You will notice, especially in the first 2–3 weeks of your practice, that your waist, hips, thighs, and upper arms will become firmer and slimmer. This is not weight loss, but the result of firmer muscles. In the long run, yoga will help you to achieve and keep a healthy weight, but it is not a quick-fix, sweat-it-off approach.
Let’s look at the numbers: if you weigh about 68 kg (150 lb.) and you practice the asanas mentioned in this article for 30 minutes you will use about 150 calories. If you do that every day, after a week you will have burned an extra 1050 calories. To lose 500 g (1 lb.) of body weight, you need to burn 3500 calories. The weight will come off, but slowly.
It will also stay off. If you follow the yoga diet, we outlined in Days Nine and Ten you will lose weight more quickly. Many women also find that being able to relax and sleep better makes it easier to stick to a healthy diet and their weight loss strategy, and it also helps them avoid the pitfalls of “comfort eating.”
(Related: Eating Well: Yoga Poses for Mindful Eating)
Yoga Poses for Weight loss
Pose #1: standing half lotus
The Standing Half Lotus, or also known as the Ardha Padmasana Vriksasana, helps in opening the hips and improves one’s overall balance and concentration.
- This pose improves the overall balance
- It also increases flexibility in hips, knees as well as in ankles
- This yoga pose regulates one’s nervous & lymphatic systems
- Start by standing in the Mountain Pose, with both of your hands by your sides. Then to help maintain your overall weight and balance, try to focus on an object that is right in front of you.
- Then slowly move your body weight to your right foot. And then bend your left knee, while raising your left foot, and then use your right hand to gently position your foot as far up your right thigh as is comfortable for you to do so, don’t try to put too much pressure.
- Accordingly, start to inhale, and then raise both of your arms above your head, while pressing both of your palms together.
- Then slowly Straighten both of your arms and stand tall. Hold this yoga position for about five complete breaths, then gently lower both of your arms and release your foot.
- Accordingly, make sure to repeat the same process on the other leg. (This process needs to be repeated on both sides twice or more as per your convenience).
Note: Do not practice this yoga pose if you have any knee or hip problems. Also, those with high blood pressure need to either skip this pose or they should not raise both of their arms overhead in the yoga pose.
Pose #2: warrior I
The second pose we are going to discuss is Warrior I, or also known as the Virabhadrasana, which is a standing forward lunge. It helps in forming and strengthening your legs and it also opens your chest and heart.
- This pose often helps in strengthening the legs, especially one’s thighs
- It also strengthens the spine
- The Warrior I pose also stabilizes the hips, knees & ankles
- It also helps in increasing one’s lung capacity
- Start by standing in the Mountain Pose, both arms by your sides.
- Then slowly exhale, and take a big step forwards with your left foot. Accordingly, rotate your right foot about 45 degrees outwards. Also, place both of your hands on your hips.
- Inhale and accordingly bend your left knee so that it is directly over your left ankle. Then slowly raise both of your arms overhead, bringing your palms together.
- Then accordingly, keep the heel of your right foot on the ground. Also, tip your head backward and then look at your hands overhead.
- Hold this pose for about five breaths. And then exhale as you return to the Mountain Pose.
- Repeat the same process accordingly on the other side as well.
Note: If you have any shoulder injury or pain, high blood pressure, or maybe heart concerns, keep both of your arms parallel to the ground. Then accordingly, skip this yoga pose if you have any knee pain or injury until it gets better.
Pose #3: standing forward bend
To continue with this yoga pose, return to this intensive stretch. Without straining too much, try to bring your nose a little closer to your knees than you did with your previous stretch.
- This yoga pose helps one strengthen their back muscles
- It also stretches the hamstrings
- It also tones the digestive organs
- This pose can also relieve headaches
- Start by standing in the Mountain Pose, with both of your feet just slightly apart from each other.
- Continue to inhale as you raise both of your arms to parallel above your head, both palms facing inwards.
- To continue with the exhale as you fold forwards from the hips. Grasp both of your elbows, and bring your nose as close to your knees as is comfortable for you. You may also bend both of your knees slightly if the stretch is too intense.
- Continue to hold this position for a count of 20, breathing in the same position.
- To release from this yoga pose or to come out of this pose, place both of your hands on the hips, and then slowly raise your upper body to the standing position as you continue to exhale.
Pose #4: chest opener
To start with this pose, move just a little deeper into the stretch, both as you arch backward and bend forwards towards both of your knees.
- This pose tones & firm’s arms
- It tones & firms one’s bust
- It also relieves the tension in the neck & shoulders
- This pose also realigns the spine
- To start with this pose, stand in the Mountain Pose with both of your feet slightly apart. Then raise both of your arms to the shoulder height in front of you, then slowly bring them around behind your back and clasp both of your hands. Accordingly, arch backward to open the chest. Then hold for a count of about ten, while breathing in the same position.
- Then gently bend forwards, raising both of your arms behind your back. At first, don’t worry about how far you are bending, just make sure to feel the stretch, and listen to your body to avoid overstretching.
- Hold with this pose for a count of 20 as you continue to breathe, and then slowly exhale as you return to an upright position.
Pose #5: half lotus
The Half Lotus yoga pose, or also known as the Ardha Padma Sana, is a classic seated yoga pose that works best to open the hips and stretches both of the knees and ankles.
- This pose also builds flexibility in hips, knees & ankles
- It also strengthens one’s spine & abs
- This pose improves one’s posture
- It also increases one’s overall energy
- To start with this yoga pose, start by sitting in Staff Yoga Pose, also lengthening both of your spines from the tailbone through to the top of your head.
- Slowly bend your right knee, clasp the foot with both of your hands, and then accordingly place your foot on top of your still outstretched left leg as far up your thigh as possible (remember your key goal is to place it in the hip crease).
- Then accordingly bend your left knee, and pull the leg in and tuck the heel under your right leg with the heel up against your groin. Then accordingly place both of your hands on both of your knees, with all the folded fingers in the chin mudra.
Note: Skip this yoga pose, or consult your yoga instructor or maybe a medical advisor before attempting it. If you have an acute knee injury or if you have had a knee or hip replacement, then it is advised to skip this pose.
Modifications: Initially during this pose, beginners figure out that the Half Lotus pose is not easy and requires continuous practice to master. In this scenario, release from the Staff Yoga Pose to a simpler, maybe a cross-legged yoga pose with both of your hands on both of the knees, and the fingers in the chin mudra.
If your knees are higher than your hips, or if you feel any discomfort in your knees or your hips, sit on a folded blanket for some support. Then accordingly strengthen your spine, then accordingly relax your shoulders and focus on your breathing.
After practicing all the above-mentioned yoga poses for weight loss, repeat today’s weight loss poses in a flowing dance-like sequence continuously to get the desired results.
Weight loss is a journey; nobody loses weight overnight (At least not in a healthy way). And we on prokensho only believe in healthier and mindful practices for mindful living. So along with these yoga poses try mindful eating to maintain your weight.
(Also Read: Mindful eating may help with weight loss)
4 thoughts on “Yoga Poses for Weight loss”
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