Any experienced yogi will tell you that yoga is not intended for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a side effect. In fact, it might be one of the reasons many people start yoga in the first place.
If you’re considering yoga for the first time then any reason is a good reason to begin. So, why not explore if yoga can get you in shape? Especially, since losing weight will help you enhance your practice.
Read on to discover how yoga for weight loss can be your golden ticket to an overall healthier lifestyle.
A Different Kind of Exercise
The success of yoga for weight loss is unique in its ability to work unintentionally. In one study, the participants claimed that weight loss was easier and on some level accidental. How is this possible?
It is effortless to lose weight during yoga simply because it is not its purpose. This may seem like an oxymoron for how can someone with the intention of losing weight do it unknowingly?
This is because yoga brings your awareness inward. Outer appearances like body mass become secondary when consciousness is turned on. Therefore, any physical consequences of yoga become a side effect rather than an intention.
Another way yoga for beginners to lose weight works is by a transformative shift. 40% of people who do yoga say that it alters their eating habits by choosing healthy options. This is just one of the many benefits of yoga.
Doing yoga regularly has several of effects on the body, mind, and soul, including:
- Reduced stress
- Toned muscles
- Increased metabolism
- Improved circulation
- Lowered depression
These factors make you feel good, and when you feel good then you naturally want to keep it going. Your decisions in all aspects of your life, not just doing yoga, become a part of your practice.
So, you will be more inclined to get more exercise, eat healthier foods, cut out unhealthy habits, and overall just be more positive. All of which contribute to a higher functioning body that makes it easier to lose weight effortlessly.
Yoga for Weight Loss Poses
It may seem that doing any type of yoga will initiate weight loss, however, there are certain asanas and yoga routines specific for fat burning.
So, what is the best yoga for weight loss? A flowing style like Vinyasa yoga will keep you moving while connecting asanas.
Create your own routine with these few asanas in your next yoga for weight-loss session.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Message your thyroid and regulate your metabolism with the bridge pose. This asana also strengthens and tones your thighs while elongating your abdomen to improve digestion.
- Lie on your back on your mat.
- Bend both knees and place both feet hip-width apart on the ground.
- Raise your hips as you bring both shoulder blades together under your upper back.
- Bring your hands together under your lower back and clasp your fingers.
- Lower your chin to your chest.
- Lift your hips as far as is comfortable.
Once you conquer this pose, you can place your hands on the mat next to your ears and push your shoulders and back off the mat into a full bridge pose.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Hit all your major muscles and joints with downward facing dog. Considered a resting pose during flow yoga, this pose also builds strength in your shoulders, calves, and hips. This can help you with any other pose that you are building toward.
- In a standing position, lower your head to your knees.
- Place your hand in front of your feet on the mat or hanging in front of you.
- Walk your hands forward or bent your knees to place your hands about 3 feet from your toes.
- Straighten your arms and legs, keeping your heels close to or on the ground.
- Keep your back straight and hips up.
- Your head should fall between your shoulders.
Continue to hold this pose for at least 30 seconds, deepening your stretch in your shoulders and thighs.
Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana)
Increase your balance while strengthening your core with a shoulder stand. This pose also assists with managing your thyroid and metabolism. Use it before you go to bed for a restful night’s sleep, which also helps with weight loss.
- Lie on your back on your mat.
- Bring your knees to your chest.
- Push up on your elbows and hips.
- Bring your shoulder blades under your upper back.
- Clasp your hands under your lower back.
- Straighten your legs and back.
- Bring your chin to your chest.
For support, you can do this pose near a wall and place your feet against it if you feel imbalanced. Try letting your legs fall behind your head for an additional stretch. Slowly come down to the floor, starting with your shoulders or upper back.
Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana)
Any type of plank pose increases strength and endurance. They also tighten your core, making it easier to lose weight. This particular side plank pose works well for arm, hip, and side-stomach strength building.
- Start in downward facing dog for an easy transition.
- Turn to either side, keeping one palm on the mat.
- Lift your free arm up to the ceiling, reaching with your fingertips.
- Extend your legs in line with your hips.
- Place your feet next to each other or stacked on top of one another.
A full side plank brings your outer leg up off the ground, however, this is a difficult pose for beginners. Only try the full version once you feel comfortable.
Creating a Yoga for Weight Loss Routine
Like any exercise, yoga for weight loss isn’t a miracle worker. It takes dedication, time, and effort to achieve results. Practicing at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes or more should be your goal.
And remember that you may want to lose weight, but your intention while doing yoga should be to transform yourself. Use yoga as a mechanism to uplift your spirit and awaken your soul, so that all parts of you become vibrant.
Check out more articles like this one in our yoga for beginners section.