Yoga for Weight Loss
Although yoga is better known for relaxation and centring the body than it is as a calorie-burning exercise, there are certain yoga positions and movements that will increase body tone and firmness. Here are six of the best yoga movements and positions for weight loss:
1 – The Crescent
– Standing with feet together, legs facing forwards and arms straight down at the sides, inhale whilst reaching up towards the ceiling. Exhale and (whilst keeping the arms straight) reach down to touch the floor. Take a deep breath in and out and on the exhalation, step one leg backwards into a lunge. You should be standing with the front leg at roughly a 90 degree angle and the back leg diagonal and straight. Raise the arms straight above the head and hold this position for a minute or longer. This exercise will improve muscle tone in the thighs, upper arms and stomach.
2 – The Hover
– This is one of the trickier yoga positions, because to hold the move requires a fair amount of stamina and focus. In the Prone Position (lying straight out on the stomach), push the body up around six inches from the yoga mat using the arms and toes. Keep the length of the body flat and level (not at an angle as with a push-up) and hold the position for around one minute. Always lower back down in a careful and controlled way. This position will help tone and definition in the upper arms and stomach.
3 – The Chair
– Stand straight, with feet close together. Raise straight arms directly above the head. Squat slightly, whilst keeping the legs together and straight. The body should (as the name of the position suggests) resemble a chair. Hold this position for as long as is reasonably comfortable. This position can help to tone the thighs and bottom.
4 – The Rocking Boat
– Sit with back straight and legs together, straight out in front. Raise the legs to around a 45 degree angle, whilst keeping them completely straight. Raise the arms to either side of the legs, also keeping them completely straight. Hold. This position is great for stomach tone and really helps to encourage good balance.
5 – The Upward-Facing Dog
– From lying on the stomach, with legs straight, push the upper part of the body up using the arms and turn the face upwards. The body should only be stretched from the hips upwards, with the hips and legs firmly on the ground. This exercise is great for toning the stomach.
6 – The Plank.
– Hold the body aloft with straight arms and straight legs, balancing only on the hands and toes. The body will be straight at a diagonal angle. For this position to have any toning or weight-loss affects, it’s important to hold the position for at least one to two minutes. This exercise can really help to tone the stomach and thighs if performed correctly.
One benefit of yoga for weight loss is that the routines can take as little as 20 minutes, but if performed daily can have great results.