Yoga poses to reduce weight are effective way of losing weight without spending hefty amount. They are effective on the muscles and burn fat besides boosting metabolism efficiently. Yoga also tones our body and sheds the extra skin, giving us a balanced weight and a healthy body. It has been scientifically proven that yoga poses do miracles and even outdo vigorous workouts and long jogging hours in shedding off extra fat.
Yoga poses with names
Here are a few yoga poses with names that help reduce extra weight and give our body a beautiful shape:
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation is a sequence of twelve yoga poses ideally performed in the morning to greet Lord Sun. The asanas involve bending and stretching of the entire body, with every position associated with a breathing pattern- bending involves exhalation, and stretching involves inhalation.
The backward and forward bends give flexibility to our joints and make them supple. It is one of the best yoga poses to reduce excess fat and flatten belly. One could see surprising benefits in their body weight within a few months.
How to perform Sun Salutation
- Stand in a straight position with feet joined, hands along the torso and shoulders relaxed.
- Stretch your hands up and attain a prayer pose.
- As you inhale, stretch your arms up and gently arch back.
- Exhale as you bend forward, touching your hands to the floor and face to your knees.
- Enter equestrian pose. Stretch your right leg back as much as you can and touch the right knee to the floor. Stretch the toes out behind you. Press the palms on the floor and look upon the ceiling.
- Enter the Plank position. Push the left leg on your back.
- Gently place your knees on the ground. Bring the chest down between your hands. Raise your buttocks and elbows stuck into the body.
- Inhale as you gently push your body forward. Keep your toes stretched back and palms on the floor.
- Exhale as you enter a downward dog position.
- Then stretch your left leg back with your left knee touching the floor.
- Then by curling your left toes, gently push your left leg forward.
- Exhale as you completely bend yourself, with your face touching your knees.
- As you inhale, lift your arms, and slightly bend backward.
Benefits of Sun Salutation
- Helps in reducing back pain, spinal problems.
- Improves digestive system
- Improves memory and reduces depression and anxiety.
- Prevents heart disease and maintains blood circulation.
- Boosts stamina.
- Improves immunity.
- Surya Namaskar should not be practiced by people suffering from a back injury or spine problems.
- Surya Namaskar is not recommended to people suffering from blood pressure and heart diseases.
- People suffering from intestinal tuberculosis should also not perform Sun Salutation.
- Sun Salutation is also restricted for women during the first two days of menstruation.
Duration of Sun Salutation
Surya Namaskar is a flowing sequence of 12 poses that you perform with one leg at a time. So, when you perform 12 times from both legs, you do a total of 288 asanas.
Performing 288 poses overall takes 20 minutes which is the best duration to reap maximum benefits for weight reduction.
Cobra pose or Bhujangasana
It is a reclining back-bending pose of modern yoga that is also an important part of Sun Salutation. It is one of the best yoga poses to stretch your spine, chest, and shoulders. Our rigorous daily activities often make our bodies bend in inappropriate positions, putting pressure on our spine, neck, and waist.
Cobra pose reverses such compressions in our body, giving strength, flexibility, and suppleness to our spine, neck, and shoulders. It is one of the most influential yoga poses in shedding off extra pounds, giving us a slim body and healthy mind.
How to do Cobra Pose
- Start with a downward dog pose. Then, as you inhale, enter the Plank pose.
- As you inhale, come to the ground. Place your hands under the shoulders.
- Lift your upper trunk of the body till the navel. Arch back as much as possible. Stretch your arms and press out your chest. Inhale and lookup.
- Be in this position for 15-30 seconds. Keep breathing.
- Come to a normal position, with your head, stomach, and legs touching the floor.
Benefits of Cobra pose
- Eliminates back pain, herniated discs, and spine problems.
- Mitigate the symptoms of Thyroid disease.
- Improves renal function.
- Prevents asthma and other respiratory problems.
- Improves digestion and gastrointestinal system.
- People suffering from herniated disks, peptic ulcer, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome should avoid practicing Cobra pose.
- Pregnant women should also not practice this yoga pose.
- People suffering from intestinal tuberculosis and hyperthyroidism should ask their doctors before practicing this pose.
Duration of Cobra poses
Cobra pose or Bhujangasana should be held for 15-30 seconds to reap its optimum benefits.
Boat pose or Naukasana
As the name suggests, boat pose takes the shape of a boat, with the hips seated on the floor and both the upper and lower half of the body raised from the floor. Boat pose is one of the best yoga poses to eliminate excess fat and gives us a toned and healthy body.
How to perform Boat pose
- Lie down on your back. Hands placed along the torso and feet little apart.
- As you inhale, gently raise your upper half and lower half of your body with the hips seated on the floor.
- Keep your hands aligned with your legs.
- Be in this position for 10 seconds.
- Slowly release and lie down in a prone position.
Benefits of Boat pose
- Works on the abdominal muscles and tones the body, reducing extra fat.
- Strengthens the core of the body.
- Stimulates prostate glands, kidney, and thyroid glands.
- Helps release stress and anxiety.
- Improves digestion.
- Women should avoid doing Boat pose during menstruation as this pose lays pressure on the lower abdomen and lower back.
- Also, people suffering from back pain or injury in the neck, severe headaches and high blood pressure are not recommended to do boat pose.
Duration of Boat pose:
The core pose should be initially held in position for 10-20 seconds. Gradually, we can increase the timing to one minute.
Bow pose or Dhanurasana
Bow pose involves bending of the entire body in a curved or bow shape. It is one of the most effective yoga poses in reducing that pesky fat and toning our body.
Bow pose is not recommended for people who have undergone any surgery or have back injury. Pregnant and menstruating women are also not recommended to practice Bow pose. It is one of the most effective yoga poses to relieve menstrual disorders and symptoms of menopause.
How to perform Bow pose
- Lie down on your belly with feet and legs joined.
- Bend your legs at the knees and hold the ankle.
- On an inhalation, raise your head, chest, and thighs altogether.
- On the exhalation, look above, push your feet a little up and bring your heels close to your hips.
- Make a balance on your stomach and hold in this position for a few seconds.
- On an exhalation, come down to a normal position.
Benefits of Bow pose
- Stretches the entire body including thighs, ankles, chest, groin, abdomen, pelvis, etc.
- Improves the digestive system.
- Regulates the menstrual cycle.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Improves posture.
- Boosts energy and stamina levels.
We should not perform Bow pose if we are suffering from back or neck injury. People who have undergone any abdominal surgery should strictly avoid doing this pose. People who suffer from headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure should avoid doing this pose.
The Plank pose or Kumbhakasana
The Plank pose or Kumbhakasana is a widely performed yoga pose that derives its Sanskrit name from two words, “Kumbhaka” and “asana”, meaning “breath retention” and “pose” respectively.
It is often performed as a part of Surya Namaskar. It is one of the most effective yoga poses to reduce belly and build a strong core. The Plank pose also prepares us for more advanced balancing yoga poses.
How to perform Plank Pose
- Start with the tabletop position. Knees under the hips and wrists under the shoulder.
- Gently extend your legs behind one at a time. Look down slightly ahead of your palms, so that your neck and spine are aligned.
- Make a straight connection from head to heels through the spine.
- Gently slide your shoulder blade down your back so that your shoulders are away for your ears and neck is straightened.
- Be in this position for 30 seconds.
Benefits of Plank pose
- Strengthens arms, chest, abdomen, shoulders, wrists, and spine.
- Reduces weight and flattens the belly.
- Its balancing act improves focus and memory.
- Improves respiration.
- Boosts stamina and reduces anxiety.
- People who suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome should not practice Plank Pose.
- Pregnant women should avoid doing this pose.
- People with back or shoulder injury should also avoid doing this pose.
Duration of Plank pose
The duration of the Plank pose should last for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
For short sessions, hold this pose for 10 seconds, then relax for 5-10 seconds and then perform again for 10 seconds.
Repeat this process for 3-6 sets.
Camel pose or Ushtrasana
Camel Pose or Ushtrasana, is a chest-opening back bend pose in modern yoga. It is one of the best yoga poses to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. It is one of the most effective yoga poses to reduce excess weight and gives you surprising benefits within weeks.
How to perform Camel Pose
- Start with Thunderbolt pose. Then stand on your knees hip-width apart.
- Raise the right hand and as you exhale, place the right palm on your right heel.
- Then place the left palm on the left heel.
- As you inhale, drop your head as you open the chest. Feel the stretch on your abdomen and back.
- On the exhalation, come back to Thunderbolt pose again.
Benefits of Camel pose
- Reduces extra fat on the abdomen and thighs.
- Strengthens spine, abdominal muscles, hips, arms, and shoulders.
- Improves digestion.
- Gives good posture.
- Mitigate lower back pain.
- Gives peace of mind.
- Camel pose is not recommended for people who have blood pressure problems.
- Those who have neck or back injuries should not attempt this yoga pose.
- Camel pose should also be avoided by people who suffer from headaches and migraines.
Duration of Camel pose:
Camel pose should be performed for 20 seconds for beginners. Later, we can increase it to 30 seconds or 1 minute.
Wind Relieving pose or Pavanamuktasana
Wind Relieving pose or Pavanmuktasana is a multipurpose yoga pose that helps detoxify our body and improves digestion. It is one of the best yoga poses to reduce fat on the thighs and abdomen.
How to perform Wind Relieving Pose
- Lie down on your back.
- While inhaling, uplift your legs gently at 45 degrees without bending the knees.
- On the inhalation, straighten your legs perpendicular to the floor. Place your hands along the body.
- On the exhalation, bend the knees and bring them closer to the chest. Hold your knees with interlaced palms.
- Raise your head and touch your nose on the knees. Be in this position for 10-15 breaths.
- Release and lie down in the supine position.
Benefits of Wind Relieving pose
- Reduces excess fat on the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.
- Stimulates reproductive organs and pelvic regions.
- Helps release unwanted and toxic air, thereby improving digestion.
- Regulates the menstrual cycle.
- Improves the blood circulation of all the digestive organs.
- Gives good posture.
- This pose is restricted to pregnant women.
- Wind relieving pose is also not recommended to people suffering from blood pressure, piles, hernia, sciatica, and other back problems.
Duration of Wind Relieving poses
Wind relieving pose should be held for a maximum of 1 minute to reap the optimum benefits for weight loss.
Warrior pose or Virabhadrasana
Warrior pose is a vigorous and strengthening yoga pose that signifies the feats of the “spiritual warrior” Virabhadra.
Performing this yoga pose in the early morning will fill us from the enthusiasm and revitalize our entire body system. Warrior pose is one of the most beneficial yoga poses for weight loss and toning of our body.
How to perform Warrior pose
- Begin with the downward-facing dog position.
- Bring your right leg forward in between your palms.
- Lift your hands and bring your arms close to your ears. Lower your hips and slightly bend back, opening your chest nicely.
- Stay in this position for 10-20 seconds.
- Repeat the same steps with the left leg.
Benefits of Warrior pose
- Helps reduce fat on thighs, buttocks, and abdomen.
- Strengthens arms, shoulders, thighs, and abdomen.
- Gives good posture to the body.
- Improves concentration and gives peace to mind.
- Boosts energy level.
- Alleviates back pain such as sciatica.
- People suffering from spinal problems should avoid Warrior pose.
- If you have shoulder pain, neck pain, or knee pain, avoid doing this pose.
- People with heart ailments and high blood pressure should also avoid doing this pose.
- Do not perform this pose during Diarrhoea.
Duration of Warrior Pose
The best duration to reap the maximum benefits of this pose is 30 seconds.
Downward-facing Dog or Adho Mukha Asana
Downward facing dog is a forward bend inversion exercise generally performed as a part of the continuous sequence of yoga poses in Sun Salutation. This pose is one of the best and most effective yoga poses to reduce belly fat and energize your body.
How to perform Downward-Facing Dog
- Begin with the cat pose, with your wrists under the shoulder and knees under the hips.
- Press your toes to straighten your legs and raise your buttocks.
- Gently move the upper arm in and out to stretch the collarbone.
- Loosen your head and push the shoulder blades away from ears towards your tailbone.
- Maintain the lift of your buttocks and press the heels towards the floor.
- Enter the Plank position without changing the distance between the feet and hands.
- On the exhalation, bend the knees and stand on hands and knees.
Benefits of Downward-Facing Dog
- Stretches calves, hamstrings, and thighs.
- Releases stress, relieves mild depression and calms the brain.
- Strengthens arms, shoulders, thighs, buttocks.
- Strengthens bone and helps fight osteoporosis.
- Alleviates backache.
- Boosts energy.
- Improves digestion.
- Pregnant women should avoid practicing this pose.
- People suffering from sciatica, knee pain, neck, and shoulder injury should avoid this yoga pose.
Duration of Downward-Facing Dog
The duration of Downward-Facing Dog pose should be kept between 1-3 minutes.
The Bridge Pose or Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana
The Bridge pose is a back-bend inversion yoga pose that can be performed in multiple ways to reap multiple benefits. Bridge pose is one of the best yoga poses to expand your thoracic region (heart, lungs, and shoulders). Its “bridge effect” stretches the spine, neck, hip joints, and thighs. This yoga pose also works well in shedding off extra fat on the belly, giving a slim and toned body.
How to perform Bridge Pose
- Lie down your back with soles of your feet on the floor and knees facing upward.
- Bring your heels closer to your hip joints and fingertips touching the heels.
- On the inhalation, raise your hips first. Then slowly lift your chest. Bring all the weight of your body on arms, shoulders, and feet. Touch the chest with the chin. Keep the raised portion of the body tight during this position.
- Stay in this position for a few seconds and then come down to resting pose.
Benefits of Bridge Pose
- Stretches and strengthens hip flexors, spine, thighs, and shoulders.
- Expands the chest, lungs, and heart.
- Prevents the symptoms of menopause.
- Regulates menstrual cycle and alleviates menstrual disorders.
- Revitalizes and Rejuvenates.
- Encourages good digestion.
Those who suffer from neck pain, spinal ailments, knee pain, or shoulder injury should strictly avoid Bridge pose.
Duration of Bridge pose
Hold Bridge pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute to reap the optimum benefits for weight loss.
Yoga poses do not require to be performed in a gym or a fitness center. Neither do they require machines. Though advanced yoga such as Ashtanga requires trainer and supervision.
But, with the advent of Power Yoga, the yoga industry has seen a drastic change, making yoga poses customizable and adaptable to one’s own special needs.