Hectic lifestyle, stress, lack of exercise and junk food gifts us an unhealthy body. The tummy and thighs are the worst affected parts of the body where most of the fats get deposited and lead to different diseases. If you are one of them then you have come to the right place. People waste thousands on the expensive gym to lose weight. But, those who don’t want to sweat out hours in gym yoga is the right alternative for them. Yoga not only reduces your weight but also keeps you away from stress, builds your concentration and keep you calm. It’s a great way to lose weight if practised regularly. You just need some comfortable clothes, a yoga mat and lots of willing power.
Let’s now practise the best 15 yoga asanas to build your muscle strength, help you lose your weight and tone your body. But, before practising the yoga asanas start with one of the best pranayamas which help to lose weight and improve digestion.
- Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breathing)
An excellent method to lose weight if you will practice this regularly. Moreover, it removes sleepiness and energizes the mind for mental work.
- First sit on the Padmasana or Sukhasana (simple sitting pose), close your eyes and keep your spines straight.
- Now take a deep inhale through both of your nostrils until your lungs get full of air.
- Now exhale through both of your nostrils forcefully so that your stomach will go deep inside. As you exhale you will feel some pressure in your stomach.
- During the process of exhaling, you will feel a hissing sound, at this moment try to think that all toxins and disorders from your body are coming out of your nose.
- Repeat this process for 5 minutes.
Now, let’s practise the yoga asanas. Always keep one thing in your mind. While practising yoga never force your body to perform an asana. Yoga is all about the journey, enjoy it thoroughly.
- Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
- Stand straight on your yoga mat with your hands in namaste in front of you.
- Now raise your hands above your head and bend at the knee such that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Bend your torso slightly forward and breathe.
- Stay in this position as long as you can. Then go back to the standing position.
- Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
It promotes deep breathing, stretches legs and muscles around the knee. Stimulates function of abdominal organs.
- Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart.
- Open and stretch your arms to the sides at shoulder height.
- Move your right foot out 90 degrees and your left toes in about 45 degrees.
- Keep your feet pressed against the ground and inhale. While exhaling, bend your right arm and make it touch the ground while your left arm goes up.
- Keep your waist straight and your body is bent sideways. Take deep breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Warriors Pose (Virabhadrasana)
- Start Standing with your feet wide (one leg) apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
- Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
- Bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; straighten both your hands. Stay for few breaths
- Repeat on the other side.
- Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)
In this pose, you engage your core and hold yourself at the top of push up which helps you to tone your arms and shoulders.
- Keep your hands and knees shoulder width apart and fingers spread wide. Keep your toes pressed towards the ground.
- Your backbone, hip and head must be in line. Your fingers grip the mat while shoulders are straight as you keep your chest forward.
- You can modify this pose by aligning your forearms down by 90 degrees with your shoulders, which we called forearm plank pose. Make sure your hands face straight forward and palms are flat on the ground.
- Four limbed staff pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
This asana helps to strengthen the core stability, arm, shoulder and leg muscles. It also prepares the body for arm balances and inversions and increases stamina.
- First start from plank pose while Keeping your arms fully extended and spine completely erect.
- Exhale, bend your elbows and keep down your lower body towards the ground but not touching it, few inches away from the ground.
- Keep your body parallel to the ground and your hips need to be straight. Turn your legs inward.
- Keep wide space between your shoulder blades. Your elbows need not be spread outwards but rather be pushed back downwards towards the heel.
- Ensure that your neck is adjusted straight with the rest of body and press your palm fingers firmly to the ground.
- Stay in this position for around 30 seconds to 1 minute and then exhale and rest gently on the floor.
- Repeat this procedure for 3-4 times.
- Upward facing dog Pose (Urdha Mukha Svanasana)
This pose increases flexibility, elongates the cervical spine and strengthens the core, hamstrings and lower back.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet together and toes flat. Place your hands downwards below your shoulders on the mat, while inhaling, lift your waist and raise your head.
- Pull your torso back with the support of your hands. By putting equal pressure on both palms, keep your elbows straight.
- Move your head back and ensure that your shoulders are away from your ears. Exhale while coming back to the ground. Relax and then repeat the procedure 3-4 times.
- The main difference between cobra pose and this asana is that the thighs are lifted off from your mat. You can practice a series here where you flow into plank pose down to chaturanga, into an Upward facing dog and then Downward facing dog. This is one of best series to tone up your arms and you can repeat it for 5-7 times.
- Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose helps to stretch your hamstrings, chest and lengthen the spine. It provides blood flow to the head.
- Sit on your heels, stretch your arms forward on the mat and lower your head.
- Pushing your hands and strengthening your legs, slowly raise your hips.
- Press firmly through your palms and rotate the inner elbows towards each other.
- It will look like an inverted V-shape.
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
This pose helps to bring flexibility to the spine. It also stretches torso and neck and keeps balance throughout the body.
- Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Spread your fingertips on the top of your mat. Place your knees and shins hip-width apart. Centre your head in a neutral position and soften your gaze downward.
- First move into Cow Pose: Inhale as you drop your belly towards the mat. Lift your chin and chest, and look up toward the ceiling.
- Extend your shoulder blades and keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Then, move into Cat Pose: As you exhale, bring your belly to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back.
- Release the crown of your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest.
- Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose.
- Repeat this for 10-15 times, and then rest by sitting back on your heels with your torso upright.
- Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
This pose reduces fat on your inner thighs and strengthens your spine, muscles of the groin, knees and lower back. It also helps relieve menstrual discomfort and improves digestion.
- Sit on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Keep your spine erect and bend your legs at the knees, such that the soles of your feet are facing each other.
- Now with your hands pull your legs in so that your heels touch each other and they are as close to your pelvis as possible.
- While holding your legs at the ankles, move your thighs up and down, just like the wings of a butterfly. Do this for as many times as you can.
- Repeat this for 3-4 times.
- Boat Pose (Naukasana)
This yoga pose helps to strengthen back and abdominal muscles; tones leg and arm muscles. It also helps to lose belly fat. Women should avoid doing this pose during pregnancy and first two days of the menstrual cycle. Do not practice this yoga pose if you have low blood pressure, severe headache or a migraine.
- Lie on your back with your feet together and arms beside your body.
- Take a deep inhale and as you exhale, lift your chest and feet off the ground, stretching your arms towards your feet.
- Your eyes, fingers and toes should be in a line.
- Feel the tension in your navel area as the abdominal muscles contract.
- Keep breathing deeply and easily while maintaining the same pose.
- As you exhale, come back to the ground slowly and relax.
- Repeat this for 3-4 times.
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
It Strengthens the whole back body and abdominal muscles, opens up the chest, neck and shoulders. Those who suffer from excessive problems of spinal cord and disc should not perform this pose.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by the side of your body.
- Fold your knees, take your hands backwards and hold your ankles.
- Inhale and lift your chest off the ground and pull your legs up and back.
- Look forward and stay there while paying attention to your breath. Now, your body looks like a curve.
- Continue to take long deep breaths as you relax in this pose. Bend as far as your body permits and don’t force your body unnecessary.
- After few seconds, as you exhale, gently bring your legs and chest to the ground. Release the ankles and relax.
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This pose helps in improving digestion and circulation of blood. It also reduces stress, depression and stretches the chest, spine, neck and hips.
- Lie on the floor with knees bent and directly over heels.
- Place arms at sides, palms down. First, inhale and then exhale and press feet into floor as you lift your hips.
- Make a fist with your hands under lower back and press arms down. Lift your hips until thighs are parallel to the floor, bringing chest towards the chin. Stay for few breaths.
- Sitting half spinal Twist (Ardhamatsyendrasana)
This pose stretches shoulders, hips, and back. It also helps to calm the nervous system and tones abdomen.
- Sit up with the legs stretched out, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
- Bend the left leg and place the heel of the left foot beside the right hip.
- Take the right leg over the left knee and place the left hand on the right knee. Keep the right hand behind you.
- Twist your waist, shoulders and neck towards right look over the right shoulder.
- While keeping your spine straight, continue long breath in and out.
- While exhaling, release the right hand first, then release the chest and waist. Release your neck and sit relaxed. Repeat on the other side.
- Childs Pose (Balasana)
This posture is helpful to rest and relax the muscles of your body. It restores vitality physically, mentally and emotionally by reducing stress and anxiety.
- Practice this pose with closed eyes, listening to the sound of your breath.
- Sit in Vajrasana pose (bend your knees and sit on your heels). Keep your hips on your heels. Lower your head on the mat and bring your hands forward by your side.
- Press your thighs against your chest and breathe lightly. Touch your head to the ground.
Yoga helps to lose weight, but a healthy diet and lifestyle are always required to maintain your body weight.
Don’t lose faith, lose weight
Nobody can do it for you, you have to do it yourself!