Yoga has been used for thousands of years as a means of maintaining a strong and healthy body, a quiet and focused mind, and a whole being that is peaceful and aware. Today, many yoga practitioners enjoy the same benefits but have begun to focus their practices on other aspects of their lives that they want to address.
Weight loss is one of those areas, and people who have followed yoga practice with this in mind report great results. Here are the four best poses to incorporate into your practice to help shift those pounds.
Vakrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose)
Begin in a cross-legged position. Extend your right leg and bend your left leg at the knee. Place your left arm firmly on the floor, slightly away from your torso. Bend your right arm, and place your right hand on the outer side of your left thigh. Repeat in the opposite direction.
This seated twist pose is meant to release any tension held in your spine, as well as loosen and stretch your shoulders and hips. As you hold this pose, you’ll find that you’re able to sink deeper into the stretch with each breath, helping you to limber up all over and get the absolute most out of your practice.
Nauka Chalan (Boat Pose)
From a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you, rock back onto your tailbone while lifting your legs 45 degrees off the ground. Extend your arms forward and reach past your legs.
This is a balance and core strengthening pose that engages your stomach, back, chest, and legs. It is one of the more challenging poses for beginners, so feel free to use your arms to balance until you feel more confident.
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose)
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your side. Step forward so that your feet are wide apart. Your front leg should be bent at the knee with a straight foot, and your rear leg should be straight with your foot at a 45-degree angle. Hold your torso upright with hips facing your front leg, and arms held straight up over your head alongside your ears.
This pose has a wide stance and is meant to depict a fierce and strong warrior. It promotes all-over strength, particularly in the legs and core, and can strengthen you sufficiently to do more difficult poses in the future.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Begin on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slowly extend your knees, allowing your head to come into alignment with your arms. Push back from your hands through your hips to make a long line.
This foundation pose is often used as an active resting position between more difficult poses, keeping your body engaged as you cool down and prepare for the next pose.
As with any exercise program, be sure your doctor gives you the OK before beginning. If you already practice yoga, be sure to incorporate these poses into your practice more often to jump-start or continue your weight loss.