Yoga For Weight Loss

Best Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

Table of Contents

  • 1. How Yoga Helps In Weight Loss
  • 2. Types Of Yoga For Weight Loss
  • 3. Yoga Poses For Weight Loss
  • 3.1. Surya Namaskara¬†
  • 3.2. Bridge Pose
  • 3.3. Boat Pose
  • 3.4. Wind Releasing Posture
  • 3.5. Warrior Pose I
  • 3.6. One-legged Downward-facing Dog
  • 3.7. Cobra Pose
  • 3.8. Bow Pose
  • 4. How Much Yoga For Weight Loss
  • 5. Benefits Of Yoga For Weight Loss
  • 5.1. Mindful Eating
  • 5.2. Reduced Stress
  • 5.3. Strengthen Muscles¬†
  • 5.4. Promote Better Sleep

Yoga for weight loss can help in two significant ways that benefit healthy weight loss. Yoga improves awareness, which can promote mindful eating and reduce emotional eating, in addition to greater mobility to the body. A person's medical history and the kind of yoga they practice can both have an impact on how well they integrate yoga into their weight reduction regimen. 


How Yoga Helps In Weight Loss

Yoga can help with weight loss in several ways. According to studies, yoga for weight loss can help people maintain healthy a Body Mass Index (BMI), and percentage of body fat. It raises one's metabolic rate, which aids in the body burning more calories when at rest. Yoga helps to make the practitioner more aware of their hunger, fatigue, and fullness cues. 

Yoga's mindfulness component may also aid in weight loss. An individual may be more prone to overeating and underexercising if there is a lack of connection between the mind and body. A person can make better decisions off the mat and reduce stress along with burning calories on the mat which would also contribute to an overall positive well-being.


Types Of Yoga For Weight Loss

Certain types of yoga are more effective in raising heart rate and burning fat. Those who are interested in yoga have a variety of styles to select from. While certain forms of yoga, like vinyasa, combine poses and movements at different intensities and speeds for a more strenuous exercise, others, like hatha yoga, are more restorative and include slow, gentle motions.

  • Vinyasa, which incorporates breathing and constant transition between poses

  • Ashtanga, emphasizes doing a predetermined sequence of postures repeatedly

  • Power yoga is characterized by quick movements and three- to five-breath holds for poses.

  • Hot yoga can include various yoga types and is practiced in a space heated between 85 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit.


Yoga Poses For Weight Loss


Surya Namaskara 

  • Prayer Pose (Pranamasana) - Inhale, standing tall with the feet together. Place your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer pose.

  • Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) - Exhale, and extend the arms upward. Gently lean back and stretch the spine while maintaining an upward or forward look.

  • Hand to Foot Pose (Hasta Padasana) - Exhale, bend forward from the hips, and place your hands on each side of your feet on the mat. Slightly bend the knees for comfort if required.

  • Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) - Inhale and step the right foot back into the lunge pose while maintaining a 90-degree bend in the left knee. Open up the chest.

  • High Plank (Dandasana) - Exhale and bring the left foot back to meet the right foot, forming a high plank. Maintain a straight body and contract the core.

  • Eight-Limbed Pose (Ashtanga Namaskara) - Lower the knees, chest, and chin to the mat, and raise the hips. Place the elbows close to the chest.

  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) - Inhale, glide forward, bringing the chest off the mat. Maintain your palms firmly planted on the floor. Pull back the shoulders and open the chest.

  • Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) - Exhale, raise the hips and tuck the toes in to form an inverted "V" with your body. Press the palms into the mat.

  • Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana) - Exhale, bring the right foot forward between your hands to lunge again. Raise your head and spread your chest.

  • Hand to Foot Pose (Hasta Padasana) - Exhale, step your left foot forward to meet the right foot, folding forward from the hips. Bring your hands down to touch the mat.

  • Raised Arms Pose (Hasta Uttanasana) - Inhale, extend the spine and arch your back gently as you sweep your arms high.

  • Prayer Pose (Pranamasana) - Exhale, and come to a standing posture with the feet together in a prayer pose. Repeat the same with the other leg. Perform 6-8 rounds.


Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

  1. Lie on the back. Bend your knees.

  2. Spread your legs with your feet flat on the ground.

  3. Stretch your arms out to each side of your body to touch the back of the heels

  4. Gently raise your hips up 

  5. Tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest which helps to lengthen the back of your neck.

  6. Put your hands under the back in an interlace

  7. Engage your inner thighs and relax your glutes.

  8. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Boat Pose

Boat Pose

  1. To begin, sit with legs extended in front of you

  2. Bend your knees, feet on the floor

  3. Inhale, place your hands behind your knees, raise your chest, and contract your back muscles.

  4. Lean back on the backs of your sitting bones and raise your feet to around knee height, spreading your toes.

  5. Arms remain parallel to the ground

  6. Straighten the legs and lengthen the spine.

  7. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  8. Exhale, bend your knees, and relax the pose.


Wind Releasing Posture

Wind Releasing Posture

  1. Lie down on the back.

  2. Bend both knees and draw them towards the chest. Hug the knees with both arms.

  3. Hold for 30 seconds and release.


Warrior Pose I

Warrior Pose I

  1. Stand in Tadasana with the spine lengthened.

  2. Place the right foot forward at 90 degrees and the left foot at a 45-degree angle.

  3. Gently bend the foot, which is 90 degrees, and lower down the body.

  4. Keep the right thigh parallel to the floor.

  5. Extend the hands towards the ceiling, open the chest to a slight backbend, and gaze up.

  6. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat with the other side.


One-legged Downward-facing Dog

One-legged Downward-facing Dog

  1. Come on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. 

  2. Raise your hips and straighten the legs, tuck your toes beneath, and push back through the hands.

  3. Spread the fingers on the mat for support.

  4. Move your shoulder blades from the ears toward your hips.

  5. Sink your heels toward the floor, rotate the thighs inward, and maintain a high tail.

  6. Maintaining a strong and energetic right leg, press onto your left foot and then raise your right heel as high as possible.

  7. Apply pressure with your left heel on the mat.

  8. To generate inward rotation with your right leg, point your toes downward and your heel upward.

  9. As high as you can, raise your leg and stretch until your left hamstring stretches.

  10. Lower your eyes to the floor between your arms, or to the rear of the space.

  11. Hold the pose for 10 deep breaths on each side.


Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

  1. Lie face down on the mat. Bring your legs to a hip-width distance.

  2. Place your palms down, just below the shoulder blades. Bend the elbows.

  3. As you take a breath, Raise the upper body by pulling your chest away from the floor.

  4. Maintain comfortable inhalation and exhalation 

  5. Hold the posture for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  6. Lower down gently as you exhale.


Bow Pose

Bow Pose

  1. Lie down on the belly

  2. Keep both legs close together

  3. Bend your knees and bring your feet up

  4. Extend the arms backward and grasp the ankles

  5. Inhale lift the upper body and thighs upwards

  6. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. 


Also read: Yoga for High Blood Pressure


How Much Yoga For Weight Loss

Practicing yoga for weight loss daily for 30 minutes or even taking a session every week, will benefit the weight loss journey. However, it's crucial to maintain consistency and practice yoga if one wants to see long-term results. It might also be advantageous to include other forms of exercise in the routine, such as jogging or a steps challenge.

But if yoga is the main form of exercise that one is engaging in then one may aim to practice more intensely three to five times per week for about an hour. One may also include slow Vinyasa restorative yoga, and high-intensity yoga to promote rest and healing. 


Benefits Of Yoga For Weight Loss

Mindful Eating

Engaging in a mindful practice on the mat might help to practice mindful eating. One can identify biological hunger cues and avoid binge eating. All these practices can support one in maintaining a weight loss plan by cutting down on fat and choosing healthier foods in general like fresh vegetables, and healthy grains.


Reduced Stress

Uncontrolled, chronic stress, can lead to weight increase in a variety of ways. Stress can cause cortisol to rise, stress-eating, and difficulties sleeping. Yogic breathing can promote help to increase energy, improve mood, and reduce stress levels. Deep breathing helps reduce stress and counteract negative consequences that can make weight reduction more difficult.


Strengthen Muscles 

We assume that lifting heavy weights and working out is the only way to build stronger muscles. But in yoga, we use our body weight as resistance. The entire body works to maintain equilibrium so every part gets stretched. Even slower, restorative yoga has been proven to improve fasting glucose levels in overweight individuals, which is indicative of improved metabolic health.


Promote Better Sleep

One may be able to enhance their quality of sleep by practicing yoga for weight loss. One will be able to experience sound sleep with greater ease. One should aim for six to eight hours of sleep every night. Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation that improves awareness and induces deeper sleep. Yoga Nidra leads to acting mindfully and refraining from passing judgment on one's inner sensations.

About Author

Meghna Banerjee
Meghna Banerjee

Meghna is a 500-RYT, Yoga Alliance certified Yoga teacher. She has conducted over 500 sessions to date. With 6+ years of experience in the health and well-being field, our expert offers an integrative approach toward healing which constitutes evidence-based therapies and transformative yoga practices.