If anyone’s ever told you that you can’t use yoga for weight loss, that’s because they haven’t tried these amazing yoga moves!
Yoga isn’t just a bunch of stretching and breathing exercises – it is an incredible tool for fat loss!
When you do yoga, multiple muscle groups in your body are engaged all at once. When this happens, your heart rate rises, and your metabolism is boosted.
And something really cool happens when the body’s metabolic activity is high, and your heart rates goes up. Your body starts burning calories, which causes fat to melt.
Do these yoga poses three to five times a week, and you’ll start to see noticeable fat loss and gain lean muscle mass.
Yoga For Fat Loss: How Much Fat Can It Burn?
According to celebrity yoga instructor, Mandy Ingber, yoga can torch anywhere between 180 to 600 calories per hour. The amount of calories you burn depends on the type of yoga you are doing and the intensity of your workout.
If you want to burn more calories doing yoga, the yoga positions you choose matter a lot.
So, who is this workout for?
- People looking to use yoga to burn fat and lose weight
- People who are complete beginners to yoga
- People trying to improve their flexibility and raise energy levels
Let’s get started with an introduction to these poses and instructions on how to do them.
1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Start with your feet slightly apart, inhale, and raise your arms overhead. Your palms should face inwards, and your triceps must be next to your ears. Then, bend your knees while exhaling and pushing your butt toward the floor as though sitting in a chair.
Hold the position for 30 seconds while you continue to inhale and exhale deeply.
Yoga Tip – Let your torso naturally lean slightly forward over your thighs and keep your shoulders down and back.
2. Boat Pose (Navasana)
Starting from a seated position, slowly raise your legs up to a 45-degree angle while moving your back slightly towards the ground and use your arms to balance. After you have balanced yourself, slowly raise your arms to the outside of your knees.
Hold this position for 30 seconds and continue to inhale and exhale normally.
Yoga Tip – If you are not able to keep your legs up in the air, hold the side of the legs until you are strong enough to hold your legs up without support.
3. Downward Dog (Adho Muhko Svanasana)
Start with your hands and knees on the floor, keep your knees hip-width apart, and hands directly under the shoulder. Press your weight firmly across your hands and into the mat. Tuck your toes and life you knees off the floor, exhale as you do this.
Slowly straighten your legs, reach your pelvis up towards the ceiling and push your butt backward. Push your chest back towards your legs and hold this pose for 30 seconds while continuing to take deep inhales and exhales.
Yoga Tip – Let your heels drop as close to the ground as possible and make sure that your knees are not locked when you are straightening your legs.
4. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
Start with your palms on the mat and extend your feet backward while keeping your feet and butt in line with the rest of your body. Firmly grip the mat and round your shoulders and upper back. Once your body is aligned correctly, stay firm and tight.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds while breathing normally. Do not let your body sag.
Yoga Tip – Try to relax and feel your abs do all of the work. If you don’t feel anything in your abs, you’re not doing this pose right. If you’re in doubt check out this tutorial from yoga with adriene.
5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)
This pose is a more challenging version of the plank pose. Start with the plank pose and lower your entire body down until your torso is parallel to your upper arms and triceps. Lift your butt slightly higher up than your torso and stay firm in this position.
Since this is an advanced pose, you may have some difficulty holding this pose for 30 seconds. In that case, start by holding this pose for 10 seconds and slowly work your way up to 30 seconds.
Yoga Tip – Your arms are doing most of the heavy lifting here, but you must ensure that your belly isn’t sagging either. Keep your core engaged to prevent this from happening.
6. Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I)
Start in the standing pose and step your right foot towards the back of the mat, creating a long stance. Turn your right heel down and angle your foot to a 45-degree angle. Bend your left knee into a 90-degree angle, engage your abs, and lift up your arms into a high lunge.
Make sure that your palms are facing each other or touching. Hold this pose for 30 seconds while continuing to inhale and exhale deeply. Remember to switch your legs and repeat this pose.
Yoga Tip – Draw your left hip forward and right hip back. This will help you bend your left knee as close to as possible to a 90-degree angle.
7. Warrior Pose III (Virabhadrasana III)
Start with the Warrior Pose I, lower your chest towards the right knee while keeping your abs engaged. Place your body weight in your right leg and lift your left leg to bring your body parallel with the ground.
Extend your arms out front, keeping your shoulders away from the ears, with your palms facing each other or touching. Point your head forward and heel of your foot back. Hold this pose for 30 seconds while inhaling and exhaling deeply.
Yoga Tip – It can be a little difficult to hold your balance in this advanced pose. So, you can either rest your hands on your hips or practice with a chair in front of you and lightly hold it whenever you need.
8. Superman Pose (Viparita Shalabasana)
Start by lying face down with your legs together, your forehead resting on the mat, and arms out in front of you with your palms facing down. Engage your abs and gently lift your head, chest, arms, and feet up at the same time.
Hold this pose 30 seconds while you continue to inhale and exhale deeply.
Yoga Tip – Raise your head, chest, arms, and feet up as high as you can and hold your gaze straight ahead of you.
9. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Start in the same way as the Superman Pose, lying face down, forehead resting on the mat, arms by your sides, and palms up. Exhale deeply, bend your knees, and bring your heels as close to your butt as you can. Reach back, take hold of your ankles and keep your knees hip-width apart.
Inhale, lift your chest and thighs off the floor, pushing your heels away from your butt. Continue breathing deeply and hold this pose for 30 seconds, or as long as you can.
Yoga Tip – Keep your lower back relaxed while pressing your shoulder blades back and down.
10. Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)
Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your heels touching your butt. Lift your elbows, bend them towards your head, and place your palms face down on either side of your head. Gently push yourself up using your arms and your feet.
Breathe normally and try to hold this pose for 30 seconds, or as long as you feel comfortable.
If you’re able to do this pose in the first try, great! But if not, challenge yourself to do this pose. Do the other nine poses for a couple of weeks, increase your natural back flexibility, and slowly work up to this one.
Yoga Tip – Your elbow naturally tends to stick out in this position. Be mindful of them, and do not let them stick out.
In this yoga workout, after you hold each pose for 30 seconds, you move on to the next pose. Try not to take rest in between each pose. After all ten poses have been completed, go ahead and rest for a minute.
Then, get back on the mat and do the workout for a second time. Remember to switch legs on the Warrior Pose I and III. After round two, rest for two minutes and go for round three.
Even if you take 5-10 seconds of rest between each pose, you should be able to complete the workout in 20 minutes or less.
If you feel like staying in any pose for longer than 30 seconds, feel free to do so.
Make sure that these ten yoga poses are part of your regular practice to maximize fat loss, increase flexibility, raise your energy levels, and provide your body with extra energy to burn more calories.
If you’re a yoga beginner, you’re going to need a few things to help you get started. Here is my favorite yoga mat and the comfiest pair of yoga pants I’ve ever worn. Also check out our yoga for beginners guide if you want to learn more about the benefits of yoga!
If you enjoyed this article about yoga for weight loss and have any questions for us, we’d appreciate it if you leave a comment below!