Yoga although a widely known exercise has never been super popular with the crowd looking for fast, quick weight loss. Yoga however does have a wide variety of poses that work to firm and in the meantime burn calories. Yoga also puts your mind in a relaxed state that allows you to sleep better, crave less sugars as well as caffeine and feel more body confident. Also note that hot yoga is a great way to add more calories burned as most take place in a 100 to 110 degree room.
Pose 1- Warrior 1 “Virabhadrasana I”
This pose works to help burn fat while working your body in various ways. As you lunge forward your thighs are being pushed to their max allowing a deep stretch that tightens the muscle but the trick is you are also pulling back your other hip to square it adding more of an in depth exercise. Your foot is also turned to a 45 degree angle allowing a stretch in the calf muscles and your arms are reaching up slimming and toning upper arms.
Pose 2- Tree Pose “Vriksasana”
This pose works to enable core strength and balance but as an added plus can also tone arms in a way very similar to the above Warrior 1 pose. In doing this pose you are standing on one foot engaging the core to work and keep you on balance while it is pushing in you are slimming and burning calories.
Pose 3- Plank Pose “High Chaturanga”
This pose is probably the ultimate pose in yoga for engaging weight loss. Its used a lot of time by personal trainers and in gym class in case you don’t believe me. In fact, you’ve probably heard of it before. This pose strengthens your upper body, arms, wrist, spine, abdomen, core and legs if done correctly. The trick to this pose is not to get lazy with it, it is a challenging pose and many people make adjustments that diminish the benefits of the pose. Make sure that you keep a straight back and that you are not curving it in doing the “well rode horse” or arching like a “Halloween cat”.
Pose 4- Chair Pose “Utkatasana”
This pose is a tricky one the benefits of it are tremendous but it is not for everyone. If you suffer from bad knees, lower back pain or low blood pressure ask your yoga instructor for an adjusted pose or skip this one. This pose works to strengthen most of the legs (the thighs, ankles, calves and knees) it stretches the shoulder while opening the heart and chest. Stimulates the heart, tones the abdomen and just an extra tip for female readers- it even helps to relieve menstrual cramps. This pose doesn’t require much flexibility and it isn’t challenging in the way a handstand or crow pose would be but it will burn and require a great amount of muscle.
Pose 5- Bridge Pose “Setu Bandha Sarvangasana”
The bridge pose is another like the plank that is wildly popular outside of yoga however it relates more to gymnasts and cheerleaders. If you do yoga though you are lucky you don’t have to worry about the fear of falling into the pose. There is a variation that holds the same benefits and lets you stay close to the ground with your fingers interlaced underneath your shoulders. The bridge pose opens your chest and shoulders and requires great spine strength but is a cheat pose. What I mean by this is without actually using a great amount of physical strength you are helping your metabolism. The thyroid which is located in your neck area is getting blood flow that allows it to work better and renew itself.
All of these poses are great for weight loss but there is a catch, in order to get anything you want in life you have to work for it. If you are not doing these poses in proper alignment or being lazy with them you will not reap the full benefits. The suggestion is that you start off with a few yoga classes to see if you are doing them right and asking your yoga guide for help when your muscle memory accepts then you can try them at home.