Best Yoga for Weight Loss – Complete with Illustrated Yoga Poses and Exercises

Best Yoga Exercise for Weight Loss

Lose Weight with Basic Yoga

In this final part of the series on Best Yoga for Weight Loss, I will include part 1, and also complete the Basic Yoga for Weight Loss Set that I had started in part 2, so you will have a complete illustrated guide of yoga poses and exercises to burn fat, lose weight and get fit.

(Part 1 is below)

Can You Lose Weight With Yoga?

You can absolutely lose weight with yoga and there are enormous advantages to using yoga for weight loss over other artificial means and methods.  In this 3 part series I am going to first discuss why yoga is good for permanent and safe weight loss, and then, in the second part of the series, I am going to give you a great set of yoga exercises for burning fat and losing weight.

The set in part 2 is going to become part of the free online yoga classes here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga.  The current weight loss program that is already available there, uses the excellent Online Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss Exercises Set, and this upcoming set will give you more choices and variety in selecting an effective yoga for weight loss program. 

The great thing about the set in part 2 is that it is designed for those who are overweight or obese, and thus, can be used by those who are new to yoga or severely out of shape.  Don’t think for a moment that this means the exercises are not going to be effective.  These yoga exercises are tried and tested techniques for effective weight loss, and are part of various yoga therapy programs around the world.  More about this set in part 2 of the series, but for now let me go over why you should choose yoga to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

This list of reasons is really quite long, but let me just point out the top five reasons why you are better off using yoga to help reduce weight, as opposed to being suckered in by all the other quick weight loss gimmicks, pills, gadgets and diets out there.

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Yoga for Weight Loss:

1. Better Overall Health:

Losing weight by doing yoga, also conditions all the internal organs and systems, in addition to getting rid of the excess fat.  This means that not only will you lose the weight, but as you continue your practice, you will find yourself getting more and more healthy and fit.  In addition, you will enjoy all the profound benefits that yoga bestows, and not just the weight loss aspect.

You can read about these enormous benefits of yoga in the following articles:

Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga

7 Rapid Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Practice

2. No Bad Side Affects:

Always remember that the body has a blue print of perfect health and always tries to return to this state.  You should always try to work with the body, in it’s efforts to return to perfect health.  Yoga and Ayurveda (the Indian holistic science of life and longevity) are designed to do just this.  On the other hand, when you use chemical, surgical or other such quick fixes, you tend to not work holistically with the body, and even as you are fixing one problem, you tend to create many more.  So using Yoga for weight loss is the best way to intelligently and naturally lose the weight and help the body return to optimum health.

For more on this concept, you can read the following article:

The Key to Natural Healing

3. Permanent Weight Loss with Yoga:

Experience of the yoga therapy programs to treat obesity have shown that weight lost from yoga therapy has proven to be permanent.  This is certainly not the case when you use chemicals and other gimmicks.  The weight lost by those methods tends to return in a hurry once they are discontinued.  This is not the case with yoga, as long as you maintain at minimum, a healthy diet as prescribed by Ayurveda. 

These diets are almost always a part of the treatment in general, and these diets are such that they can be maintained comfortably throughout one’s life.  They are not extreme or unreasonable diets.  You can read more about such a diet in the the following article:

Healthy Ayurvedic Diet to Burn Fat and Lose Weight

So when you use yoga for weight loss, the body is gently brought back into alignment and underlying causes for the weight gain, whether they are emotional or bio-chemical, are also resolved.  Also, since yoga works with the body to achieve optimum health, the excess weight once shed is no longer regained when the yoga is stopped.  I would though recommend continuing the yoga practice if you can, so you can continue to obtain all the other benefits that such practice bestows.   

4. Yoga Weight Loss Solution is for Free:

Why pay for a solution, that is going to create bad side affects and not going to work in the long term anyway, when you can have a successful weight loss solution from yoga for FREE.  You can no longer make the excuse that yoga classes are expensive, etc, etc, because on this website, they are all free.  If you see the online classes page, you will see the thousands of readers who have taken and benefited from these classes.  So I don’t see how you can go wrong here.  Not only do you succeed in your weight loss goals, but you get all the additional benefits of yoga, and you get it all for free .

5. Extreme Exercise is Not Necessary:

You will see from the upcoming yoga set in part 2 of this series that even gentle yoga exercises done with moderate effort are good enough to put you on track to meet your weight loss goals.  So you don’t need to undertake an extreme fitness regiment.  Such regiments are generally short lived anyway and can be injurious to the body.  Yes, when doing yoga in this sensible way the weight loss is not going be happen overnight, but you can expect to consistently lose about 5 pounds a month safely and naturally, without doing any harm to your body or mind.  

So stay tuned for part 2 of this series where I will be detailing for you one of the best yoga sets for losing weight safely and permanently.

(Part 2 and 3 combined for you below)

Yoga for Weight Loss Set

Lose Weight with Effective Yoga Exercises and Poses

In part 1 of this series on Best Yoga for Weight Loss, I answered the question, Can You and How to Lose Weight with Yoga?  I hope that article has motivated you to take up yoga to help you achieve your weight loss goals safely and naturally.  In this part the series, I am going to start detailing for you the basic, but effective, yoga poses for helping you lose weight and get healthy.

Also, as I mentioned in part 1 there is a great weight loss yoga set already on the website and you can find that set here: Online Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss.  This set has helped many successfully lose weight and you will find their testimonials in the comments section of the article as well.  To further inspire you to take up yoga for weight loss, here is one of the latest comments from a reader.

Kelly writes:

I love you!!! haha you have helped me drop the 20 lbs that kept me from being ME!

thankyou!!

Basic Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss Overview:

So, given I already have such a great weight loss set on the site, why create another one?  There are 2 reasons for this.

1. New Set is Suitable for Everyone:

Although the Yoga for Healthy Weight Loss set is comprised of fairly simple yoga exercises, they do require some degree of fitness to practice.  In other words, if you are badly out of shape you will find that set more challenging to do.  For this reason I want to give you the Best Basic Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss set, as this set can be done by even those struggling with obesity and significant excess weight.

In addition, many new moms contact me to help them realize their weight loss goals, and it is important for them to practice gentle yoga exercises as opposed to vigorous ones, until they are fully healed.  So this set will give them a nice option to begin working towards getting back in shape as well .

2. Variety Helps Fitness:

Those familiar with health and fitness sciences know that the body get acclimatized to exercise routines, and you tend to get diminishing returns over time.  So varying your exercise routines is good for promoting better muscle and overall fitness.  This new set will give you that variety.  In addition, of course, there are many more excellent sets in the Free Online Yoga Sets E-book, so do check those out as well to add to your routines.

How to Practice Yoga for Weight Loss:

Before I jump into the set please remember it is important to follow the guidelines for yoga that I have put together in the following 2 articles: 10 Important Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice and Essential Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Practice.  Also, please read the disclaimer (Ask your doctor, don’t sue me, etc. etc. ).  

Each yoga pose and exercise below has a link to the document with all the details about that technique, so you can read more about it by heading over to that article.  These poses and exercises are from across both great schools of yoga, hatha yoga as well as kundalini yoga, and you will find many of them used in the yoga sets and free online yoga classes that are offered here on the blog as well.  Also, I will be putting together another free online weight loss class as well, which will incorporate this set.

The way I want you to approach this set is as follows:

If you are very out of shape or obese, just start with the first 2 exercises for the first week.  Then move ahead and keep adding the following 2 exercises every week, till you are doing the entire set.  For those is better shape you can start with 4 or more exercises, as per your level, and keep adding the ones further down in time. 

So if you are obese, do exercises 1 and 2 for week 1; then do exercises 1, 2, 3 and 4 for week 2; then do exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 for week 3 and so on till you are doing the entire set.

Make sure you don’t over strain, and just keep at it consistently.  Again, let me remind you this set is comprised of yoga poses that have proven to be excellent for weight loss if done consistently over time.

You should be aiming to lose about 5 pounds per month.  This rate is very comfortable for the body and when lost in this gentle and safe manner, you will find that your body weight set point has realigned itself, and that with just a healthy diet you can keep the weight off (see part 1 for more on this).  In addition, to the weight loss you will also find yourself much healthier, happier and holier .

Below you find the Best Yoga for Weight Loss Set, complete with illustrations and practice tips. 

 

Best Yoga Set for Weight Loss:

 

Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #1: Yoga Single Leg Rotations:

The first exercise is from the popular video Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set and are the Single Leg Rotations.  The video is below for you as well, but I have also given you exercise details below that.  The first place to start a fitness routine is by strengthening the abdominal muscles and building your core strength.  This workout for the first week or two will prepare your body nicely for the rest of the weight loss exercises to come.

Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set

Demonstration of the Single Leg Rotations

1

1. Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise:  (Chakra Padasana)

a. Guided Instructions for Single Leg Rotations:

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Raise your right leg up to about 45 degrees.
  • Point your feet and toes away from you.
  • Do 2-10 rotations in 1 direction and then without resting rotate the same leg in the other direction (counter-clockwise).
  • Repeat with the left leg.

b. Duration: You can build up to 1 minute / leg.  You can start with 2-4 rotations per leg, per direction and build up from there.

c. Benefits:

  • Builds your Navel Center and strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.
  • Builds willpower and strength of character.
  • Loosens and opens up the hips. 

d. Practice Tips

  • To modify the exercise bend you knees or do fewer rotations at a stretch. 
  • Start with just normal breathing and only incorporate Breath of Fire once you feel ready. 
  • You can also take rest as needed.

Yoga Exercise #2 – Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose:

In case you thought you were done with the ab work, sorry you need to do another stomach exercise as well to ensure we get your back and core muscles strengthened .  So after you do your Single Leg Rotations, take a short break and then do Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose as described in that article.

Please feel free to use the single leg modification of this exercise as described in the article.  Also, you can take multiple breaks in between.  Try to complete 1 minute, by taking as many as 4-8 breaks in between as necessary.

Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose Illustration

yoga for weight loss illustration 1 

Weight Loss Yoga Pose #3 – Bhujanga Asana:

The next exercise that you should move onto is the famous Cobra Pose for Healthy Back.  This will start to work on your arms, shoulders and back, as well as other important body systems and internal organs.

Again, take breaks coming in and out of this pose.  For the purpose of this set, start with the version where you come into the raised position and hold it for some time.  Later as you get more fit, you can do the cobra push-ups, where you go up and down in cobra pose.  

Start with 4 rounds of 10-15 seconds each, and build up from there.

Cobra Pose Illustration

best yoga exercise to lose weight illustration 

Weight Loss Yoga Pose #4 – Locust Pose

Locust pose was recently added to our Online Hatha Yoga Picture Galleries, and just in time too, as it is needed for this set .  The Classical Hatha Yoga Pose – Locust Pose article will give you all the details for this excellent posture.

Again, use the single leg variation for beginner’s if you are just starting out and for the purpose of this set try to do 4 rounds, holding each round for 10-15 seconds each.  Build up from there.

Locust Pose Illustration

best yoga to lose weight illustration3

Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #5 -  Tree Pose

Hatha Yoga Tree Pose for Balance is the next posture of the set.  Here is a new illustration of this pose below, except I would like you to do the variation where you bring your hands above your head, as demonstrated by my son Shivum in the original article.  In that variation of the pose, again bring your hands together in Namaste Pose as shown, but now raise them above your head as straight as you can.

Be careful not to lose your balance with doing this posture and if you have trouble with it simply do Palm Tree Pose (Easy Yoga Pose for Stretching and Warming Up – Palm Tree Pose) instead.

You can do up to 1 minute per side, taking breaks in between as required.

Illustration of Palm Tree Yoga Pose

yoga weight loss illustration 4

Weight Loss Yoga Pose #6 – Forward Bend – Paschimothan Asana

It is now time to the pose which should be an integral part of every daily yoga practice.  This is important Forward Bend.  You will find the details in the following article: Best Hatha Yoga Pose for Healing.

It’s important to stretch only as far forward as you can comfortable doing.  If you practice this pose consistently you will see your flexibility improve steadily for sure.  You can do 2-4 rounds of this pose, holding each time for about 1 minute.

Illustration of the Paschimothan Yoga Asana

best yoga pose for weight loss illustration 5

Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #7 – Bow Pose

We are getting to slightly tougher poses now in the weight loss set.  These poses take more energy to do, but they will really help you burn fat and tone difficult regions of the body.  Make sure you use the beginner modifications for them if you are not ready to do the full versions. 

In addition, you can start to include Breath of Fire for these exercises as well.  Breath of Fire will help increase the benefits of these poses and also, increase heat in the body, open up your energy pathways and help burn up toxins and fat. 

The next exercise is Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose.  This exercise will work on your thighs, hips and abdomens and is good for weight loss.

You can do 1-2 minutes, taking breaks as required.

Illustration of Yoga Bow Pose

weight loss yoga pose picture

Weight Loss Yoga Posture #8 – Camel Pose

Another excellent pose for targeting the thigh area and the abdominal region is Camel Pose.  Again, remember to use Breath of Fire in order to maximize the benefits.

You will find details of this posture in the article, Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose for Optimal Health.  I have give both illustrations for this pose below, the modified version as well as the full version. 

Try to do 1-2 minutes with breaks in between.

 

Picture of Yoga Camel Pose (Beginner’s Version)

yoga picture for weight loss 6

 


Picture of Yoga Camel Pose (Full Version)

modified yoga for weight loss pic 7


Weight Loss Kundalini Yoga Pose #9 – Yoga Spinal Twists

The next pose will really bring the focus to your abdominal and stomach region and will work to tone all the muscles in this problem area.  It is also very good for the back and entire digestive system.  Note that for this exercise you are not using Breath of Fire, but instead will inhale as you twist to the left and then exhale as you twist right.

There are 2 good version of Spinal Twists, both will help you with burning calories, fat and toning the abs.  Below I give illustrations of the version where the hands are behind the back.  You will find the details for this exercise in the article, Lower Back Exercise – Yoga Spinal Twists.  

In the second version, which give you better range of motion, the hands are grasping the shoulder, with elbows up and at shoulder level.  The second version is described in the following article, where there is also a video demonstration for you.  It is called Yoga Twists and is exercise #4 of the great Spinal Warm Series.

1-3 minutes of this exercise with breaks as required will do you wonders.

Picture of Yoga Spinal Twist (Twist Left)

best yoga weight loss 8 picture

Picture of Yoga Spinal Twist (Twist Right)

illustrated yoga for weight loss 8


Weight Loss Yoga Pose #10 – Yoga Bridge Pose

The last pose in this set is Bridge Pose.  It is part of the excellent Beginner’s Morning Yoga Set (exercise #3), and also has a good variation for beginner’s who cannot come into the full posture.  This pose is great for your arms, shoulders, back, thighs and hips. 

You can come into the pose and hold for as long as comfortable and then take a break when necessary.  You can build up to 1-3 minutes.  Here is the video which has a demonstration of this pose.


Weight Loss Ending Yoga Pose #11 – Shav Asana – Corpse Pose

LI have been stressing the importance of this pose for quite some time and it is simply doing corpse pose at the end of your yoga set.  So, no matter how many of the above exercises you are doing, you should do Corpse Pose afterwords.  The more exercises you do, the more time you need to spend in this pose, allowing the body to assimilate the benefits of the exercises.  So if you do the entire set, you should do corpse pose for almost 10 minutes.  During this time, relax completely and let the body heal, evolve and reshape itself according to your desires.

Here are the details of how to practice this most important posture.  Best Yoga Exercise for Relaxation and Stress Relief.

Best Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss Summary:

This set will become part of the Free Online Yoga and Meditation Classes on the website.  In particular it will be part of an entire second program to help you achieve your weight loss goals.  Remember to follow the cautions I have laid out in the guideline articles and to check with your doctor prior to starting any new fitness regiment.  In addition, remember that safe and healthy weight loss is not achieved overnight, but if you commit yourself to a regular yoga practice, you will surely love the results you get, and best of all, not lose these results easily.

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What's Next:

Read Related Articles Below:


Related Posts:

  1. Basic Yoga Poses for Weight Loss – Part 2
  2. Online Yoga Exercises for Healthy Weight Loss – Book of Kundalini Yoga Poses and Kriyas
  3. Free Online Illustrated Kundalini Yoga Poses & Exercises E-Book
  4. Rapid Weight Loss Yoga Exercise Video
  5. Weight Loss Yoga Exercise Program Feedback



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