Many beginners in yoga classes are there to lose weight. If you are hoping to find a regimen that will not only help you reach your weight loss goals, but will also help you make peace with your body and find balance in your daily life, I believe yoga is the perfect place for you to begin your weight loss program!
Many of my clients who have gained unwanted weight created a subconscious disconnect to their physical body; they purposely avoided looking at their bodies because they were disappointed in their appearance.
Through basic yoga poses, you can reconnect to your body in a gentle manner since yoga encourages you to experience the sensations of your body more so than to judge its appearance!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
My Top 5 Yoga Poses for Beginners on their Quest for Weight Loss
1.Sun Salute A (with regressions) (Surya Namaskar A)
Okay, so I’m already cheating (just a little!). Sun Salute A in itself is approximately 10 poses BUT they are strung together as one long movement to help you warm up your body, get moving, and stretch all the major muscles of the body!
1. Start standing with your feet slightly separated and facing straight forward.
2. As you inhale, raise your arms over your head and as you exhale, fold slowly in half.
3. On the next inhale, press your hands into your shins or thighs depending on the flexibility of your hamstrings until your back is parallel to the floor and the shoulders are energetically pulled down the back.
4. Place your hands on the floor and step back to the top of a push up and slowly lower to the floor when you exhale.
5. With the next inhale, lift your chest off the floor just till the last rib begins to lift. It is important to keep your shoulders pulling away from your ears and your elbows pointing back toward your heels and not out to the sides.
6. From here, lift into down dog which is holding weight on just your hands and feet with the hips up in the air creating an upside down V. Stay here for 3-5 breaths,
7. then walk your feet forward to your hands. Inhale and lift your torso parallel to the floor,
8. exhale and fold back over maintaining the length of your spine.
9. Press your feet firmly into the floor and engage your core muscles as you inhale and reach up to standing.
10.Exhale and lower your hands to your sides.
Once you’ve complete 5 rounds of Sun Salute A (which will only take 5 minutes), you are ready for the following poses.
2. Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)
This yoga pose is basically a standing long lunge. It will build strength and tone in your legs as well as your gluteals. The more muscle you build in your body, the more calories you burn every day! Step your right foot behind you about the distance of the length of one of your legs.
Align the heel of the front foot with the arch of the back foot. Bend the front knee up to 90 degrees, contract the leg muscles and push your feet into the floor. Reach your arms to the height of your shoulders over your legs contracting the arm muscles to the arm bones.
Look forward over the center finger of your front hand. Lift the pit of your abdomen to support your back. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat on the other leg.
3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)!
Chair pose makes you fire up all of your leg and gluteal muscles as well as open tight shoulders. Stand with your feet together and arms at your side.
Bend your knees like you are sitting down as if there were a chair behind you (not a tall barstool!) Gently hug the inner thighs together and reach your arms up holding your biceps close to your ears. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
This gentle backbend helps to release tension from the front side of the body, moves the head above the heart for a mild inversion which relaxes the arasympathetic nervous system and improves digestion. Lay on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor, with the distance of about 5 inches between your feet and your knees.
Lift your hips up to the sky leaving weight in your feet and shoulders to support you. Press your chest toward your chin to open your upper back and breathe calmly. Hold for 30 seconds then slowly release your back down to the floor.
5. Final Relaxation (Savasana)
Most people don’t get enough sleep and relaxation in their lives. This final yoga pose helps to return your body to balance and give your nervous system a break from life’s daily stresses. Taking these few minutes to breathe deeply and relax the body helps to reduce stress hormones in the body which aids weight loss.
Further, there are many studies that prove that when you’re chronically over tired, sleep is more effective at aiding in weight loss than activity. So get some rest already!
Simply lay on your back, separate your legs as wide as your yoga mat and have your hands palms up with about 18” between your hands and your body. Take 5 deep breaths and feel your abdomen and chest rise and fall. Then allow the body to take over breathing and relax for 5 minutes with your eyes closed.
This strengthening and weight loss routine will take approximately 15 minutes.
As you get used to the movement, you will be able to breathe more comfortably and begin to sense the sensations and the subtle changes in your body. Reconnecting with your body through yoga helps you to accept where you are today and move gracefully toward your health and weight loss goals.