I think more and more people are starting to become aware of how effective yoga is at helping you lose weight. Yes, it is an amazing practice for stress relief, improving flexibility, and releasing tension, but it can also most definitely make you work up a sweat and tone your entire body.
Yoga is a body weight based workout, which has been shown to be one of the most effective types of exercise to help you burn fat and keep it off. But before we get into that, let’s talk about what even causes weight gain in the first place.
What Causes Weight Gain?
Before we see how yoga helps with fat loss, let us see what causes excess fat. Some of the common causes of obesity include:
- History of obesity in the family
- High consumption of junk foods
- Irregular eating habits including mindless eating, late night foods and excessive intake of food
- Lack of physical exercise
- Medical conditions including hypothyroid
- Certain digestive disorders
- Hormonal changes in women during menopause
How Yoga Can Help You Burn Fat
Yoga is one of the most powerful practices to burn excess fat for a number of reasons, and there have even been studies that have scientifically proven the effectiveness yoga has on weight loss. Here are a few ways:
- Improves Digestion: Certain digestive disorders including ulcer and acid reflux cause weight gain. Yoga strengthens your digestive system thereby supporting healthy weight loss.
- Targets Excess Fat: Practicing yoga poses that target specific areas of excess fat such as twists and bends will help to burn fat. Yoga is also a complete body workout thus helping in toning the entire body.
- Supports Function of Glands: Yoga poses stimulate glands and promote their functions thereby preventing weight gain.
- Relieves Stress and Depression: Stress and depression induce poor eating habits. Studies show practicing yoga regularly relieves stress and depression and promotes a sense of calm.
- Cures insomnia: Lack of sleep has an adverse effect on your appetite. Certain yoga poses promote quality sleep which support your weight loss goals.
- Develops Mindfulness: Yoga promotes mindfulness, which helps you listen to your body better and avoid overeating, stay stress-free and follow a healthy lifestyle.
Beginner’s Yoga Workout For Weight Loss
The following sequence is made up of two parts: 5 beginner friendly yoga poses for weight loss, and sun salutation. This combination is a great starting point for beginners to become accustomed to yoga while experiencing the benefits it has on weight loss.
Part I: 5 Best Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
The following yoga poses have been shown to be very beneficial for weight loss, and provide tons of other amazing benefits too! These poses can be practiced at any level, making them very beginner friendly.
1. Standing Backbend Pose / Anuvittasana
- Stand straight with your hands to your sides and your back straight.
- Place your palms on your lower back with the fingers pointing towards the ground.
- Inhale as you arch backwards. Expand your chest and drop your head backwards so you face the wall behind you.
- Hold the pose for 20 seconds.
- Release the pose by straightening your back and dropping your hands to your sides.
Once you are comfortable with the pose, you can bring your hands over your head and bend backwards with your fingers pointing towards the wall behind your back.
- Improves digestion
- Reduces excess fat in tummy and hips
- Improves lung function
- Relieves back pain
- Relieves menstrual disorders
- Supports heart function
Those with chronic injury in neck, back or hips should refrain from practicing the pose.