Weight loss has become a source of perpetual headache for many. Most people have tried all sorts of things, from skipping meals to sticking with a particular type of diet, some people even use pills, and all they get is little or no weight loss.
Many facing this dilemma have given up on losing weight altogether. If you belong to any of the categories mentioned above, you ought to try out yoga. On the contrary, yoga is for everybody irrespective of your weight, age, or physical issues.
You may even burn more calories than an actual exercise depending on the type of yoga pose you choose and how long you engage yourself (1).
One of the most interesting things about yoga is that you can do it even inside your room, provided you are familiar with the poses very well. All you need to do is to get a mat and assume different yoga poses, and you are good to go.
Most fat people oftentimes do not want to engage in highly physical exercises, like running and jumping. Yoga provides for you that starting point before you go into real workouts. Start with yoga for a few months then proceed to workouts.
Factors causing weight gain
The following are some scientifically proven reasons why you are gaining weight. Information, they say, is key. Identify which factors cause your weight gain and look for ways to combat them headlong.
- Excessive eating
- Digestive disorder
- Bad diet
- Low mood
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has so many physical and psychological benefits. By engaging in yoga, you are not only losing some weight, but you are also benefiting from so much more. Below are the other benefits of yoga aside from weight loss.
- Helps decrease stress: remember, we mentioned stress as one of the factors which aid weight gain. Well, yoga does help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation in people. It helps limit the production of the stress hormone called cortisol (2).
- Helps reduce inflammation: yoga helps reduce the occurrence of inflammation in the body. This prevents the occurrence of pro-inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and so on.
- Helps combat depression: yoga can be used as an anti-depression tool. Some scientific studies have proven that yoga helps reduce the symptoms of depression in people due to its potency in reducing the stress hormone (3). Depression was earlier mentioned as one of the causes of weight gain; yoga is indeed an immediate and remote therapy for weight loss.
- Promotes sound sleep
- Reduce body pains
- Improves body balance and flexibility
- Improves body strength
Some people will tell you that they have tried yoga and it didn’t work for them. Well, that is possible however, they need to answer some questions, what type of yoga were they doing?
Did they employ an instructor? How long does their yoga session take? And most importantly what dieting habits and lifestyle are they involved in? Yoga alone does not cut it, imagine a person trying to shed some fats, burning 600 calories and consuming up to the same figure before the end of the day.
Top weight loss yoga for beginners
You might have been wondering what yoga poses are effective for weight loss. We shall examine eight of the best weight loss yoga poses below.
1. The Chair
This is one of the most prominent yoga poses. This pose is very effective for weight loss and keeping fit. The chair can help you with the formation of a strong and firm butt. If you are a lady looking to gain more than just weight loss, this is probably the best pose for you (4).
The pose is like a suspended squat position. You maintain a squat position in between standing straight and actual squatting. It is highly effective for burning calories. Follow the steps below to assume this yoga pose.
- Stand upright with your legs together.
- Bend your knees a bit to assume a squat position.
- This will look like a person seated on a chair.
- Gradually, raise up your hands skywards
- Maintain the position for a while
- You will feel the effect in your thighs and back
2. Plank pose
Plank pose is a popular yoga pose; it is called plank because your entire body is expected to be as straight as a plank while assuming this pose. This pose helps strengthen your shoulders, abs, hand, and even thighs.
- The first step in assuming this pose is to get a mat
- Lay down on the mat
- Ensure you keep your back straight
- Stretch out your arms completely
- Maintain this position for at least a minute
3. Downward Dog
The downward dog is another yoga pose that is highly effective for weight loss. This could help rejuvenate your entire body, and it will help stretch your legs and spine. It also helps you burn calories to improve your heart rate.
- Start at a tabletop position with your hips raised.
- Ensure that your body is positioned in an inverted V shape.
- Relax your head and neck, and slowly bring your inner thighs towards the back of the room.
- Keep stretching out your shoulder blades, reach your hips, and up and back. This will stretch out your upper back even more.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
4. Boat Pose
This pose is one of the most effective for weight loss. It is especially useful for people who seek to lose some belly fats. This pose helps strengthen your abs, back, arms, in short, your entire body muscles. It also stimulates the activities of the kidney and the intestine.
The following is the procedure for assuming this pose.
- Get a mat to sit on.
- Keep your legs together in front of you
- Slowly bend your knees and lift your legs
- Ensure that your lower leg is parallel to the floor
- Extend your arms and ensure they are parallel to the floor
- Ensure both legs and arms are straight.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
- Repeat the process five times.
5. Cobra Stretch
The cobra stretch is perfect for weight loss, it also strengthens your upper body and your spine; it helps stimulate the entire abdominal region; it increases body heat and prevents ailments. Pregnant ladies and hernia patients are advised not to attempt this pose as it may be harmful to their health. Below is a description of how to assume this pose.
- Get a mat and lay down in a downward-facing position.
- Gently shift the weight of your upper body to your hands by pushing up your upper body
- Ensure your hands are straight and positioned palms down
- Ensure that your legs are together and straight
- Maintain this position for 30 seconds.
6. Eagle Pose
Eagle pose is quite common pose among yoga regulars. This pose engages your thighs, calf, and leg muscles. It also helps strengthen your hip muscles and aids body balance. Do not attempt this pose if you are suffering from shoulder, ankle, or knee pain. The pose is assumed by:
- Firstly, standing upright at attention
- Move your body weight to your left leg
- Gently curl your right leg around your left leg such that only your left leg remains on the ground
- Bend your back forward and curl your lower arms together
- Remain in this position for a minimum of 20 seconds.
7. Warrior II
This pose is highly effective for burning calories and losing weight. It is called warrior II because the pose is similar to that of a martial arts warrior in the course of a fight. This pose helps with strengthening the thigh muscles, lower legs, and butt muscles.
This pose is also commonly used as a remedy for belly fats. It should be noted that this pose is not advisable for people with arthritis, chronic knee pain, and high blood pressure.
This pose is assumed by:
- Firstly standing straight
- Then move your left leg far back (as far back as you can)
- Ensure your right knee is bent in such a way that your thighs are almost parallel to the ground
- Keep your face and upper body facing front
- Stretch out your hands, your right hand stretched forward, and your left hand stretched backwards.
- Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
8. Sun Salutation
This is one of the most tasking series of poses; perhaps one of the most result-oriented poses. Sun salutation engages your entire body; every muscle in your body is affected. No wonder it is one of the best calorie-burning, weight loss yoga poses that even yoga teachers start their classes with.
The sun salutation is done via the following process:
- Stand upright and gradually lift your hands up
- Bow down with your hands and process to touch your feet
- Put your hands on the floor (palms facing the ground)
- Gently move your legs backwards one after the other until you assume a plank pose.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds
- Place your lower body on the ground and assume a cobra pose
- Hold this position for 10 seconds
- Gradually return back to a standing position with your hands stretched forward
- Return back to the initial position with your hands stretched upright above your head.
However, if you have any major health condition or you are pregnant, you are advised to abstain from yoga. If ever you are keen on yoga, ensure that you have a yoga trainer present.