Yoga is an excellent choice for sustainable weight loss. It uses your own body weight to develop every muscle of your body. The yoga asanas stretch, strengthen and tone your muscles all at the same time leading to a leaner and more flexible body. As with any weight loss plan, your food intake is highly important. We recommend you follow a Yogic diet along with the Weight Loss Flow for Beginners to see maximum results. For this reason, we have also put together a Weight loss meal plan for you to follow in two different cuisines.
For effective weight loss the best routine to follow would be the one that is a mix of flow and long holds of poses. You want to aim for constant movement for the whole routine, except the hold of each poses. The main focus is to get your heart rate up and then keep it up.
Check out this article for a table of maximum heart rates by age and the “Fat Burning Zone” for heart rate.
As always, start off with 5 to 10 Suryanamaskars. This will warm up the whole body and start the increase of the heart rate in a healthy fashion. The hold poses will get your heart pounding. If any of the holds are too easy, feel free to hold it as long as you can to get your heart rate up. That is the purpose after all. During this whole flow, take control of your breath. You don’t want it to become ragged, even during a sped up heart rate. Keep a smooth in and out cycle. 3 count in through the nose and 3 count out through the nose.
How to start the weight loss flow
Start off with a flow between Standing Forward wide-leg bend (Prasarita Padottanasana) and Twist variations of the same pose. Start with the Forward bend and then touch each hand to the ground 5 times then come back to the Forward bend.
Move onto a Extended Mountain backbend (Anuvittasana) to counter the stretch from the previous asana. Hold it for a moment while you release all the tension stored in the abdominals.
Next, come back to straight and perform 5 lunges for each leg. Total of 10. This will wake up your legs for the upcoming hold.
Coming up is the first long hold. Hold the Warrior III pose (Virabhadrasana III) for 5 breaths on each leg. Aim for stability and alignment. Contract your core to firm up the pose. Keep the breathing regular while core is contracted.
Halfway Through !
Next, bend forward into the Downward Dog (Adho mukha svanasana). Do a rocking motion between planting your heels and lifting them and pulling your weight forward onto your hands. Just a small rocking motion to ease up any tightness built up in the previous asanas and to ready your upper body by throwing a little weight on your hands. Once you’ve done that 5 times, lift up each leg as high as possible into One Leg Downward Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana), one at a time. Raise each leg 5 times.
Now comes an upper body hold. Hold the Plank pose (Phalakasana) for at least 5 in and out breaths following the 3 count described above. (or as long as you can, remember the heart rate)
Now we’re going to do a flow with a Tabletop variation. Come on all fours ( knees and palms touching the ground). Raise the left arm and right leg together, hold it straight for 3 breaths. Bring both back to the original position. Repeat 5 times (Make sure you take deep breaths). Then switch to right arm and left leg together. Repeat 5 times.
Almost done! We are going to take a moment to rest our muscles and slow the heartbeat down to normal. Get into the Child pose (Balasana). You can let your arms rest by your sides too, whatever feels most comfortable to you. Let your body get heavy & surrender yourself completely on the ground. Stay in this pose till the heartbeat slows down. You have just completed a difficult routine. Congratulate yourself!
This weight loss flow is sure to show results. We have one more asana after that and we are done!
Okay, we have got this far. We have worked out our whole body and worked up the heartbeat to a good pace. After our brief rest, we are going to perform one asana as long as we can. Go until failure. This is the most important part of this exercise.
Don’t skip it. Even if you can do only a few seconds the first time, just stick with it, don’t give up.
Commit to weight loss
Get into the Boat pose (Navasana). This is a core crunching move (you need to contract & engage your core muscles) and long hold times will have your heart pumping and fat melting! Keep your breathing pace under control so that you can stay in the pose longer.
If you’re a beginner, start slowly and gradually build up your practice. This allows you to build up your strength and flexibility and prevent injuries. Combine your yoga practice with activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming for added cardiovascular benefits. Allow yourself one full day of rest each week to rejuvenate your body.
Make a commitment to yourself and your practice if you want to use yoga to lose weight. Make small, gradual changes and set modest goals so that you’re more likely to stick to them.
As you deepen your practice and your awareness, you may find yourself naturally attracted to healthy foods and ways of living. While similar results for everyone are not guaranteed, it’s likely that your positive results may extend far beyond weight loss, which in turn allows you to create the best version of yourself.