If you are just starting out and looking for weight loss yoga for beginners then you are in the right place. As well as improving flexibility and mental health, yoga can actually be a great way to lose weight and get fit.
Any beginner can use yoga to lose weight, you just need to adapt your practice, use the right poses and the right speed and you’l start seeing results.
Can You Actually Lose Weight With Yoga?
Yoga is good for most parts of physical health. Better flexibility i a given but if you tweak your practice a little and get your heart pumping it can also see the pounds falling off.
A major advantage of yoga over diets and other forms of exercise is that it helps you discover an amazing understanding of your body, how it works and how it is burning the calories.
How to tune your yoga practice for weight loss
Sure yoga is amazing for your flexibility but often the practice is slow and mindful. To start losing weight you need to make it more intense….Pump up the adrenaline a little.
3 Yoga Styles for Weight Loss
Some people might have other opinions but I think these are the three best yoga styles for weight loss:
- Ashtanga is a great way to build core strength and lose weight. Founded by K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga yoga synchronises breathing with poses. Ashtanga is very structured with only 5 different sets of ashtanga. Each set has a number of yoga poses that are done in sequence. You need to perfect series 1 before moving onto series 2 before moving onto series 3 etc….Be warned, Ashtanga yoga can be very intense but is a great way to lose weight and get fit if you aren’t too bothered about the spiritual side of yoga.
- Vinyasa yoga is a lot like Ashtanga in that sequences of yoga poses are strung together and synchronised with the breath. The difference is that the sequences are not set into series or anything, they just need to flow into each other. Vinyasa yoga can be as intense or as relaxing as you make it and is often split into levels to give you an idea of how strenuous or difficult the practice is going to be.
- Bikram yoga is a practice that has the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises every time. On top of the difficult series of 26 poses, Bikram yoga is practised in a hot room! Its a difficult practice and we would urge you as a beginner to try Vinyasa yoga first as it can be tweaked to your level of fitness and flexibility and isn’t quite as intense.
How often to practice
Like any workout you should practice as much as you can. You know you body, keep within your limits but you will need to practice at least twice a week to start seeing results.
The more you practice yoga, the more toned and flexible you will become and the easier some of the more challenging poses will become.
If you can spare an hour a day that would be ideal, some people practice 3 times a week for 45 minutes, others spare 10 minutes every day to practice.
Calories are calories so whether its the gym or yoga, it still takes time and effort so decide how much time you want to commit and stick to it.
Weight loss Yoga poses for beginners
So what poses should you include in your weight loss yoga?
Different yoga poses are designed for different areas of your body and mind but your body will look odd if you only exercise parts of it, everything would be out of balance.
For this reason you are better off going for a full body workout, incorporating poses that exercise your core, your legs and your arms.
Beginners Weight Loss Yoga Routine
Here is a quick routine that will give a beginner an all over body workout and should take around 20 minutes.
- Start to warm up your body. Yoga might seem non-strenous but it actually puts a fair bit of strain on your muscles and joints, you still need to do a little warming up first. Start on your hands and knees and arch your back upwards and look towards your navel….Hold for a couple seconds and then go the other way, look up and push your chest forward a little…Hold for a couple seconds and then arch your back again. Do this for a minute.
- Come back into a neutral position on your hands and knees and then stretch back into childs pose. hold here for a minute then get back on your hands and knees.
- Stretch back into downward dog. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Walk your feet forward to your mat and form a flat back with your legs straight and your finger tips touching the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and then fold forward and let your head drop.
- Bring yourself up to standing and stand in mountain pose for a few seconds. Stretch your arms up past your ears as high as they will go and then fold full forward again.
- Form a flat back again and hold for a few seconds.
- Put your hands on the floor and stretch back into downward dog again. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Swing forward into a plank position. Try to hold your plank position for 30 seconds.
- Stretch back into downward dog and hold for 10 seconds.
- Swing forward into plank position and try to hold for 10 seconds.
- Lower yourself slowly onto your belly and form a mini cobra. Hold for 5 seconds.
- stretch back into downward dog and hold for a few seconds.
- Swing back to plank pose and hold for 20 seconds.
- Lift on leg an inch off the floor whilst still in plank position. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Put your leg down and lift the other leg an inch off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Stretch back up to downward dog and hold for a few seconds.
- Still in downward dog, lift your left leg straight in the air (or as high as you can get it) Then pull the left leg up to your chest as you hunch your back. Try to get your left foot up near your hands and then raise yourself up into warrior 2 pose.
- Hold strong in warrior 2 for 30 seconds.
- From warrior 2 take your left elbow down to your left knee and then take your right arm straight over your head, past your ear. Hold for 20 seconds.
- Go back up to warrior 2 and hold for 20 seconds.
- Straighten your left knee and reach into triangle pose….You can use a block for this or a chair if you can’t get your hand all the way down. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Come back up to a vertical position with both legs straight.
- Reach down to your left leg with both hands and try to touch your shin with your forehead…You probably wont be able to, but it gives you an idea of which way to stretch. Hold this for 5 seconds.
- Come back up to warrior 2. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Put both hands on the floor and step back to a plank position. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Stretch back to downward dog. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat above steps for right leg!
- Stretch back to downward dog.
- Walk your feet forward and come to a standing position. Hold in mountain pose for a few seconds.
- Drop to chair pose raising your hands up and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 5 times.
- Step back to plank position, one leg at a time. Hold the plank for a 5 seconds.
- Lower yourself onto your belly slowly.
- Turn over and take happy baby pose, lie on your back with your bent knees in the air, reach between your knees with your hands and grab the outsides of each foot. Hold for a few seconds.
- Lie on your back and put one knee over the other and drop to that side, twisting your back. Swap legs and twist to the other side.
- Lie on your back and let everything drop. Let your hands fall to the side and let your feet drop sideways and just lie on your back for 1 minute.
And that’s it, a quick workout you can try and tweak as much as you like. Should take you about 20 to 25 minutes and you can add more core or other vinyasa as you see fit.