Yoga may be intended as a way to calm the mind, but it also is a great way to get in shape and drop some weight. Here are a few postures that can help lower your anxiety and the number on the scale. Hold each posture as long as you can, that may be 15-20 seconds at first, but each time you practice, hold the posture for a few seconds longer and make your way up to a minute if you can. Where appropriate do one side and repeat on the opposite side.
Holding a plank may be one of the best ways to strengthen your core. It may not look like much, but drop into plank and it won’t take long to feel it in your abs. Subtle adjustments can increase the intensity even more.
Energetically draw your heels and the top of your head in opposite directions and keep your chest moving forward between your arms. Do this daily for develop rock-hard abs.
2. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana B)
Like a powerful warrior, you too can tone the muscles in your thighs and shoulders with Warrior II. To get the most out of the posture, try to bend your front knee so your thigh is parallel to the floor. The longer you can hold this position, the tighter your quads will get.
The secret is to calm the mind and just breathe. Remind yourself, you are a warrior! Now, mighty warrior, switch sides.
3. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana C)
For a more toned butt, Warrior III is the way to go. In addition to toning your back end, it’s also a great way to strengthen your back, legs and arms.
To get even more out of it, contract your abs while you hold the position. Not only will it help you balance, but it’ll flatten your belly too. The longer you can hold Warrior III, the more your butt will benefit.
4. Triangle (Trikonasana)
Trikonasana may not make your muscles shake like some other postures, but do it often and your abs will thank you! The twisting motion of trikonasana helps to improve digestion and reduce fat deposits in the belly.
On top of that, by engaging the muscles of the legs and arms, you can build more muscle and burn more fat.
5. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Looking for a way to tone your total body? Then Downward Dog it. With a little extra attention to certain muscles, this asana goes from a resting pose to a radical way to strengthen your arms, back and thighs.
To get the most muscle-toning benefits, engage your thigh muscles as you rotate them inward, and do the same with your upper arms. Continue to press down through your hands and heels. Hold it—and don’t forget to breathe!
6. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
From improving digestion to therapy for the thyroid and even increasing strength, shoulder stand does it all.
This inversion works to balance thyroid levels which boosts metabolism, improves the respiratory system, strengthens the upper body, legs and abs, and helps you sleep better. Add this to your practice daily and you’ll feel like a whole new person.
7. Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge pose is great for the thyroid, glutes, and great for weight loss. The action of reaching your chest toward your chin gently massages the thyroid gland to produce this all important metabolism-regulating hormone.
Pressing down with your feet engages your thighs and back end to help tone those muscles too. And if you need one more reason to practice Bridge, it also helps stimulate the abdominal organs to keep your digestion happy.
8. Twisted Chair (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
Call it yoga’s version of a squat—but made just a little bit more intense. Parivritta Utkatasana, or Chair pose, works the quads, the glutes, and the abs. And that’s just the muscles.
The twisting also helps the digestive system and the lymph system. Combine all these into one move and you’ve got a great way to lose weight.
9. Bow (Dhanurasana)
Looking for a way to burn belly fat fast? Bow pose can help. You can get deeper into the pose by pulling your hands and feet in opposite directions until only your abdomen and pelvis are touching the floor.
Not only does Bow pose help massage the abdominal organs to improve digestion, but it’s also an amazing way to strengthen the thighs, chest and back.
10. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskara)
You may think of Sun Salutations as a way to ease into your practice. It slowly stretches and warms up the muscles, gets the blood flowing and all that good stuff. But it does so much more.
Sun Salutations build internal heat while at the same time stretching and toning most of the major muscles. They can help trim your waist, tone your arms, balance your metabolism and stimulate your digestive system.
These are just some of the yoga postures that can aid in weight loss. However, as you all probably know already, the best way to achieve your desired, healthy weight is still through proper diet and a healthy lifestyle in which yoga may just be one aspect. Which among these poses are your favorite? Let us know below!