Yoga for weight loss: 5 effective standing poses you must try!

Keeping your weight in check is the benchmark of staying healthy and fit. However, busy work schedules can make it difficult for people to go to the gym. But what if we say incorporating yoga poses or asanas into your fitness routine can be beneficial to lose weight? You will be surprised to know that yoga poses not only help you lose weight, but can also help to tone your glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. If you are looking for ways to incorporate yoga for weight loss in your routine, include these effective standing yoga poses in your fitness routine.

Benefits of standing yoga poses for weight loss

Standing yoga poses can contribute to weight loss in a few ways:

1. Increases calorie burning

According to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, yoga may provide a variety of behavioural, physical, and psychosocial benefits, making it a useful strategy for weight loss. However, more research is needed to prove that standing yoga poses can help in losing weight. “Many standing postures engage multiple muscle groups, which requires more energy and leads to a higher calorie burn during your yoga practice,” says yoga expert Saurabh Bothra.

All about calorie deficit
Yoga for weight loss helps you calories. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

2. Improves balance and stability

Standing poses work your core and strengthen muscles throughout your body. Increased muscle mass can gently raise your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories at rest. However, more research is needed to prove that standing yoga poses improve your balance and strengthen your muscles. A study published in the Slovenian Journal of Public Health found that easy yoga exercises helped older adults (over 65) improve their balance and coordination. They also lost fat and gained muscle. This shows that yoga can be a safe and beneficial exercise for seniors and everyone.

3. Enhances circulation

Standing yoga poses can enhance blood flow throughout the body, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach your muscles and promote fat loss. According to a study published in the Journal of Yoga and Physiotherapy, standing yoga poses can improve blood flow to the heart, which might help prevent heart disease.

4. Reduces stress

Yoga is known for its stress-relieving properties, as found in a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. Chronic stress can cause weight gain by altering hormones that regulate hunger. Yoga can help you control your eating habits by lowering your stress.

How to do standing yoga poses?

Here is a complete guide on how to do standing yoga poses for weight loss, as explained by the expert.

1. Virabhadrasana or Warrior II pose

Warrior II pose or virabhadrasana is excellent for toning the thighs, hips, and glutes. It helps you lose thigh fat and improves your balance and coordination, says the expert.

  • Step 1: Face the mat’s long side, arms straight out from your shoulders, and feet parallel to each other in a wide stance.
  • Step 2: Your ankles and wrists should be roughly halfway apart.
  • Step 3: Slightly indent your left toes towards the top left corner of the mat.
  • Step 4: Your right knee should be bent and stacked above your right ankle.
  • Step 5: Make sure your weight is spread evenly across both legs. Hold the outside edge of your back foot and press down.
  • Step 6: Keep your shoulders over your hips and your head over your pelvis.
  • Step 7: Reach towards the front and back of the mat with both arms, then turn your head to look past your right hand.
  • Step 8: Hold this posture for 5-10 breaths.
  • Step 9: Exhale as you press down with your feet to exit the posture, then inhale and straighten your legs. Return your feet to a parallel posture, facing the left side of the mat.
  • Step 10: Repeat on the other side.

2. Trikonasana or triangle pose

Triangle pose or trikonasana aids digestion and reduces fat deposits in the belly. You can engage the muscles in your legs and arms to develop muscle and burn fat. According to a study published in the International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development, the triangle pose also helps to improve flexibility in the spine and strengthens knees and ankles.

  • Step 1: Stand with your feet wide apart and your arms parallel to the ground.
  • Step 2: Hinge at the hips and bring your left hand down to the shin or floor.
  • Step 3: Keep the other arm stretched to the ceiling.
  • Step 4: Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths.
  • Step 5: Repeat on the other side.

3. Vrikshasana or tree pose

Vrikshasana or tree pose is also a great yoga pose for weight loss. It also tones your leg muscles with consistent use. Including it in your yoga routine will help tone your muscles. However, more research is needed to prove this claim.

  • Step 1: Stand on one leg, bring the opposite foot sole to the inner thigh or calf, and then balance.
  • Step 2: Place your hands in a prayerful position.
  • Step 3: Hold the posture for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 4: Repeat on the other leg.

4. Utkatasana or chair pose

Utkatasana strengthens the thighs, hips, and gluteal muscles. This pose also activates muscle tissues and enhances metabolic charge, which aids in weight loss, boosts internal energy, and relieves stress,” says the expert.

  • Step 1: Stand with your feet together, knees bent, and hips lowered, as if you were sitting in a chair.
  • Step 2: Extend your arms above with palms facing each other.
  • Step 3: Maintain a straight spine and keep your weight on your heels.
  • Step 4: Hold the posture for as long as you can. Hold it for 10-15 breaths if you are a beginner.

5. Alanasana or high lunge

The deep stretch from a high lunge posture tones the entire body. The expansion and extension of the thighs, hips, shoulders, arms, and neck in this position helps to burn excess fat and keep these muscles toned. However, more research is needed to prove this claim.

  • Step 1: Begin in a standing forward bend, and as you inhale, step your left leg straight back.
  • Step 2: Place your body on your right thigh and hold IT for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Step 3: Exhale, step your right leg back beside the left, and return your hands to a standing forward bend.
  • Step 4: Repeat for the opposite leg.
Woman doing jumping lunges
High lunge can help you lose weight. Image courtesy: Freepik

Are there any side effects of standing yoga poses?

These standing yoga postures for weight loss are generally safe and do not have any direct negative effects. However, it is preferable to approach them with patience and under the supervision of a professional who can ensure perfect alignment and help you avoid injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it okay to do yoga at any time?

The good thing is that there is never a bad time to practice yoga! What’s more important is that you practice yoga regularly -as both morning and evening practices offer a lot of benefits. Whether you do it right after you wake up or before going to bed, the time of your yoga practice is entirely up to you.

2. How often should you practice yoga?

A balanced practice of three to five times per week can improve overall health and wellness. This could include a variety of yoga poses to guarantee a well-rounded approach, with a focus on both physical fitness and mental health.

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