A vast population all around the world is suffering from obesity. Most of them are trying one or the other ways to reduce their weight. Yoga for weight loss is the most searched topic on the internet and somewhat practicing yoga has proven quite effective too.
I have written many articles on yoga and its benefits on many health blogs. Personally, my experience says that yoga is magic— which when practiced regularly definitely helps to prevent many health issues such as heart problems, stress, and obesity. One of the root causes of many dreadful diseases is stress or tension and practicing some of the asanas always helps to improve the function of various vital organs like the heart, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive organs. It also strengthens the muscles. What can be a better option to get rid of stress other than practicing yoga?
Is Yoga Good for Weight Loss? Is it as Effective as People Claim?
Yoga for weight loss is a trending solution without any side effects. It is not restricted to certain age groups; any age group can practice yoga. In order to seriously losing your weight, you also have to cut down your intake of that junky fast food along with yoga practice. You must have the knowledge of the reasons that caused obesity or weight gain then it will be easier for you to come out of the problem.
However, the main reasons for becoming overweight or obese are lack of proper exercise, stress or tension, eating junk foods, hormonal changes, and also have a family history of obesity. Apart from the reasons mentioned above, the modern-day lifestyle is also playing a major role in obesity.
Nowadays, starting from the childhood kids prefer to play computer games, watching cartoons and other TV shows rather than playing with their friends. Due to this vast popularity of the internet and social networking sites, most teens and adults prefer to stick with their computers rather than meeting each other physically. There is a need to change in lifestyle too.
One thing, I always say to everyone when it comes to health — Do consult your Physician if you want to go for exercise or yoga asanas. Getting a green light from your health physician is always better. Well, let’s have some discussion about few asanas in yoga therapy which are especially practiced for reducing weight.
The 3 Best Yoga Poses for Weight Loss that you can do daily
Forward bending, backward bending, and twisting of the body really help people to reduce weight by helping them in burning fats from the abdomen, thighs, and butt areas. Lotus pose, Tree pose, and Hero pose asanas help to get rid of the fats from arms and leg areas too.
2. Sun Salutations:
The Sun Salutation in yoga is a very effective asana to start up and it consists of poses to tone the muscles for further practicing different yoga poses. Forward bends, mountain poses and cobra poses also comes under this sun salutation asana. Regularly practicing sun salutation along with breathing exercise ensures proper exercise and functioning of the lungs.
Pranayama is a breathing exercise. It provides peace of mind to an individual. One should practice this breathing exercise preferably early in the morning with an empty stomach after taking bath and wearing a clean and loose outfit. One should practice Pranayama regularly.
- Anuloma and Viloma are the two easiest yet very effective types of practice to do in Pranayama. Anuloma means to breathe in and Viloma means to breathe out.
- Sukha pranayama, Suryanuloma are also very effective Pranayama practice which helps in losing weight along with stress and tension from the mind of an individual.
Collection/List: Yoga for Weight Loss DVDs
Here is a collection of the best yoga for weight loss DVDs that you can buy online or at any video store near you. The listings of this collection are good for losing weight at home. The videos are very descriptive and you can do the yoga poses for weight loss easily. For your convenience, we have started our list with the best beginner sessions.
- Body Wisdom Yoga for Beginners
- Beginners and Beyond: Yoga for Weight Loss for Beginners
- Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga Collection
- Weight Watchers
- Yoga Conditioning for Weight Loss
Power Yoga for Weight Loss: Here’s all you need to know
The Vinyasa yoga, or more commonly known as power yoga is a type of yoga especially for muscle building, strength, endurance, and weight loss. The power yoga for weight loss is different from conventional slow and meditative yoga as its pace is faster. Furthermore, rather than concentrating on relaxation, this type asserts on breaking a sweat and increasing metabolism.
Power yoga is a good form for burning calories and getting leaner muscle mass. It is more dynamic and provides a decent cardio workout. Additionally, the fast-paced moves prove to work great in strengthening the muscles and boosting the immunity of the body.
What do the Trainers advise on Yoga for losing weight?
Learning from the best is surely a great way to start the weight loss journey. For you, we write the advice of the most popular yoga gurus and instructors so you can learn the correct way. These critically acclaimed globally trainers know what they’re talking about out. Let’s take a look at what they have to say:
1. Ramdev Yoga for Weight Loss
Baba Ramdev is a familiar name to anyone who knows even a bit about yoga. Ramdev is a popular yogi and teaches yoga in mass gathering camps since 2002. Ramdev is also prevalent for teaching yoga through television shows. You may know him from his motivational viral videos on social media. His advice on yoga for weight loss is doing rounds on the internet and people claim it works very well.
Swami Ram Dev’s advice on reducing 10 Kg weight in just 2 weeks is by using these 12 yoga asanas daily:
i. Triyak Tadasana – Mountain Pose – Corrects Body Posture
Triyak tadasana is another version of tadasana with side stretching and is a simple standing pose. This yoga pose is also called “Mountain pose” because the name originated from Sanskrit words triyaka meaning, “oblique,” tada means “mountain,” and asana means “posture” or “pose.” In English, this pose is known as the standing palm tree or side bend yoga pose.
- There are two techniques of performing this yoga for weight loss.
- First, keeping legs together, interwind the finger of both hands, and stretch them upwards.
- Tilt your waist and whole body sideways to the left and then to the right.
- Another way is to keep legs apart and do the same stretch.
Health Benefits of Triyak Tadasana
- Maintains your correct body posture.
- Slims down the physique by trimming the waist.
- Reduces the fat from the sides of the abdomen.
- Provides sideways stretch to the waist, arms, and legs.
- Helps to stimulate bowel movement.
- Opens up your chest.
ii. Trikonasana – Triangle Pose – Increases Flexibility
Trikonasana is a standing yoga for weight loss that requires excellent flexibility and strength. The name of this pose comes from Sanskrit words Tikona means “triangle” or “three corners,” and asana meaning “pose” or “posture.” Therefore, it is named “Triangle pose.” Another common term for this yoga pose is utthita trikonasana (extended triangle pose), which is its modified form.
- To get into this posture, extend and spread both your arms and legs.
- Keep one foot at a 90-degree angle to the other leg.
- The upper body should bend towards the lead foot.
- Then twist your body so that one arm reaches towards the ground while the other reaches towards the sky.
- Twist your waist again, switching the arms.
Health Benefits of Trikonasana
- Helps in better digestion.
- Relieves stress and has a therapeutic effect on anxiety.
- Alleviates symptoms of menopause.
- Strengthens knees, ankles, and thighs by stretching.
- Makes hips and hamstring muscles flexible.
- Reduces risks of osteoporosis and sciatica by stretching and is great yoga for weight loss.
iii. Baddha Konasana – Cobbler’s Pose – Promotes Focus
Baddha konasana is a seated yoga pose that goes by many names like Bound Angle pose, Butterfly pose, and Throne pose. The name is devised from Sanskrit words baddha means “bound,” kona means “angle,” and asana means “posture.” This basic yoga pose stimulates the sacral chakra that builds inner acceptance.
- This sitting posture is a little hard to maintain.
- For a beginner, sitting on a blanket or block is better.
- Start by bending your knees while pulling your feet inwards towards the pelvis as close as you can get.
- Soles of the feet must touch each other.
- Drop both knees towards the floor while holding the big toes with your hand.
- Stretch your torso as you bend downwards towards the floor, reaching as far as you can.
- Maintain the posture for some time.
Health Benefits of Baddha Konasana
- Strengthens your muscles greatly.
- Improves the flexibility of inner thighs, knees, and groin.
- Helps to get rid of digestive complaints.
- Soothes menstrual pain.
- Opens up the lower back region and relieves risks of sciatica.
- Alleviates stress and fatigue to relax your mind as well.
iv. Padahastasana – Hand Under Foot Pose – Reduces Heaviness
Padahastasana is a forward fold standing posture among the 12 basic poses of Hatha yoga. Practicing this yoga for weight loss is good because it can reduce tamas, meaning inertia or heaviness in the body. Padahastasana, the third pose of Surya namaskar, got its name from the Sanskrit word, pada meaning “foot,” hasta means “hand,” and asana means “posture” or “seat.” Another English name is gorilla pose.
- Start by standing straight with feet 3 inches apart.
- Raise the arms while inhaling slowly and stretch the upper body.
- Bend yourself forward, forming the hinge at the hips.
- Exhale and extend both arms to let your palm rest flat on the ground while keeping your legs erect.
- Maintain the pose for 30 seconds, come up gradually.
- Repeat the process after relaxing several times.
Health Benefits of Padahastasana
- Improves cardiac health by an increase in oxygenated blood flow.
- Maintains the thyroid glands and releases enzymes.
- Helps to improve your concentration, focus, and alertness.
- Works well on the abdomen to loosen the nearby muscles.
- Increases the flexibility of hamstring muscles, hips, thighs, and calf muscles and improves their health as well.
v. Chakki Chalanasana – Churning Mill Pose – Balances Abdominal Region
Chakki Chalanasana, also known as “Churning Mill pose,” got its name from the combination of three words, chakki meaning “mill” or “grinder,” chalana means “to drive,” and asana means “pose.” This yoga posture is good for toning down the nerves and bring positive effects to the abdominal region and thus help in pregnancy.
- To get into this yogasana, sit upright on your yoga mat.
- Stretch out your legs and flex the feet.
- Extend out your arms and interlock the fingers of both hands.
- Start by keeping your arms and shoulders parallel and lean forward.
- Maintain proper breathing while doing this.
- Return to the original position in a motion analogous to churning millstone.
- Lean backward in the same way.
Health Benefits of Chakki Chalanasana
- Improves the circulation of blood.
- Increases the digestive power of the stomach.
- Relieves back pain.
- Trims down the abdominal fat.
- Promotes better health of abdominal organs.
- Maintains proper function of reproductive organs.
- Relieves menstrual pain.
vi. Sthit Konasana – Angle Pose – Slims Waist & Thigh
This pose is the best yoga for weight loss as it targets the fat of the waist and thigh region and cuts down the size of the waist. Sthit Konasana is a variation of the standing pose and is a side stretching yoga pose to lengthen your spine and sides of the body. Sthit means “fixed” or “located,” kona means “angle,” and asana defines “posture.”
It is a modified form of konasana.
- To get into this yoga pose, one has to sit upright while stretching one spine.
- Extend out your legs and flex the feet.
- Then extend your legs to be as far apart as possible.
- Reach out for one foot with both hands maintaining the stretch in the spine and vice versa.
- Then twist your waist with your arms wide apart, and one arm should reach the sky.
- Repeat several times.
Health Benefits of Sthit Konasana
- Causes reduction in the fat of thigh and waist.
- Slims down the waist and beautifies your physique.
- Benefits your stomach and treats digestive problems.
- Controls diabetes when you practice the pose regularly.
- Increases your height as well.
vii. Paschimottanasana – Bend Pose – Relieves Depression
It is a fundamental seated yoga pose, which targets the back muscles and hamstring muscles of the inner thighs. Paschimottanasana got its name from Sanskrit words, paschima means “back,” uttana means “stretch,” and asana means “posture” or “seat.” In English, the yoga pose is called, seated forward bend pose.
- To begin with the pose, flex and stretch your feet and legs.
- Lift the arms while lengthening your spine on an inhale.
- Hinge from your hips to bend forward on an exhale.
- Pull in the muscles of your belly and keep the nose aiming to reach towards the knees.
- Maintain a longer stretch in your spine, keeping your hand on the shin or base of the heel, if possible.
- Keep this position for some time and then repeat.
Health Benefits of Paschimottanasana
- Calms down the brain and nerves.
- Relieves stress and depression.
- Stimulates the liver, kidney, and uterus functions.
- Benefits the thigh region because this yoga for weight loss is very effective.
- Helps improve digestion and increases appetite.
- Proves highly therapeutic for high blood pressure, sleeping disorders, and sinusitis.
viii. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose – Strengthens the Body
This yoga pose is also a part of Surya Namaskar, the sun salutation, and is less strenuous to the body. Bhujangasana is a gentle backbend pose for the stretching of the back and is beneficial yoga for weight loss. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words, bhujanga meaning “snake” or “serpent,” and asana meaning, “seat” or “posture.” In English, it is therefore termed as cobra pose.
- Getting into this posture is very easy.
- Start by lying down flat on the floor but lie on your stomach.
- Place your palms on the floor and extend your legs and toes.
- Raise your upper trunk region in the air.
- Hold your weight on your hands, keeping your arms stretched and close to your body.
- Hold the pose while regulating your breath for few seconds, then relax.
Health Benefits of Bhujangasana
- Strengthens the spine and back.
- Causes a profound increase in lung capacity.
- Relieves stress and reduces fatigue.
- Helps increase your muscle strength and tones the buttocks.
- Opens up the chest and heart, thus profoundly improves blood circulation.
- Proves therapeutic for people having asthma.
ix. Shalabhasana – Locust Pose – Relieves Fatigue
Shalabhasana is another back-bending yoga asana that stretches the body and gives strength to the muscles of your back. It is performed lying on your front and is well-known by its English name locust pose. The name comes from a combination of Sanskrit words, shalabha meaning “grasshopper” or “locust,” and asana meaning “posture.”
- It is most simply performed while lying straight on the floor.
- Keep your dorsal part (back) facing upwards.
- It depends upon the variation whether you raise both of your legs stretched or upper trunk area or both as high as possible.
- However, both arms and legs should remain stretched and straight.
The Health Benefits of Shalabhasana
- Causes a profound increase in blood circulation.
- Reduces the risk of stomach diseases, acidity, and ingestion.
- Relieves urinary problems as well.
- Efficient to reduce stress caused by crouching as it reverses the effect.
- Makes the spine and back more flexible.
- Improves your memorizing power.
x. Ardha Halasana – Half Plough Pose – Relieves Constipation
Ardha Halasana is so named because the final shape of this pose resembles half of the structure of an Indian plow. The original name belongs to Sanskrit and comes from three words, Ardha meaning “half,” Hala meaning, “plow,” and asana means “posture.” Therefore, its English name is half plow pose.
- This yoga requires you to lie down on your back, stretching out the legs.
- Inhale and lift the leg perpendicular to the floor.
- Meanwhile, place your hands under your buttocks for support.
- Maintain the posture for half a minute while holding in your breath.
- Lower your leg and exhale slowly.
- Repeat the process 3 to 4 times.
Health Benefits of Ardha Halasana
- Strengthens the lumbar region of your back.
- Relieves the pain of those suffering from constipation or gastric problems.
- Tones down the abdominal part effectively.
- Proves to be a great yoga for weight loss and fights obesity well.
- Increases your digestion power.
- Helps to relieve sprain in the hip and catch in lower back.
xi. Parvatasana– Mountain Pose – Reduces Abdominal Fat
Parvatasana is yet, another simple seated pose or asana, performed in the Surya namaskar, the sun salutation. This yoga for weight loss from the abdomen is an important seated posture. The body shape resembles the shape of a mountain so, it is named mountain pose. The name of Parvatasana comes from Sanskrit parvata means “mountain,” and asana means “pose.”
- The sitting posture is actually to increase your focus and maintain certain chakras.
- But the proper inhaling and exhaling help reduce weight.
- For this purpose, sit up straight on your yoga mat.
- Interwind the fingers to form a finger lock with both hands.
- Raise the arms above your head while inhaling and keeping the knees on the ground.
- Stretch arms and trunk further upwards.
- Maintain the posture for few seconds and then relax.
The Health Benefits of Parvatasana
- Increases lung capacity with proper breathing techniques.
- Strengthens the diaphragm muscles
- Stretches the spine and ribs muscle.
- Reduces major flaps from your abdomen, waist, and hip region.
- Shows remarkable slimming effects on your overall physique.
- Promotes the side muscles and pelvis to stretch, pull up, and get toned.
xii. Dwichakrikasana – Cycling Pose – Cures Obesity Diseases
Dwichakrikasana is a yoga exercise and requires the strength of an individual to bring about its effects. This posture is the best yoga for weight loss from the abdominal region and treats the root cause of obesity. The name is from Sanskrit words, dwichakrika meaning “two-wheeler” and asana meaning “yoga pose.” It is performed while lying on your back straight.
- Getting into this pose is very easy but to perform it requires strength of your core and legs in particular.
- Start by lying down on your back and stop your breath.
- Keep your hands beside your hips for support.
- Then, bring your ankle near your hip by raising and bending one leg.
- After that, rotate the leg as if you are paddling a bicycle.
- Repeat it several times while switching between both legs.
Health Benefits of Dwichakrikasana
- Promotes weight loss and reduces extra fat from the belly and other parts of the body.
- Improves digestion and increases appetite.
- Maintains your proper body posture.
- Proves beneficial in obstruction and corrosiveness.
- Makes the stomach firm and hips more flexible.
- Improves blood circulation.
- Reduces stomach acidity and constipation as well.
2. Shankhaprakshalana Exercises
Shankha Prakshalana or cleansing techniques are also very important. It can be done by drinking at least 2 full glasses of water and then perform certain asanas and again drinking water. It helps to clean your bowel and your full GI tract. Cleansing techniques include Kunjal Kriya which is practiced for stomach wash and lung cleansing, Baghi for tiger exercise, Laghu Shankha Prakshalan for digestive system cleansing, Basti for colon cleansing,
These exercises are a great way to detoxify your body from impurities. The Shankhaprakshalana exercises can help your body recover and strengthen itself. However, these exercises can be dangerous if you do them wrong and can cause your intestines to twist causing pain. It is best to find a teacher/ professional that can assist you properly.
3. Tips on Yoga with Adriene for Weight Loss
The internationally acclaimed yoga instructor, Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene has many tips on weight loss. However, the best video on yoga with Adriene on weight loss is the 40-min workout guide that leaves you sweaty and leaner.
Adriene advises on starting with the downward dog, then doing the runner’s lunge, and moving on to a plank. From there, you should do a forward fold and transition into a Tadasana mountain pose. Coming to a Child’s pose counterpose, and then finishing with the hedgehog pose. This is a sure way to burn a lot of fat in just 40 mins daily.
Do remember, if you are excessively overweight or obese join a yoga class for beginners. This will help you to start your yoga practice in the right way and which will benefit you in a better way.