In addition to being aesthetically uncomfortable, excess fat around the belly has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. That is why eliminating belly fat should be a priority when trying to stay healthy.
People often think that yoga or Pilates only works to improve flexibility, but did you know that they help strengthen our core, boost our metabolism and reduce belly fat?
Other research has shown that yoga can also improve eating patterns, sleeping habits, and mood – very important factors that can affect how much weight you can lose when you put your mind to it.
Practicing yoga is not a magic bullet, we already know that there is no short cut when it comes to losing weight. Belly fat is the easiest to gain and the hardest to lose. The secret is hard work and dedication.
Here are 5 yoga exercises that will help you reduce belly fat. Concentrate on the breath, take your time and relax.
1- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Dog Pose
This pose not only strengthens your abdominal muscles to help reduce belly fat, but it also helps strengthen your upper body.
- Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your hands placed under your shoulders.
- Your chin and toes should touch the ground.
- Inhale slowly and lift your chest up as you lean back.
- Depending on how strong you are, hold this pose for 15-30 seconds.
- Exhale slowly and bring your body back to the original position.
- Repeat the exercise 5 times resting 15 seconds between each one.
2- Naukasana – Boat pose
This yoga pose is very beneficial for attacking waist fat. It is very good for the abdomen and can help strengthen the muscles of the legs and back.
- Lie on your back with your legs together and extended.
- Inhale and begin to lift your legs making sure to maintain a straight posture (no knee flexion).
- Stretch your feet and try to raise your legs as high as you can.
- While in this position, keep your arms straight creating a 45-degree angle with your body.
- Breathe normally while holding this pose for 15 seconds.
- Repeat about 5 times with 15 seconds of rest between exercises.
3- Uttanasana – Standing clamp
This pose fully compresses the abdomen promoting fat burning and toning the abdomen.
- Stand with your feet together and your back straight.
- Inhaling deeply, raise your arms up.
- As you exhale, lean forward so that your body is parallel to the ground.
- Inhale, then exhale and bend forward fully. Try to touch the ground, with the palms of your hands without bending your knees. Beginners can try tapping the toes or ankles.
- Holding your breath, squeeze your abdomen and hold for 60-90 seconds.
- Exhale as you lift your body back to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise 10 times, with a 10-second interval between each repetition.
4- Dhanurasana – Bow pose
This pose strengthens the central abdominal area, while the rocking motion helps to massage and activate the digestive system.
- Begin by lying on your belly with your legs stretched out and your arms positioned next to your body.
- Then bend your knees until you can grab your ankles with your arms.
- As you inhale, lift your head and lean back. Raise your legs as high as possible.
- Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds. Breathe normally while holding the posture.
- Return to the starting position as you exhale.
- Repeat the exercise 5 times allowing 15 seconds of rest between each repetition.
5- Utthita Chaturanga Dandasana – Plank pose
In addition to toning and strengthening your shoulders, arms, thighs, and glutes, this pose will also help you burn belly fat.
- Lie on your stomach with your legs slightly apart and stretched out and your hands under your shoulders.
- Support your body weight on your hands and toes as you raise your body.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles so that your body forms a straight line.
- Hold the position for 15-30 seconds.
- Exhale as you support your body on your knees before returning to the starting position.
- Repeat this pose five 5 times resting at least 15 seconds between each pose.