Yoga is an ancient practice that’s well known for developing a sound mind and body. It recognizes that the body and mind are interrelated, and by nurturing both, a person can achieve physical and mental health. Yoga keeps the body limber and flexible. It also drives away stress and depression and provides inner peace. But aside from these benefits, yoga exercises are also great in shedding those extra pounds.
People turn to yoga exercises for weight loss because even though it is not as strenuous as other aerobic exercises, it is guaranteed to help a person lose weight. In fact, several studies show that an average person can lose as much as 13 pounds after 3 months of practice. It is also less risky and poses lesser side effects.
Indeed there’s so much to gain when you have weight to lose. Get more out of yoga by doing these yoga exercises for weight loss.
- Wind-releasing pose. Begin by lying down on the floor. Slowly gather your knees up and bring them to your chest. Embrace your knees with your arms and slowly lift your head up. Feel your abs stretch and take 5 deep breaths.
- Bow pose. While lying down on your stomach, start bending your knees and reach for your ankles. Pulling in your stomach, raise your feet and upper body upward. Ensure that you are keeping your shoulder blades down while in this position. Hold this pose, take deep breaths, then relax.
- Side-stretch pose. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips’ width. Rotate your upper body and feet to the right. While keeping your legs straight, slowly hinge your right leg until the upper body is parallel with the floor. Reach the floor with your hands, or if this is not possible, you can reach for a block instead. Exhale and keep breathing until your upper body is close to your thigh. Repeat the process moving in the opposite direction.
- Locust pose. Lie on the mat face down, your arms on both sides of your body while your palms are facing up. Gently lift your legs, the upper body and head from the mat. Hold the pose for 45 seconds, release, and repeat the process thrice.
- Fish pose. Lie on the mat and bring your palms under your buttocks. Lean on your elbows by bending them for support. Lift your torso up and gently arch your back. Gather your elbows together and slowly release the pose by dropping your head on the floor.
- Willow pose. Start by standing with your feet together. Gently lift your left foot and bring it to your inner right thigh. Gather your arms together and bring your palms across your heart. Breath in. As you exhale, slightly bend your upper body to the left. Switch sides and repeat 3 times.
- Chair pose. Begin by standing with your feet close together and arms on the side. Raise your arms above your head with palms facing each other. Slowly move your hips back at about a 45 degree angle with knees bent.
- Cobra pose. Lie face-down on the floor with your stomach flat on the ground. Put your hands below your shoulders and gently raise your upper body. While doing this, your thighs should remain flat on the ground. Arch your back and raise your head upward. You should be able to feel your neck stretch. Release the position and exhale.
- Straight leg lift. Begin by lying on the mat with your back. Raise your legs together, ensuring that your feet are flexed. Keep your back pressed firmly against the mat. For variations, you can also try putting a block or throw pillow between your thighs.
- Spine Massage Roll Ups. Start by lying on your back and bring your legs together straight up. Gently gather your feet overhead until they reach the ground just behind you. If this puts too much strain on your spine, just bring your feet at a comfortable distance while you’re rolled up.
- 1-minute plank pose. Get your body in a push-up position: your feet should be hip width apart while your hands are on shoulder-width. Your head, spine and butt should form one straight line. Slowly bend your elbows and lower the body. Hold the position for a minute and release.
- Upward dog stretch. Lie face down on the mat. Put your hands on the floor near your ribs and gently raise the upper body and the legs upward. Take a few deep breaths and feel your stomach stretch while holding this position.
- Half moon pose. Begin by standing with your back straight and feet together. Gather your arms and bring them near the chest. With hands pressed together, raise them upwards above your head. Gently arch your upper body and head backward while your hands are held alongside the head and neck. Ensure that the knees are straight while executing this pose.
These yoga exercises help increase your metabolism and tone your arms, thighs and abs. You may begin with the simple ones and gently advance to more complicated poses. After regularly performing these exercises, you should see significant improvements with the tone of your body as well as shed those extra pounds away.