Many people are turning to yoga for a way to get fit or lose weight. And that’s ok. Over time you might realize though, that there is so much more to yoga than building strength and flexibility. And, of course, losing weight by turning fat into muscle.
10 Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
Enjoy these 10 yoga poses for weight loss. Try to move mindfully through your practice, focusing on your breath, and cultivating awareness of the present moment, to calm your mind.
At first sight, Chaturanga seems to be a workout for arms and shoulders. But to keep the body in one straight line while lowering down, we also engage our legs, our glutes, and the core.
So it’s actually a full body workout if done correctly. You can bend and straighten your arms a few times, practicing the alignment of each body part.
2. Triangle - Floating Arms
For extra engagement in core and legs in Triangle Pose, extend both arms alongside your ears, framing your head. Your abdominals, and especially your oblique muscles, have to work extra hard here to keep your chest open.
Press all four corners of your feet into the mat for a strong foundation. Being thoroughly grounded through our legs allows us to stay light and flexible in our upper body.
For experienced yogis – try lifting your pelvic floor in this position for extra lightness.
3. Standing Splits
Standing Split is the pose you want to turn to get closer to what people call a yoga butt, as we’re toning glutes and legs here. The standing leg has to work to keep us stable.
Try a dynamic version of Standing Splits by lowering and lifting your back leg a few times. Repeat on the other side.
4. Warrior II
It can feel so nice to open our hips in that pose. Feel free to keep a smaller angle of your back foot if you want to go easy on your hips today. Warrior II also tones your legs, and our arms, so reach far in both directions.
In Warrior Poses we are fighting for something, not against something. So try to keep that positive image in your mind next time you’re getting too tense in that pose.
5. Crescent Lunge
In all standing postures having a strong foundation to the earth through our legs is key. It allows our upper body to do twists, fold forward or bend backward. Crescent Lunge also tones our entire body, as all muscles are playing a part in preventing us from falling over.
6. Extended Side Angle
In Extended Side Angle, try engaging your core to keep some weight off your lower arm. Lifting your pelvic floor allows that lightness in your upper body I mentioned before, which is true for most standing yoga postures.
Imagine a long line reaching from the outer edges of your back foot, all the way to the fingertips of your extended arm, which helps to create even more space in the sides of your body.
This is a strong pose for arms, shoulders and upper back. It also gets your heart rate up, especially when moving from Dolphin into Forearm Plank, and back into Dolphin.
You can also play with lifting one leg at a time and do the same flow on one leg only. I can almost hear your pounds drop.
8. Plank - Knee to Chest
Similar to Dolphin, in Plank Pose dynamic pose, we are toning our entire body by trying to keep our balance.
For an extra boost to your abdominal muscles, bring one knee to your chest, rounding your spine, extend your leg back to Three Legged Dog, then bring your knee to the outside of your right triceps, and to the left triceps.
9. Side Plank
A very versatile yoga pose, suitable for all levels of experience and strength. This pose also requires the engagement of our oblique muscles. Lift and lower your upper leg, bring it into Tree legs and grab your big toe with your fingers.
10. Upward Facing Dog
Let’s close with a strong backbend. Mainly done as part of Chaturangas in Ashtanga or Power Vinyasa Classes, Upward Facing Dog requires a lot of strength in your arms, shoulders, and back. Keep your shoulders away from your ears.
If you feel you’re dumping in between your shoulders and cannot hold your weight with your arms, keep practicing Cobra first until you’ve built up more arms strength, for a safe practice of Upward Facing Dog.
Sit down into Child’s Pose as a counterpose to this backbend and relax.
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