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Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Weight loss exercises are always on our mind. What is the newest way to lose those pounds? Yoga for weight loss! Yoga is a brilliant exercise activity that not only helps you with weight loss but improves your flexibility, builds strength and many more yoga benefits are still being discovered. In the beginning, yoga for beginners teaches you to focus on your mind, body and soul, but this in turn has positive effects on your weight.

With all the different types of yoga to choose from, it can be daunting trying to figure out which one will give you the best results. Don’t be worried if you feel the need to use yoga equipment and props at first to help with the yoga poses. Practice makes perfect, we suggest you read through the different yoga styles and positions, test them and see what works best for you. Bikram yoga and ashtanga vinyasa yoga are recommendable due to their quicker pace and higher energy sessions.

Check out our yoga vs pilates debate for more information.

Yoga Poses to Help Lose Weight

Our suggested yoga poses for weight loss will be sure to get you working up a sweat! As yoga is an activity that targets muscles and tissues, you might need to stick at it for a little while before seeing results. Give these yoga exercises a go:

  • Boat: sitting on a mat, raise your legs straight up and lean back to create a “V” shape with your body, hols your arms out straight and at shoulder height
  • Locust: lying on your front, inhale lifting your legs up and keeping them straight, raise your chest and head with your arms going backwards and palms up, you should feel a stretch in the abdominals and a slight lift
  • Warrior 3: standing and balancing on one leg, raise your other leg backwards so it is straight, bend forward spreading your arms out and face the floor, your body should be in a straight line except for your balancing leg and arms out
  • Temple: standing on the mat, bring your feet apart with your toes turned out as far as is comfortable, bend down slightly with your knees facing outwards, inhale and interlock your hands raising them above your head with palms facing the sky, exhale
  • Cow Face Twist: sitting on the floor, bring one leg over the other bending the knee and facing your toes behind you, bend the leg underneath also facing your toes behind you, place the contrary hand to the top leg to rest on your knee and turn to the side

For further help, view the video below showing yoga exercises for weight loss:

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Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga comes from the branch of ashtanga yoga, there is only a slight difference between the two types of yoga. As with all yoga styles, they require concentration, relaxation and a combination of yoga asanas and yoga poses that will help to increase your strength and balance which are just some of the yoga benefits available.

If you are starting off with yoga for beginners, it is important to be aware of all the subtle differences you will find between the different yogas, you should know about the correct yoga equipment to have and where you can get hold of the right yoga clothes. All of this will help you on your way to becoming a yoga guru!

Ashtanga vs Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga yoga was popularised in the 1970s by Pattabhi Jos from India. It includes a specific sequence of yoga postures, which are always performed in the exact order, that connects a breathing technique to each position. Vinyasa yoga comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “flow”, relfected in the more spontaneous style of ashtanga yoga poses. Each yoga move is connected to the next in a more lively setting, often with music. Both these yoga styles will work up a sweat through intense internal heat to help detoxify muscles and organs.

Ashtanga/Vinyasa Yoga Poses

These three poses are the best ashtanga yoga poses that are also included in vinyasa yoga routines. They are sure to get your muscles stretching and strengthening:

  • Trikonosana: standing with your fit wide apart, keep your left foot facing in and your right pointed out, reach your right foot with your right hand holding the toes and stretch your left arm straight above you, switch and repeat with the other side
  • Purvottasana: standing up with your left leg slightly behind and your right slightly in front, keep your arms bent behind your back in prayer position, bend forward trying to rach your chin with your right foot, repeat with other side
  • Hand to Big Toe: standing upright, extend your right leg straight in front of you, reach your right hand to grab your toes with your left hand on your waist, face and toes facing forward, slightly turn your right leg to the right side and turn your head to the left

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Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is possibly one of the most popular types of yoga that you can find. With increasing studios and gyms including bikram yoga classes in their schedules, many people look towards yoga for their daily dose of exercise. Different yoga styles offer you different yoga asanas, also known as yoga poses, which you should try out and see which ones you enjoy best.

What is bikram yoga?

If you are doing yoga for beginners, you might be wondering what the difference is between all the different types of yoga. Bikram yoga was created by Bikram Choudhary, an Indian yoga teacher, who put together a series of 26 hatha yoga poses to be completed in a hot room of 40°C or 104°F. Every bikram yoga session will include the same yoga poses in the same order, as every bikram instructor must stick the the teachings of Bikram Choudhary, however, you will be able to find some variations.

Bikram Yoga BenefitsBikram Yoga

The yoga benefits for any style of yoga are proven to be beneficial for flexibility and building strength or endurance. With the added heat element of bikram yoga, it is suggested that sweating out your toxins is good for your skin and body in general. Not only do you have the plus of detoxification, but the sweat and body heat created from the room helps you to move easier into the bikram yoga positions. A bikram yoga workout helps you to speed up heart rate and warm up your muscles, meaning that your body is working harder.

Tips for Bikram Yoga

It is important that you are aware of the correct preparation when doing bikram yoga, whether you are a beginner or expert. Here are a few useful tips you should take into account before you start:

  • Stay hydrated as your body will produce a lot of sweat during one session.
  • Correct yoga equipment for bikram yoga will include a towel to help your grip due to the sweat.
  • Try not to eat 2-3 hours before your class, some positions can lead to feelings of nausea due to the heat, stick to a healthy diet and light snacks.
  • Avoid being self-conscious about the amount of sweating you will do and embrace the heat!

Bikram Yoga Poses

Here is a short video showing you the range of bikram yoga poses included in a bikram yoga workout: