It is a common misconception today that yoga is purely a physical fitness regime. While yoga may be used to get your blood flowing and to build strength, its ancient roots are deeply spiritual. An excellent complimentary practice for your typical fitness workouts, yoga goes beyond the physical to not only work your body, but also to help increase mindfulness and strengthen your mind.
Is yoga a workout? Truth be told, it depends on the type of yoga you practice. While Yin yoga requires lengthy holds and very little movements, its benefits include mental stimulation and deep stretching, however Vinyasa yoga will lead you through fast-paced flows that will work up a sweat and burn more fat. Any form of yoga, practiced in addition to your typical workout routine, will be beneficial to your health when practiced correctly and safely.
Join us as we uncover the 10 best yoga poses for weight loss.
1. Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
Boat Pose is a belly burner that focuses on balance and core strength! With numerous variations of the pose, you can intensify the burn by extending your feet and pointing your toes and playing with your arm position. Hold the pose for up to a minute, release and then repeat again!
2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
If you’ve taken a traditional yoga class, chances are you are familiar with Downward Facing Dog. While you may think this is a passive pose, pressing into the floor with the palms of your hands while pushing the soles of your feet down into the mat engages your whole body from your shoulders through your core and into the back of your legs. Work on pressing your shoulders away from your ears for a more intense hold.
3. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
Plank Pose targets the abdominal muscles and supports a strong core. While holding this pose, think about pushing the heels of your feet towards the wall behind you and engage your core.
4. Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)
If you are looking to tone your arms and shape your back and shoulders, this Upward Plank Pose will do that for you. This yoga pose for weight loss strengthens your shoulders and back while requiring you to engage your core and glutes for stability.
5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Similarly, Bridge Pose is a great yoga pose for weight loss as it engages your core, glutes and legs, all while giving you a release in the neck and shoulders. This pose is great for working your abdominal muscles and for burning fat around the legs and butt.
6. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Tree Pose is not only a great yoga pose for weight loss, but it is also mentally stimulating and requires a deep level of concentration and focus. Balance requires you to engage your core and standing leg to hold the position.
7. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana)
Upward Facing Dog is an excellent yoga pose for weight loss. It focuses primarily on the arms and shoulders, however you will also engage the front of your legs and glutes. A light backbend is another feature of this pose.
8. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
This yoga for weight loss pose is great for working your thighs and ab muscles. It also helps in toning your arms as well. This pose is part of a series and can be practiced as a flow or individually. We like this pose for weight loss because it forces you to also engage your arms and balance using a strong core.
9. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Chair Pose is a yoga pose that really targets the glutes and legs. Similar to a narrow squat, this pose also engages your arms, shoulders and back for an all-around leg quivering yoga pose sure to burn fat!
10. Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pinch Mayurasana)
Dolphin Pose is similar to Downward Facing Dog, however it focuses more intensely on the biceps and triceps. This pose lengthens and strengthens the back and shoulders, while also forcing you to engage your core for stability.