Yoga for Weight Loss: Asanas to Help You Lose Weight

Yoga, an ancient method to stay fit, has been around for centuries in India, but it created a rage only a few years ago when Westerners realised its importance and benefits. You are likely to find yoga studios everywhere in the West, and thanks to its popularity, India too has woken up to its benefits. Now, many yoga classes have popped up and many gyms too offer yoga. If you are struggling to lose weight, you can incorporate yoga in your fitness regimen and see the results soon. Celebrity yoga expert Danielle Collins lists out some yoga poses that can work wonders for losing weight. Here’s how to do them to reach your weight loss goals. These poses are best for targeting the belly fat which is one of the most difficult areas to shed weight from.

Static tiger pose

This exercise will build core strength which is essential to help you not just shed flab but also strengthen your body. To do this pose, be on all fours on a yoga mat and lift up one leg and extend the opposite arm. Hold this Static Tiger Pose for three deep breaths. Bring back the arm and leg to the starting position and swap sides, extending the other arm and opposite leg, looking down towards the mat to keep the spine in line and take three deep breaths.

Sitting spinal twist

Sitting Spinal Twist

Losing flab from the waist and sides or your love handles is also tricky. This pose will trim and define the waist while also exercising the spine. Sit in a crossed leg position. Bring your hands by the side of your hips as you lengthen the spine. Bring one hand across to the opposite knee, rotate the spine and look over one shoulder in to a Sitting Spinal Twist. Inhale. Exhale and go back to the starting position. Swap sides and rotate and look over the other shoulder. Inhale. Exhale back to the centre.

Lift and twist crunch

Come to a semi supine position, lying on your back. Feet flat on the floor, chin tucked in to the chest, hands down by your side. This position allows the back muscles to completely relax and the spine to come in to the correct alignment. Next we will be going in to the Lift and Twist Crunch. This is a Pilates exercise and is excellent for trimming the waist and toning the tummy. Bring the hands behind the back of the neck, lift and twist the upper body to one side and bring elbow towards opposite knee. Inhale and lower your back down. Exhale, lift and twist towards the other side, inhale return to starting position.

Keep this movement going and you can start to speed it up a little bit. Then start to extend one leg out as you go. Keep pulling the lower tummy muscles up and breathe deeply. Remember if you need to take a rest at any point you can do and if you feel comfortable with the exercise and you would like to speed it up a little bit, you can do that as well. To advance it further, you can start to tap the heel of the extended leg on to the floor. This will work the lower tummy muscles even more therefore giving support and strength to the lower back. Aim for 30 seconds in total.



Start on your hands and knees, bringing the knees back a little, tuck the toes under, lift the knees up off the floor and come in to a Plank Pose. Draw your tummy muscles in and in, breathing deeply in to the side and back of the rib cage. Aim to hold for 30 seconds and increase the time gradually. Plank really helps strengthen your core.

The hundred exercise

Come to a semi supine position for The Hundred Exercise. This classic exercise defines the tummy muscles and promotes a strong and healthy back. Bring the legs in to a table top position, hip-width apart. Lift the arms up off the floor and lift the head neck and chest upwards, being careful not to strain the neck but rather taking the strain in the tummy. Start to pulse the arms up and down. If you would like to advance the pose, extend the legs up towards the sky or stay in table top position if you prefer. Keep drawing the tummy muscles up and in. Aim to continue for 50 seconds.

Yoga workouts for weight loss

While traditional yoga is a great exercise for the entire body, you can also try fun workouts that combine yoga with other fitness forms to help you burn more calories. Here are some of them that you can try if you do not like the traditional yoga.



This workout combines yoga with Pilates. The moves are both on a mat as well as using Pilates machines. The exercises combine the best of both and help in achieving weight loss goals faster by burning more calories. Unfortunately, you cannot practise yogalates at home, you need to join a class where the right equipment is available so that you can do the exercises under the supervision of a trainer.

Power yoga
Power yoga

Power yoga is a mix of intense yoga moves that are done in a loop to increase your heart rate and help burn more calories. The yoga poses are done back-to-back without stopping which is what makes power yoga a fun workout especially for those who think traditional yoga is slow-paced. Power yoga is a cardio as well as a full body workout at the same time.

Aerial yoga
Aerial yoga

Imagine being suspended from a silk rope in midair and calling it a workout. Well, it may sound easy but aerial yoga requires proper training and immense core and arm strength. The poses are performed by using the silk rope as a prop. Many Bollywood celebs have tried this but this is perhaps one workout that will take time to master due to its difficulty level.

Paddleboard yoga

If you are a water baby, you should give paddleboard yoga a try. This type is perfect to tone your abs and also improve muscle strength, giving you a lean figure in the process. The exercise starts by you trying to balance yourself on the paddleboard before you can start doing the yoga poses. Once you have mastered this, you can begin with basic poses. Even those become a challenge to do as the board is on water. This way, you burn more calories.

Hot yoga

Hot yoga

Imagine working out in a room with temperature of over 45 degree Celsius. This is what hot yoga is all about. The same poses as performed in traditional yoga are done, the only change being the hot studio room. This helps you sweat more and makes doing the poses easier as your body is warmed up well. While hot yoga has been a controversial exercise, there are people who swear by it even today. When doing this, you need to keep certain things in mind especially about your water consumption.

Diet is important

While adding yoga to your routine is great, what you eat is also important. Without the right diet, you cannot achieve good results as your body cannot function well unless it has good nutrition. Therefore, make sure you follow a healthy diet along with your yoga routine. Give up junk foods with the occasional cheat day once in a while, make sure you eat on time and have portion control so that you don’t overeat. Smaller, frequent meals are better than bigger meals thrice a day. Include greens, seeds, nuts and fruits in your daily diet to get the right nutrition and energy. Cooking your food in a healthy way is also important so that nutrition is retained.

Go the Ayurveda way

Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old tradition from India and helps in achieving optimal health. According to Ayurveda, when you are perfectly healthy, the extra fat melts away on its own. So, we bring to you five tips from Ayurveda which will help you in getting healthy and thus, get rid of those extra kilos.

Exercise when you wake up

Did you know the ideal time to exercise is between 6 am and 10 am? This is because it is the time when water and earth elements are high in the environment. These, when combined, create coolness, slowness and inertia. Exercising in the morning counteracts sluggishness, brings warmth to your body and prepares the mind for the new day. Performing 30-45 minutes of exercise in the morning helps in burning calories and keeping you on track.

Eat your largest meal at noon

According to Ayurveda, 'you are not what you eat, but what you digest'. Digestion is one very important and basic point of Vedic tradition. According to Ayurveda, you should eat your largest meal at noon. Noon hour is when your digestive fire, known as agni, is the strongest.

Dinner, as modern science also says, should be light and should be taken two-three hours prior to when you go to sleep. So, if you want to sleep at 10 pm then ideally you should eat your dinner by 7 pm and latest by 8 pm. Following this habit will give your body time to rejuvenate and detoxify itself and not just be busy in digesting food. When you have a good digestion, you are less likely to store fat. A healthy digestive tract is a good way to ensure that you are not putting on excess weight.

Drink hot water

Hot water is like a magic potion in the Vedic tradition. External sources like pollution, poor food choices, pesticides and processed foods and internal sources like stress, anger, anxiety lead to accumulation of toxins known as ama, in the body. This ama is sticky in nature and can be dissolved with hot water. The amount what you have is not important but the frequency at which you drink matters. Try and have sips of hot water every half an hour. You can add ginger or some fresh mint leaves to reap more benefits from it. So, switch from cold water to hot water and you are likely to feel lighter and fresher throughout the day.


The stress hormone in the body can reduce your ability to lose weight and specifically abdominal weight. Meditation is a powerful method to bring down the level of stress and anxiety. Practice meditation every day in the morning and see the results on your waistline and in your life. Sit silently, relax and focus on your breathing for at least 20 minutes every day after you get up. If you cannot sit still for so long, try and use apps that help calm your nerves with relaxing music and close your eyes. You will feel at peace and your stress levels will go down automatically.

Set a sleeping routine

Our ancestors were all healthy and hearty as they had set patterns for everything and that too in rhythm with nature. Their bedtime followed soon after the sun went down. But with the invention of electricity and then with the changing lifestyles, there began a transition from natural to artificial. It resulted in compromised sleep quality and time.

Researchers have shown that insufficient sleep is one major contributing factor in weight gain. Not only sleeping enough but sleeping in rhythm with the sun is as vital. According to Ayurveda, the best time to sleep if from 10 pm to 6 am. To follow this pattern, turn off your lights and screen by 9:30 pm so that you may be fast asleep by 10 pm.

With the right exercises, diet and routine, you will lose weight effectively. Remember, weight loss is a slow process, do not expect great results in a short time. There are diets and workouts that promise the same but in the long run, these are not great for health and in no time, you will gain all the weight back. So, be patient and drop one kilo per week in a healthy way.
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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