The goal of losing weight is a worry for many, especially if you have tried countless methods like running, gyming or dieting and yet failed. Well, the most simple and easiest method is in front of you, yoga. Many underestimate the power of yoga, and fail to understand its great power. Yoga asanas can help you achieve wonders. Morning yoga has a various benefits, such as:
- Increased energy & vitality
- Enhanced flexibility & strength
- Reduced stress & anxiety
- Better digestion & metabolism
- Improved sleep quality
- Weight loss
- Improved focus
How do Yoga asanas aid weight loss?
Yoga asanas can aid in weight loss through various mechanisms. The postures practiced alongside its particular breathing technique can improve digestion and burn calories effectively. You can reap the benefit of weight loss if practiced regularly along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle sincerely. Here are some ways in which yoga asanas aid in weight loss:
- Calorie burn: The series of physical postures that are practiced, put a strain on our body and burn our calories.
- Enhanced muscle tone: Many yoga asanas are physically demanding and they stretch your muscles that help in toning and strengthening them.
- Improved digestion: The twists, bending and stretching that a few yoga asanas demand, can help stimulate digestion and improve metabolism.
- Reduced stress and emotional eating: Yoga is known for its stress-reducing benefits. By practicing yoga, you can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Best Morning Yoga poses for Weight loss
You may wonder as to which yoga asanas are to be practiced and how to do so. Here are a few yoga asanas that are the best poses for morning yoga that help in weight loss. However, remember to take guidance from a professional before practicing difficult postures, and be consistent.
1. Sun Salutation Pose - Surya Namaskara
Surya Namasakar or the Sun Salutation Pose is a series of 12 yoga poses that is practiced early in the morning, preferably on an empty stomach. Surya Namaskar has an avid effect on our cardiovascular muscles, and also a wave of positivity on our body and mind.
The steps to practice Surya Namaskar are as follows:
- Pranamasana: Begin by standing at the front of your mat with hands pressed together at your chest.
- Hasta Uttanasana: Inhale and lift your arms overhead, arching your back gently and extending your spine.
- Hasta Padasana: Exhale and bend forward from the hips, bringing your hands to the floor beside your feet.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Inhale and step your right leg back into a lunge position, with the right knee touching or hovering above the floor.
- Dandasana: Inhale and step your left leg back, aligning your body into a plank position. Your palms should be shoulder-width apart.
- Ashtanga Namaskara: Exhale and lower your knees, chest, and chin to the floor, keeping your hips slightly elevated. Your hands should be placed next to your chest, elbows bent, and close to your sides.
- Bhujangasana: Inhale and slide forward, raising your chest and head while keeping your palms rooted on the ground.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana: Exhale and lift your hips, press your palms into the floor, lengthen your spine, and engage your core and legs.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana: Inhale and step your right foot forward between your hands.
- Hasta Padasana: Exhale and bring your left foot forward, aligning it with your right foot.
- Hasta Uttanasana: Inhale and rise up, lifting your arms overhead and arching your back slightly.
- Pranamasana: Exhale and return to the starting position.
2. Warrior Pose- Virabhadrasana
Warrior Pose, also known as Virabhadrasana, is a powerful standing yoga pose that symbolizes strength, courage, and determination. There are three variations of Warrior Pose: Virabhadrasana I, Virabhadrasana II, and Virabhadrasana III. Each variation offers unique benefits and challenges. Here's an overview of Virabhadrasana I :
- Start in a standing position, then step your left foot back, keeping the feet about hip-width distance apart.
- Turn your left foot slightly outward and align your right heel with the center arch of your left foot.
- Bend your right knee, keeping it directly above your ankle, while straightening your left leg behind you.
- Raise your arms overhead, with your palms facing each other or pressed together.
- Keep your gaze forward or look up slightly.
- Warrior I strengthens the legs, stretches the hip flexors, opens the chest, and improves focus and balance.
3. Plank Pose - Phalakasana
Plank Pose, also known as Phalakasana, is a fundamental yoga pose that primarily targets the core muscles, but also engages the arms, shoulders, and legs. It is a powerful pose for building strength and stability throughout the body. Here's how to practice Plank Pose:
- Begin by coming onto all fours, aligning your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Step your feet back one at a time, extending your legs fully behind you. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.
- Press firmly through your palms, spreading your fingers wide for a strong foundation. Distribute your weight evenly between your hands and toes.
- Engage your core muscles by drawing your navel in towards your spine. This action helps stabilize your torso.
- Keep your neck in line with your spine, gazing slightly ahead of your fingertips.
- Maintain a steady and even breath throughout the pose, staying present and focused.
4. Bow Pose - Dhanurasana
Bow Pose, also known as Dhanurasana, is a backbend pose in yoga that resembles an archer's bow. It is an intermediate-level pose that opens the chest, stretches the front of the body, and engages the back muscles. Here's how to practice Bow Pose:
- Lie flat on your belly with your arms alongside your body and your legs extended.
- Bend your knees and reach your hands back to grasp your ankles.
- As you inhale, lift your chest and kick your feet into your hands, raising your thighs and chest off the ground. Your head will naturally lift as you lift your chest.
- Gently rock back and forth while balancing on your belly, using your breath to deepen the stretch.
- Keep your shoulder blades drawn towards each other to open the chest, and engage your glutes and back muscles to support the pose.
- Hold the pose for several breaths.
5. Bridge Pose - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, is a yoga pose that strengthens the back, glutes, and legs while opening the chest and shoulders. Here's how to practice Bridge Pose:
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart, flat on the mat. Keep your arms relaxed alongside your body, palms facing down.
- Press your feet firmly into the mat, engaging your glutes and legs.
- On an inhale, lift your hips off the mat, allowing your lower back, mid-back, and upper back to roll off the ground. Keep your shoulders grounded and your neck relaxed.
- Interlace your fingers beneath your body, pressing your forearms and hands into the mat for support.
- Lift your chest toward your chin, but avoid straining your neck. Keep a gentle gaze forward or toward your belly.
- Keep your thighs and feet parallel to each other, avoiding the tendency for your knees to splayed outward.
- Lengthen your tailbone toward your knees, maintaining a natural curve in your lower back.
- Hold the pose for several breaths, breathing deeply and evenly.
- Release the pose slowly.
6. Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana
Cobra Pose, also known as Bhujangasana, is a rejuvenating backbend pose in yoga. It is named after the cobra, as the pose resembles a cobra with its hood raised. Cobra Pose stretches and strengthens the muscles in the back, shoulders, and chest while promoting flexibility and spinal health. Here's how to practice Cobra Pose:
- Start by lying on your belly with your legs extended and the tops of your feet pressing into the mat.
- Place your hands on the mat directly under your shoulders, fingertips pointing forward.
- Engage your leg muscles and press the tops of your feet, thighs, and pelvis firmly into the mat.
- On an inhalation, slowly begin to lift your head, chest, and upper abdomen off the mat. Keep your elbows close to your body.
- Use the strength of your back muscles to continue lifting, while keeping your lower body grounded.
- Gently draw your shoulder blades back and down, broadening your collarbones and opening your chest.
- Allow your gaze to be forward or slightly upward, without straining your neck.
- Keep breathing deeply and steadily, maintaining the pose for a few breaths or longer if comfortable.
- To release, exhale as you slowly lower your chest and head back down to the mat.
7. Chair Pose - Utkatasana
Chair Pose, also known as Utkatasana, is a standing yoga pose that strengthens the legs, tones the glutes, and engages the core muscles. It is called Chair Pose because the posture resembles sitting in an imaginary chair. Here's how to practice Chair Pose:
- Begin by standing tall with your feet together or hip-width apart. Keep your arms alongside your body, palms facing inward.
- On an inhale, raise your arms straight overhead, reaching toward the ceiling, and actively engage your core muscles.
- As you exhale, begin to bend your knees and lower your hips as if you were sitting back into a chair.
- Keep your chest lifted and gaze forward.
- Distribute your weight evenly between your heels and the balls of your feet, ensuring that your knees stay aligned with your toes.
- Stay in the pose for several breaths, maintaining steady and even breathing.
- Release the pose slowly.
8. Bound Angle Pose - Konasana
Bound Angle Pose, also known as Baddha Konasana or Butterfly Pose, is a seated yoga pose that stretches the inner thighs, groin, and hips. It is called Bound Angle Pose because the feet are brought together and bound with the hands. Here's how to practice Bound Angle Pose:
- Start by sitting on the mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to open out to the sides.
- Ideally, bring your heels as close to your pelvis as comfortable. You can gently press the edges of your feet together and slide them closer to your pelvis for a deeper stretch.
- Hold onto your ankles or feet with your hands, interlacing your fingers or wrapping your hands around your toes.
- Sit up tall, lengthening your spine, and gently press your knees toward the ground.
- Relax your shoulders down and away from your ears. Keep your chest open and your gaze forward.
- Take deep breaths, allowing your body to relax and sink into the pose.
- Stay in the pose for several breaths, allowing the muscles to gradually release and open up.
- To release the pose, gently release your feet and extend your legs.
How to stay consistent with your morning yoga exercises for weight loss?
Staying consistent with your morning yoga exercises for weight loss requires commitment, motivation, and a few strategies to help you establish and maintain a routine. Here are some tips to help you stay consistent:
- Set a specific goal
- Create a realistic schedule
- Start with manageable goals
- Track your progress
- Practice self-compassion
By implementing these strategies and staying committed to your morning yoga routine, you can establish a consistent practice that supports your weight loss goals. Remember that consistency and patience are key in achieving long-term results.
Nutrition tips to compliment your morning yoga routine
Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting your morning yoga routine and overall well-being. Here are some nutrition tips to help you make the most out of your practice:
- Hydrate properly
- Eat a balanced breakfast
- Include pre-workout snacks
- Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods
- Prioritize protein for muscle recovery
- Consume healthy fats
- Mindful eating
Safety Tips and Precautions before you begin
Yoga is a great way to stay healthy and in shape. However, if you are new to yoga, you should consider the following tips and precautions:
- Consult a healthcare professional if you are pregnant or have any injuries.
- Find a qualified yoga instructor.
- Warm up properly.
- Use proper equipment.
- Wear comfortable clothing.
- Breathe mindfully.
- Respect your body limits.
- Practice sincerely and rest.
Practicing morning yoga can be extremely beneficial and aid in weight loss as we just read above. Morning yoga can help you be more calm, mindful and at peace. Practicing it regularly and sincerely will ensure you a new and greater outlook towards life.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best time for yoga in the morning?
The best time for yoga in the morning is between 4:00 am and 6:00 am, since you body is extremely flexible in these hours.
- Is 1 hour of yoga enough for weight loss?
Yes, yoga for one hour at least 3 times a week is ideal for weight loss.
- Should I eat or drink before morning yoga?
If you are practicing yoga right after you wake up, an empty stomach is preferred. However, if you are practicing yoga after a few hours of waking up, a light breakfast is recommended for the yoga asanas.
- Is yoga better than gym?
They both are beneficial on its own merit. Yoga is more focused on our internal organs and glands, they remove the toxins and give us a calm state of mind. Gym, on the other hand, is focused on strength and muscle toning of the body.