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How to burn fat with yoga

Updated on May 8, 2015

Yoga is not all about toning, flexibility and inner calmness. It can also be a demanding practice that requires patience, energy and willpower. The best thing about yoga is that you can focus on a different outcome every day, and weight loss can be one of them.

The following exercises require a great deal of stamina that will automatically accelerate your heart rate. Once you get the hold of these challenging yoga poses, speed up the pace and repeat them more regularly. The higher the heart rate, the more fat you’ll burn.

1. Twisted Chair Pose

This pose is guaranteed to make you sweat! You’ll be using all your muscles, but the impact will be greater on your thighs, back and abdomen.

  • Stand straight with your feet together.
  • Slowly bend the knees, lowering your hips towards the floor. Keep the back straight.
  • Keep lowering yourself into an imaginable chair, but don’t overdo it.
  • Now place your palms together in prayer pose and bring them close to your chest.
  • Slowly rotate your back towards the left until you can rest the right elbow on your left knee.
  • Hold for five breaths and then repeat the pose on the other side.

2. Warrior 1 Pose

The many benefits of Warrior 1 make this pose one of the most challenging ones in yoga. Your shoulders, arms, thighs, abdomen and back will all get a long deep stretch, which will build stamina in your thighs and core muscles. This pose requires a good deal of balancing skills and strength, both of which contribute to burning fat.

  • Stand straight in Mountain pose.
  • Step your left foot back by approximately four feet. Rotate your left foot by 45 degrees.
  • Check that your hips are still facing forward and are parallel to your shoulders.
  • Inhale deeply and raise your arms towards the ceiling, keeping your shoulders down.
  • As you exhale, slowly bend your right knee.
  • Pull your stomach in and maintain a straight back.
  • Continue bending the knee slowly as you take slow deep breaths.
  • Lower your arms, place your hands on your hips and step your left leg forward to meet the right one.
  • Stand in Mountain Pose for a few breaths and then repeat the pose on the other side.

3. Down dog split

Downward facing dog is a pose that is widely practiced in yoga due to its wonderful benefits. If your suffer from a sore back after a day of sitting down at a desk, downward facing dog is a great way of stretching the spine and back muscles. The following exercise is a modified version of the downward facing dog. It entails more strength and intensity than the basic pose, which renders it an effective calorie burner.

  • Come on your hands and knees. Your knees should be directly under your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders.
  • Slowly lift your knees, so that your hips are reaching for the ceiling.
  • Try to straighten the knees, but it doesn’t matter if you haven’t achieved that level of flexibility yet. Keep your knees bent if need be, but keep pushing your tummy towards your thighs to feel the stretch in your legs.
  • Don’t forget the golden rule: Keep your back straight.
  • Now gently lift your right leg off the floor and extend it as far back as you can. Your heels must be facing the ceiling.
  • Hold for a 10 seconds.
  • Bring the leg back down, and repeat the same movement with the left leg.
  • Once you have stretched both legs, lower your knees on to the ground and rest in child’s pose.

4. Raised foot pose

This pose might look simple at first, but it is an intense one for the abdomen.

  • Lie on your back with your knees and feet together.
  • As the back of your head rests on the floor, allow your back to arch slightly.
  • Slowly raise your legs, keeping them together.
  • Try to raise them at a 90 degree angle, with the soles facing the ceiling. It doesn’t matter if you can’t keep them straight. Keep them bent and try to straighten them as you exhale.

5. Table pose

Table pose is one of the easiest poses in yoga. If practised regularly, it will reap great results for the spine, back muscles, thighs, arms and core strength.

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent.
  • Place your hands behind your back, elbows slightly bent and your fingers pointing towards your feet.
  • Raise your hips towards the ceiling until your body is straight – just like a table. Keep the shoulders rolled back
  • To increase the muscle intensity in your abdomen, imagine that you’re balancing a mug of hot water on your tummy.
  • Your body will shake at first, but that’s Ok. Hold for 20 seconds, and then gently lower your hips back on the ground.

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