Yoga Asanas to Lose Weight

Overview

The number of calories burned during yoga practice varies. While it might not be the quickest way to lose weight, establishing a disciplined yoga routine will inspire healthy lifestyle changes that provide long-term results. The Sanskrit word “asana” literally means “posture.” Select yoga asanas that will help you lose weight. Use yoga poses to relax your body into a state of balance, which should increase your cravings for healthy foods and activities.

Breathe to Burn Calories

Focus on taking long, even breaths during yoga practice. Shallow breathing can inhibit your weight loss goals because excess body fat is burned through deep breathing, according to AerobicBreathing.com. Watch your belly expand with new, revitalizing air as you inhale. With each exhale, pull your stomach in and imagine pushing out old, stale air. Concentrate on air flow during yoga to establish effortless, healthy breathing habits that also boost the calorie burn from your regular daily activities.

Move Your Body

Kick start your yoga routine with dynamic, or moving, postures. Janice Gates of YogaJournal.com recommends sweeping arm movements to build heat and energy throughout your body. Sun salutations are popular dynamic warm-up poses that sculpt and tone. For variety, add movement to almost any standing pose. Flow in and out of chair pose or dance from one warrior pose to another. Stay present by connecting your deep, full-belly breaths to your movements.

Massage Your Metabolism

Thyroid-stimulating poses can boost weight loss by rousing your metabolism, according to GaiamLife.com. The thyroid is a hormone-producing gland in your lower neck. Such yoga poses as shoulder stand, bridge and plow fold the chin into the chest and massage your thyroid. Move in and out of these poses gently. Protect your neck by keeping your head steady once you are relaxed into these positions.

Twist

GaiamLife.com also recommends twisting asanas for weight loss. Twisting postures massage your digestive organs, which helps them eliminate excess waste and function properly. Try seated twists that provide your body with a stable base. From a seated position, sit up straight, relax your shoulders and gently twist. Hold the pose through at least four long breaths before turning in the opposite direction. Once twists are comfortable, try adding them to such standing as chair and tree.

De-Stress

Pick stress-reducing asanas and shed pounds as an added bonus. There is a definite correlation between stress and weight gain, according to YogaJournal.com. Your cortisol hormone levels rise with the onset of stress. The elevated hormones encourage overeating and ensure that excess calories are converted to fat. Use such calming yoga asanas as child’s pose and corpse pose to help your body to relax and release tension at the end of a yoga routine.

About this Author

Lauren Wilson enjoys writing as a way to share her passion for health, travel, cooking and the environment. She graduated from Colorado State University with a B.A. in English literature and became a certified yoga teacher in 2005.