Yoga for weight loss

Weight Loss

Article by Jahnavi Patwardhan

May 25th, 2020

Bhujangasana by Jahnavi Patwardhan.

Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

  1. Stand straight. Separate your feet comfortably wide apart (about 3 1/2 to 4 feet).
  2. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees.
  3. Now align the centre of your right heel with the centre of your arch or left foot.
  4. Ensure that your feet are pressing the ground and the weight of your body is equally balanced on both feet.
  5. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, downward from the hips, keeping the waist straight, allowing your left hand to come up in the air while your right hand comes down towards the floor. Keep both arms in a straight line.
  6. Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot, whatever is possible without distorting the sides of the waist. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn it to the left, eyes gazing softly at the left palm.
  7. Ascertain that your body is bent sideways and not backward or forward. The pelvis and chest are wide open.
  8. Stretch maximum and be steady. Keep taking in long deep breaths. With each exhalation, relax the body more and more. Just be with the body and the breath.
  9. As you inhale, come up, bring your arms down to your sides, and straighten your feet.
  10. Repeat the same on the other side.

Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose)

Virabhadrasana, also known as the Warrior pose is a yoga asana that can not just help you lose weight but also flatten abs since it focuses on the core muscles.

Doing all three variations of the Warrior pose can help you lose weight, burn belly fat and tone muscles effectively. This is also a great way to keep your muscles engaged for a long time.

Virabhadrasana II This variation is extremely helpful for strengthening core muscles in your abdominal and stomach area, helping you achieve a more defined and shapely look. It is also great for boosting body balance and vitality, since it gives a nice stretch to the legs, shoulders as well as ankles.

How to do it

Start by doing Virabhadrasana I. From here, slowly extend your leg so that it looks more straightened. Ensuring that the knee does not bend, place the heel of the behind leg on the ground. Balancing your body, staying in this position, try and twist the upper half so that you face the longer edge of the mat. Hands should be raised on either side at shoulder level. Stay in this position for at least 5 breaths and then repeat on the other side. With every deep breath, your focus starts to improve and blood flow in the respiratory tract increases. Make sure that the bodyweight is distributed evenly on all sides. Your palms should also be facing downward, and not upward.

Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

  1. To start the pose, lie on your stomach and place your forehead on the floor.
  2. You can have your feet together, or hip-width apart.
  3. Keep the tops of your feet pressing against the floor.
  4. Place your palms next to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  5. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, and try to maintain this throughout the pose.
  6. Draw your pubic bone towards the floor to stabilize your lower back, and press your feet actively onto the floor.
  7. With the next inhale, lift your head and chest off the floor. Be mindful of opening the chest, maintain the wrists under the shoulders and don't place all of your weight onto your hands. Keep the elbows slightly bent and keep the back muscles working. Take your hands off the floor for a moment to see what is a comfortable, maintainable height for you.
  8. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  9. With the exhale lower yourself back onto the ground.
  10. Take 2-3 rounds of inhaling yourself up into the cobra, and exhaling down to the floor. Then hold for 2-3 full breaths, and come back down. Rest on the floor for a few breaths, or enjoy Child's pose as a gentle counterpose.

Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

  1. To start the pose, lie on your stomach and place your forehead on the floor.
  2. You can have your feet together, or hip-width apart.
  3. Keep the tops of your feet pressing against the floor.
  4. Place your hands underneath your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  5. Draw your shoulder blades back and down, and try to maintain this throughout the pose.
  6. Draw your pubic bone towards the floor to stabilize your lower back, and press your feet actively onto the floor.
  7. With the next inhale, start lifting your head and chest off the floor. Be mindful of opening the chest, and don't place all of your weight onto your hands. Keep the elbows slightly bent and keep the back muscles working. Take your hands off the floor for a moment to see what is a comfortable, maintainable height for you.
  8. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  9. With the exhale lower yourself back onto the ground.
  10. Take 2-3 rounds of inhaling yourself up into the cobra, and exhaling down to the floor. Then hold for 2-3 full breaths, and come back down. Rest on the floor for a few breaths, or enjoy Child's pose as a gentle counterpose.

Navasana (Boat pose)

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the feet, and strengthen the arms. Lift through the sternum and lean back slightly. As you do this make sure your back doesn't round; continue to lengthen the front of your torso between the pubis and top sternum. Sit on the "tripod" of your two sitting bones and tailbone.
  2. Sit with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your knees, lift the chest, engaging the back muscles as you inhale
  3. Engage your inner thighs and draw your lower belly in and up
  4. Tip back on the back of your sitting bones and lift your feet to about knee height, toes spread out
  5. Bring your arms parallel to the floor
  6. To go further, straighten your legs
  7. Stay for 2-5 breaths, work up to 10 breaths
  8. To come out of the pose, on an exhalation bring your feet down, and sit with a straight spine, holding on to your legs for a couple of breaths.

Phalakasana (Plank pose)

  1. Roll out your mat
  2. Knees to the floor, placing your hands directly under the shoulders and your knees underneath your hips parallel to the floor, just like when you do cat and cow.
  3. Toes on the ground and flex your feet
  4. Tuck your tailbone slightly in, engage your abs and strengthen your legs, one at the time
  5. Keep pressing your hands down, index knuckle on the floor and shoulder blades spreading away from each other to keep your plank straight.
  6. Focus your gaze on one spot
  7. Keep your neck long and draw your shoulders back away from your ears
  8. Breathe
  9. Hold it for three breaths.