Blog Mental Health Yoga Yoga Poses For Weight Loss: Get In Shape And Lose Belly Fat With These Simple Asanas

Yoga Poses For Weight Loss: Get In Shape And Lose Belly Fat With These Simple Asanas

yoga poses for weight loss

Have you ever considered using yoga poses for weight loss? If not, then it may be time you considered this form of exercise as a weight loss plan. In this article, we’re going to show you how to do yoga poses for weight loss, how to incorporate daily yoga poses for weight loss, and how you can achieve your body goals in a more relaxed but effective way.

Is Yoga Exercise?

This is a question that many people who are looking for a workout regimen find themselves asking. When we think of exercise, we often imagine high-intensity examples such as cardio, HIIT, or strength training.  However, yoga is often depicted as a slow and calm exercise without all the heart-pumping excitement and muscle-straining effects of other exercises.

At the same time, when yoga is discussed, it is often linked to benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, reducing inflammation, reducing chronic pain, helping fight against depression, promoting sleep, and generally improving your quality of life (2), but not necessarily weight loss, so it perhaps doesn’t strike you as a form of exercise.

Although yoga is a holistic system for health, yoga postures can be performed as part of an effective exercise regime. Not only does it help burn calories and build toned muscles, it is also a full-body workout that effectively combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation (2). This will fast-track you toward getting the body of your dreams while also helping with the aforementioned benefits such as fighting depression, improving sleep quality, and reducing stress and anxiety.

Read More: Power Yoga Calories Burned: De-Stress, Rediscover Your Balance, Lose Weight

Is Yoga Good For Weight Loss?

Yes, it is. As we have seen above, it’s a full-body workout that can help you get in shape in no time. If you are still unconvinced and are wondering how yoga can help you lose weight, here’s how:

  • Helps You Build Muscle

In a typical yoga class, you’re encouraged to find a comfortable stretch while holding several yoga asanas for a period of time. This puts strain on the muscles which break down and once they heal, they grow and give you defined muscle tone. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn in a day. This is because a single pound of muscle burns six to seven more calories in a day than the same amount of fat, so you end up using more food energy and losing weight (3).

  • Improves Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. This energy is then used by the body for its daily functions, including automatic tasks such as breathing and blinking to more difficult tasks such as doing chores, gardening, and working out.

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Those who have a faster metabolism burn calories at a quicker rate, while those with a slower metabolism tend to store more fat in the body and have a harder time losing weight (3). However, this is not the only way in which this exercise can lead to weight loss.

One study that was published in 2013 revealed that this practice may lead to weight loss through:

  • Heightening Mindfulness, Improving Mood, And Reducing Stress, Which May Help Reduce Food Intake

A calorie deficit is one of the best ways to induce weight loss.

  • Enhanced Awareness Of Satiety

When you are more connected to your body, you are less likely to overeat as you can easily realize when you feel full.

  • Reducing Back And Joint Pain

Yoga can be a low-intensity workout and does not put much strain on your back or joints, meaning that if you have any issues with these areas, it can help you heal or reduce discomfort, which allows you to indulge in other high-intensity calorie-burning exercises.

  • Energy Expenditure During Yoga Sessions

It is important to note that there are various types of yoga, some of which are more physically demanding than others. Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, and Bikram/hot yoga have some of the most physically demanding and best yoga poses for weight loss (2).

Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

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The Best Yoga Poses For Weight Loss For Beginners

If you are looking for yoga poses for weight loss to help you get started, here are some positions you can try to incorporate in your day-to-day routine (1).

Adho Mukha Svanasana aka Downward-Facing Dog

This is a fantastic workout that can help tone your whole body. It is more beneficial for your thighs and arms.

  1. Start on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  2. Curl your toes under and push back through your hands to lift your hips and straighten your legs.
  3. Allow your head to hang and move your shoulder blades away from your ears toward your hips. Engage your quadriceps strongly to take the burden of your body’s weight off your arms.
  4. Rotate your thighs inward, keep your tailbone high, and sink your heels toward the floor.
  5. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, breathing steadily, and release by exhaling and bending your knees, coming down to your hands and knees.
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Kumbhakasana aka the Plank

The plank is a great yoga weight loss workout that mostly targets the muscles in your core and arms.

  1. Start in the downward-facing dog position, and inhale and pull your torso forward until your torso and arms are parallel and perpendicular to the floor, respectively. Your shoulders should also be aligned above your wrists.
  2. Engage your abdominal muscles, ensuring that your body creates a straight line from ears to toes. 
  3. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, focusing on breathing steadily before releasing to the floor.

A more advanced variation of this exercise is the upward plank pose, where instead of facing the floor, the body faces upward, with the wrists aligned underneath the shoulders. 

Chaturanga Dandasana aka Four-Limbed Staff Pose

This yoga posture helps strengthen and tone your core, arms, shoulders, wrists, and back.

  1. From a traditional plank pose, inhale and push the shoulders forward, so your chest is slightly in front of your wrists and you are on the balls of your feet.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together (so they’re not sticking out), keep your core engaged, and slowly push your thighs and upper body up and away from the floor.
  3. Exhale and bend your elbows, keeping them squeezed into your sides as you lower your body to just a few inches above the floor.
  4. Breathe steadily as you hold this position for up to 30 seconds before you exhale and release. You can either lower down to the floor or return to the traditional plank position.

Utthita Parsvakonasana aka the Extended Side Angle Pose

This position is a yoga pose for weight loss that targets multiple muscles. The Utthita Parsvakonasana works the muscles in your legs, hips, and hamstrings, while also helping open your chest.

  1. Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart – approximately three to four feet in distance – and turn your right foot out. 
  2. Make sure that the heel of your left foot is in line with your right heel and then bend your right knee to a right angle.
  3. Slowly lower the right side of your body toward the top of your right thigh. Reach your right fingertips toward the ground in front of your right foot to help support and maintain your balance.
  4. Reach your left arm and fingertips up and over your head to feel a stretch on the left side of your body, starting from your toes and ending with your fingertips.
  5. Turn your head to look up toward the ceiling. 
  6. Stay here for up to 30 seconds while breathing normally until you exit the posture the same way you came in. Rest for a few breaths before repeating the movement on the other side.
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Virabhadrasana II aka Warrior II

This pose helps strengthen the legs and arms, tone the core muscles, and open the chest and shoulders.

  1. Start by standing on your mat, with your feet together and arms at your sides. On an exhale, step your left foot back approximately 3 to 4 feet.
  2. Place your left foot parallel to the short edge of your mat at a 90-degree angle and line up the heel of your right foot with the heel of your left foot.
  3. On an inhale, extend your arms out alongside your body, raising them parallel to the floor with your palms facing down.
  4. Bend deeply into your right knee, stacking it directly over your right ankle and bringing your right shin perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Turn your head to face the front of your mat. Your gaze is forward over the right hand.
  6. Both thighs are rotating outward.
  7. Engage your triceps to support your arms, your quadriceps to support your legs, and your belly to support your torso.
  8. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds before extending the front leg and lowering your arms.

Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

Read More: Is Yoga Or Pilates Better For Weight Loss: A Long-Standing Debate Put To Rest

Can Yoga Help You Lose Belly Fat?

Yes it can. When doing yoga poses for weight loss, belly fat is one of the main concerns that many people are often looking to combat. Thankfully, this exercise can help you get rid of abdominal fat and cultivate a slimmer waistline. According to Harvard Medical School, doing Hatha yoga, which is a relatively simple type of this exercise, can help you burn anything from 120 to 178 calories in 30 minutes, depending on how much you weigh (3).

Here are some easy yoga poses for weight loss that go a long way to reducing belly fat.

Chakrasana aka Wheel Pose

This stance should be included in your daily yoga poses for weight loss and belly fat loss as it targets and strengthens the core, arms, wrists, legs, shoulders, and chest. It also increases spine flexibility and elasticity.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees so the soles of your feet are on the floor and closer to your buttocks. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart.
  2. Place your hands next to your ears with your elbows pointing up, ensuring your fingers are spread wide with your fingertips pointing toward your shoulders.
  3. Press your feet into the mat, allowing the hips to lift up. Then press your palms down as you start to lift your head up off the mat. Keep pressing your feet and palms into the floor as you lift your hips and chest. Allow your head to come back gently, looking toward your hands. 
  4. Make sure you breathe comfortably. Take slow, deep breaths. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a full minute, or for as long as you feel comfortable.
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For a more advanced variation, you could try lifting one leg for the duration, then repeat the above motion and lift the other leg.

Bhujangasana Aka Cobra pose

While this position (and its many variations) are mostly used to help ease back pain, it can also help reduce belly fat as it targets several muscles, including those in your core, chest, shoulders, and glutes.

Here’s how to do the Bhujangasana yoga poses for weight loss:

  1. Start by lying down flat on your stomach. Place your palms flat on the ground directly under your shoulders with your elbows pointing up toward the ceiling and squeezed into your sides.
  2. Make sure that your neck is in a neutral position and your pubic bone is pressed to the floor.
  3. Inhale and lift your chest off the floor using your lower back muscles – there should be little weight in the palms. Roll your shoulders back and keep your lower ribs on the floor.
  4. Check your position to make sure your elbows are still attached to your sides and lift your chin with the gaze upwards. 
  5. Keep breathing steadily and remain in this position for up to 30 seconds before you come down on an exhale.

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Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

Dhanurasana Aka The Bow Pose

This is one of the most challenging but best yoga poses for weight loss on this list as it is essentially a full-body workout. The bow pose works the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, hamstrings, back, core, and everything in between.

Step-by-step instructions are as follows:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your hands at your sides, palms facing up and chin forward on the yoga mat.
  2. Exhale and bend your knees backward, bringing them as close to your butt as you can.
  3. Reach your hands back to hold around the outsides of your ankles.
  4. While keeping hold of your ankles, inhale and kick your thighs back and up to lift your heels. This will lift your chest up off the mat and into a deep backbend until you’re balancing only on your hips and lower abdomen. 
  5. Push your tailbone into the mat to help deepen the stretch and keep looking straight ahead. Avoid any discomfort in the lower back – if this occurs, come out of the pose carefully. 
  6. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and remember to breathe slowly and steadily.
  7. To release the pose, exhale, lower your head, chest, thighs, and feet back toward the mat, let go of your ankles, and return your hands to your side.
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Ustrasana Aka The Camel Pose

This is another yoga pose for weight loss that helps stretch your chest, abdomen, quads, and hip flexors, while also improving spinal flexibility. It will help you strengthen your back muscles and improve your posture (2).

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by kneeling on the mat with your knees hip-width apart and your thighs straight and perpendicular to the floor.
  2. Rest your hands on your lower back with your fingers pointing downward.
  3. Press your hips forward and allow your head to go back as you come into a backbend. Make sure to keep your chest lifted. You can hold the pose here, or see if you can reach your right hand to hold around your right heel, and your left hand around your left heel.
  4. Actively press your hips forward and chest up as you breathe steadily 
  5. Hold this pose for up to one minute.

Naukasana Aka The Boat Pose

This is an excellent core-strengthening workout that also works the hip flexors and adductor muscles. The step-by-step instructions are as follows:

  1. Start seated with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the mat. 
  2. Gently lean back as you lift your feet up off the mat, bringing your calves parallel to the floor. 
  3. Engage your core as you reach your arms forward to create a ‘boat’ shape. 
  4. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat.

To challenge yourself further, here is a more advanced version: 

  1. Repeat the above exercise, but straighten your legs in front of you to create a ‘V’ shape.
  2. Hold for 10-15 seconds before relaxing and repeat at least 3 times.
  3. Make sure to breathe normally, keeping your spine lengthened and core engaged.

The Bottom Line

Yoga poses for weight loss are a great way of taking the first step to better health and fitness. Unlike other forms of exercise, these are low-intensity workouts that can be done by anyone, regardless of age, weight, or fitness level. However, it should be noted that despite these positions being safer and low intensity, you should consult your doctor before you start so they can give you the go-ahead to start these daily yoga poses for weight loss, especially if you have a health condition.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. How is the practice of yoga related to weight status? Population-based findings from Project EAT-IV (2017,
  2. The Effect of Selected Yoga Postures in the Management of Obesity and Over Weight with the Special Reference to Body Mass Index (2019,
  3. Yoga for weight loss (2011,