Yoga Stomach Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat
Many people discount the power of yoga stomach exercises for reducing belly fat. However, there are many different poses that can be used for this very purpose. Not only will these exercises tone and strengthen the very core of your body, they will also improve your spiritual and emotional outlook. Additionally, with regular practice, yoga stomach exercises will reduce stress, which is a common cause of abdominal fat.
Cobra Pose - Bhujangasana
The cobra pose is one of the most basic yoga stomach exercises. It’s easy for anyone to perform, and is a great way to reduce abdominal fat. Used in conjunction with other yoga exercises, the cobra pose can be very beneficial. However, it should be avoided by anyone with a stiff or rigid back.
- Lay on the floor on your stomach. Place the hands on the floor beside the pectoral muscles.
- Place the hands with palms down under the shoulders. Inhale, and keeping your navel to the floor, lift the chest and head upwards while arching the back. Stretch the body as much as comfortably possible.
- Exhale while slowly lowering the upper body to the floor. Rest for a few seconds, and then repeat the exercise 2-5 times.
Bhujangasana offers many benefits, and like other yoga stomach exercises, is optimal for strengthening the core abdominal muscles and reducing belly fat. It also tones the ovaries, uterus, and liver, relieves menstrual irregularities, constipation, gas, and back aches caused by over exertion.
This pose is not recommended for sufferers of a hernia, peptic ulcer, hyperthyroid, or if you are pregnant. People with a stiff or injured back should also refrain from this pose. Do not perform this, or any other yoga stomach exercises, with jerky body movements. All poses should be performed fluidly to reduce the risk of injuring rigid muscles.
Child's Pose - Balasana
Balasana, or child’s pose, is another of the easiest yoga stomach exercises for beginners. The word “bala” is Sanskrit for child, and in this pose the practitioner curls up like a child. It is a simple exercise, but offers many benefits, particularly for the abdominal muscles.
- Kneel on the floor and sit on your heels, with arms hanging loosely at the sides.
- Inhale deeply, and while exhaling, bend forward until your chest is touching your thighs.
- Slide your arms back along the body and place the forehead on the floor. Beginners may need to place a pillow on the floor to rest their head upon.
- Hold the pose for at least one minute, until you feel all your tension release. Release and move slowly back to the starting position.
Balasana is one of the more indirect yoga stomach exercises. It stretches and massages the abdominal area, which improves circulation. It also relieves stress which is a key component in excess belly fat. Other benefits of this pose include relaxation, stretching of the lower back, shoulders, arms and spine.
This pose should be avoided by pregnant women, and anyone suffering from knee injuries or diarrhea. It can aggravate symptoms if performed incorrectly.
Yoga Stomach Exercises Tip
Performing cobra pose followed by child pose will result in balancing of the abdominal muscles and spine. This is the optimal way to perform yoga stomach exercises, particularly if you are a beginner. Try to practice the poses in this order: cobra pose, child pose, cat cow pose, and then reclining twist. Practiced daily, this routine will garner flat abs, and a toned, tightened center. Once you're more experienced, you can add a few more yoga stomach exercises to your regimen.
Cat Cow Pose - Marjarasana
Cat cow pose is sometimes referred to as simply the Cat pose. It’s another of the most effective yoga stomach exercises. It’s easily performed by beginners and leaves you feeling open and stretched. This is one of the few yoga stomach exercises that is safe for pregnant women. Move your body with your breath while performing this exercise for the best results.
- Begin on hands and knees, with wrists underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips. Keep the spine straight and the neck a natural extension of the spine.
- Inhale, curl the toes under, drop the belly, and lift your gaze to the ceiling. The movement in the spine should start from the tailbone, so the neck is the last part to move.
- Exhale, rest the tops of the feet on the floor, round the spine, drop the head, and drop the gaze to your navel.
- Repeat the cat/cow stretch on each inhale and exhale, moving the body with the breath. Continue for five breaths, moving the whole spine. After the final breath, return the starting position.
Cat cow pose is one of the best yoga stomach exercises for conditioning the abdominal muscles and increasing flexibility of the spine. It tones the abdominal wall and massages the internal organs. The exercise also helps clear out emotional baggage.
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Reclining Twist - Jathara Parivartanasana
Reclining twist pose is one of the most effective yoga stomach exercises. It is a great finishing pose, as it works out any kinks and knots. It’s a lying pose, which makes it accessible to nearly everyone, even if there is an excess of belly fat.
- Lie face up on the floor. Keep your feet pressed against the floor and bend the knees. Keep your feet shoulder width apart.
- Stretch your arms out to the sides, keeping them straight.
- Bring the right foot up and cross it over the left knee.
- Slowly roll the body to the left side, keeping the legs bent and the eyes focused upward toward the ceiling. A deep stretch through the hips should be felt at this point.
- Hold for 3-5 breaths, and then slowly return to the beginning position. Repeat on the other side of the body.
In addition to being one of the best yoga stomach exercises for strengthening and toning the abdomen, reclining twist also alleviates lower back pain, and relaxes the hips and neck. This pose also helps remedy gastritis, and can relieve sciatica. By performing this exercise at the end of your yoga stomach exercises routine, you restore balance to the nervous system, and release tension in the spine.
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