12 Yoga Postures to Help You Lose Weight

Yoga is well known to reduce stress; however, it is among the effective workouts done to fight stubborn stores of fat, particularly that occur after the age of 40. Yes, yoga can be effectively used to lose weight. Studies have shown that yoga reduces stress hormone levels and increases sensitivity to insulin, which acts as a signal for your body to metabolize food for energy instead of storing it as fat. The yoga poses described below will not only help you lose weight but also tone your legs, arms, abs and butt. You can start noticing results in 3-4 weeks time.

Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

1. The Warrior Pose

Veerabhadrasana or the Warrior Pose is among the best yoga poses used for weight loss. It also tones and strengthens the arms, thighs, shoulders and back muscles. It is effective in relieving back problems and also increases overall stamina and balance.

  • Stand straight with legs at a wide distance.
  • Take your hands above head while stretching them.
  • Hold your hands together while turning your torso to right. In this position,keep your right knee slightly bent and abdominal muscles stretched.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Now repeat on the left side.
  • Do 2-3 repetitions on both sides.

2. Warrior Pose II

It is among the effective yoga poses for thighs and tummy that tones and strengthens the thighs, opens up the hips, works abdominal organs and muscles and helps in promoting concentration and stamina.

  • Stand with your legs at a wide distance.
  • Move right foot to right side while bending right knee in such a way that your right thigh places parallel to floor.
  • Stretch your hands to sides parallel to floor. Look towards your right side.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the left side.
  • Do 2-3 repetitions on both sides.

3. Chair Pose

Utkatasana or chair pose is among the best yoga poses for weight loss that tones and strengthens the muscles of the hips, glutes, chest, back, knee and ankles.

  • Stand straight keeping your feet together.
  • Raise and stretch your hands up over the head while bending your knees. The position should seem as if you are sitting on a chair.
  • Hold in this pose for 60 seconds.
  • Start by doing 10 times in the beginning each day and increase at an interval of 3 days.

4. Boat Pose

Boat pose is one of the mat exercises that help in toning your abs.

  • Sit on a mat and stretch your legs with thighs tight,and knees pulled up.
  • Raise your legs and bring them to a 45 degree angle. Don’t bend knees.
  • The arms should be raised to shoulder level.
  • Your spine must be straight and your body must appear in a shape of V.

5. Bridge Pose

The bridge pose stretches the neck, chest and spine. It helps in relieving mild depression and stress. It improves digestion. It reduces symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, headache, backache and insomnia.

  • Lie on your back with hands kept by your side and legs joined.
  • Exhale and press your arms and inner feet into the floor; lift your buttocks off from the floor. The thighs should be kept parallel to floor.
  • Hold your hands beneath your pelvis.
  • Hold in this position for 30 seconds. Release while exhaling.

6. Locust Pose

It is among the best yoga poses for weight loss as it produces a stretch in the whole body. It effectively stretches the chest, belly and shoulders. It helps in promoting the flexibility and strength of the arms, back and legs.

  • Lie on your abdomen; palms face the floor.
  • Lift legs up while inhaling.
  • You should also lift your hands and upper torso simultaneously while balancing yourself on your belly.

7. Camel Pose

It is the best yoga pose for losing weight because it targets back, thighs and tummy, which are the parts of the body that have stubborn fat.

  • With your calves and knees put close together, sit on the feet.
  • Come on your knees while placing your hands on the hips.
  • Stretch the torso and look above.
  • Slowly hold your heels with your hands.
  • Bend backwards while stretching the tummy and chest.
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat for 3-4 times.

8. Side Plank

It is a great yoga pose for toning the abs.

  • Start in regular position of plank with your palms placed face down on the mat, at distance of shoulder width and toes together.
  • Move your feet to left such that the right side of right foot touches the mat and left foot lies on top of your right foot.
  • Place your weight on your right hand and remove left hand from the floor. Lift left arm slowly straight up facing the ceiling.
  • Your shoulders and hips should lie directly in line with each other.
  • Stay in this position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the left side.

9. Warrior III Pose

It is quite difficult of the yoga poses for weight loss and staying in this pose for greater than a few seconds would be difficult for beginners.

  • From Warrior II pose, twist your chest and come in forward direction. Place your arms straight in front for balancing.
  • Lift your leg up slowly in the air and while doing so, place your palms at your chest as it helps to maintain balance.
  • Once you are in the position, raise your arms slowly out in front.
  • Hold in this position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

10. Lord of the Dance Pose

Though a beginner yoga pose, it helps in weight loss.

  • In a standing position, hold left ankle with left hand. Shifting your weight forward put right hand on right knee to gain support.
  • Arch your back as you lean in the forward direction.
  • Raise right arm forward slowly when you feel comfortable in this position. Ensure that your left leg is kept completely straight.
  • Stay in this position for thirty seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

11. Willow

This pose helps in firming the sides of abs.

  • Keeping arms at your sides stand with feet joined together.
  • Put left foot sole on the inside of right thigh.
  • For two breaths touch palms to front of chest.
  • On 3rd inhale stretch your arms up towards the ceiling.
  • While exhaling, bend your torso to the left.
  • While inhaling, straighten. Do 3-5 repetitions.
  • Repeat on other side.

12. Hover

It helps in firming arms, abs, shoulders and back.

  • Start in push up position keeping hands beneath shoulders, arms straight and body in one line from head to toes.
  • Exhale and lower your chest towards the floor while bending your elbows back, abs tight and arms close to the body.
  • Hold the position a couple of inches above the floor.