Yoga makes use of breathing techniques, meditation, and exercise to improve health and happiness. But it does not just stop there. Just in case you didn’t know, there are hundreds more, if not thousands of yoga poses out there. The poses focus on different areas or aspects of the body.
Even weight loss, you may ask? Yes, of course. It has been proven that yoga can be a great way to stimulate weight loss. So, if you are trying to lose that extra, stubborn belly fat, or simply shed some weight, you might want to try out these ten yoga poses for weight loss and balance.
Before we get into it, I just want to let you know that there are no physical or age restraints on yoga. It is a widespread misconception that yoga is not for everyone. But that is just not true. Whether you are young or old, on the bigger side or slim, you can participate in yoga and enjoy its full benefits. All you will need is perseverance and consistency.
Enough said, let’s get into the ten yoga poses for weight loss and balance.
1. The plank (Chaturangadandasana)
This pose may seem easy, right? I assure you, it’s not. Holding a plank for a few seconds may not be challenging. But when you are a few minutes in, that’s when you start to feel its effects on your abs. This pose is very efficient in targeting stubborn belly fat. Doing this daily will strengthen your core and give you rock-hard abs. This is a great yoga pose for weight loss.
How to do the plank (Chaturangadandasana): Simply start in the push-up position. With your hands flat and shoulders directly above your hands. Keep your body completely straight; try to avoid lifting or lowering your hips. Hold on to this exact position for at least 2 minutes.
2. The upward-facing dog pose (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana)
Although this pose sounds unusual, it involves stretching the arm muscles while balancing the body weight. It is a very dynamic pose for toning the triceps and biceps.
How to do the upward-facing dog pose (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana): You should start by lying flat on the floor, then lift your upper body with your arms, and ensure your arms are directly under your shoulders. Hold this position for a few minutes.
3. The downward dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasna)
This pose tones your whole body while targeting specific muscles. It aims to strengthen the thighs, arms, back, and hamstring. To get the most out of this pose, try to focus on your breathing. Furthermore, it will help stimulate your blood circulation and concentration.
How to do the downward dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasna): Set your knees right or directly below your hips and your hands a bit forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, forefinger fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under. Exhale and raise your knees away from the floor. At first, keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor.
4. The Sun salutation (Surya Namaskara)
This yoga pose may be a bit difficult at first. It stretches and tones the muscles, trims the waist, and tones the arms, stimulates the digestive system and metabolism. The Surya Namaskara is the complete package. It is one of the best yoga poses for weight loss and balance.
How to do the sun salutation: To start, lay flat on the floor, slowly lift your torso upwards, and gradually move your legs forward. Take your arms back and hold both legs. Hold this position.
5. Warrior pose II (Virabhadrasana B)
The Warrior pose II focuses on toning your thighs and shoulders and increasing your balance and concentration. The longer you’re able to hold this pose, the better its effects. This pose will help you get rid of fat and give you tighter quads as well.
How to do the Warrior pose II (Virabhadrasana B): This pose is a bit tricky. First, start in the mountain pose, standing with your feet apart and arms at your sides. Spread your feet 4 to 5 feet away from each other, turn your right foot out 90 degrees, pivot your left foot inwards. Spread both arms parallel to the floor and hold this pose.
6. Warrior pose III (Virabhadrasana C)
If you thought the Warrior pose II (Virabhadrasana B) was effective, wait until you try the Warrior pose III. This pose targets the thighs, back, legs, butt, abdominals, and arms. That’s a lot, right? This pose is very effective, to say the least when you’re trying to flatten your tummy as well.
How to do the Warrior pose III (Virabhadrasana C): To begin, start in the mountain pose, while standing on one foot, stretch both arms forward parallel to the floor. Then stretch the other leg till it’s parallel to the floor as well. Hold this pose.
7. The Triangle pose (Trikonasana)
If you’ve been looking for a pose to reduce or trim the fat in the belly and waist, then this is for you. The Trikonasana is a great pose to reduce the fat deposited in the belly and waist. It also helps to improve digestion and stimulates blood circulation. Also, this pose is not as tasking on your body as some others. It helps to focus on your balance and concentration.
How to do the triangle pose (Trikonasana): To start this pose, While standing, spread both legs apart and lift both arms parallel to the floor. Then lean to the left, enough to touch the floor with your left hand. Remember, keep both arms straight. Hold this position for as long as you can.
8. The Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana)
The shoulder stand has many benefits: from improving your strength and enhancing your digestion to balancing thyroid levels and boosting your metabolism.
This pose will focus on your upper body, strengthen your abdominal muscles, arms, and legs. You may also notice improvements in your respiratory system.
How to do the shoulder stand: To begin, lay flat on the floor. Then gradually lift your legs and torso straight up until they are perpendicular to the floor. Keep both arms flat on the floor. Hold this pose.
9. The Bridge pose (Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Another pose with numerous benefits is the Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge pose. This is one of the yoga poses that is excellent for weight loss, as well as glutes and thyroid.
Further, it improves muscle tone, digestion, regulates hormones, and improves thyroid levels. The bridge pose also strengthens your back muscles and reduces back pain.
How to do the Bridge pose: Start by lying flat on the floor, with both arms underneath your torso, lift your hips upwards. Keep your foot flat on the floor and raise your knees to a 90-degree angle. Hold this pose.
10. The twisted chair pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
The twisted chair pose is on the less difficult side; it is just an enhanced form of your regular squats. The Chair pose targets the glutes, quads, and abdominals.
Furthermore, the twisting helps stimulate the digestive and lymph systems. Hence making the twisted chair pose a great and efficient yoga pose for weight loss.
How to do the twisted chair pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana): Start out with a squat, put both arms in a praying position, then twist torso until your left elbow reaches your right knee. Hold this pose, repeat for the other side.
In conclusion, there are a lot of yoga poses out there. But if you are trying to lose some weight for whatever reason. Trying out these yoga poses for weight loss, and balance may be worth a shot.
Aleksandra Nico, Psy.D., is a Psychologist and Editorial Assistant for Whatsdalatest who writes about mental health, relationships, human behaviour, and health. Aleksandra is passionate about helping others make well-informed choices to support and improve their physical and emotional well-being.