weight-loss process.