10 Yoga Poses for Faster Weight Loss

Toned and strong muscles!

That’s right, these ten yoga poses for weight loss will help you achieve your fitness goals faster!

Most people don’t connect yoga with weight loss, yet if you step into an advanced class at a yoga studio you’ll see the crowd is full of toned, healthy individuals. This is because yoga, when done routinely and correctly, is actually an incredibly powerful weight-loss tool. You’ll notice your muscles burn and shake with energy as you hold a balanced position, which means that you’ve engaged the muscle, in much the same way you engage it while lifting weights. Furthermore, when you activate muscles, your body also speeds up your heart, burning calories and fat.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite yoga poses for weight loss. These poses engage large muscle groups that are very effective for burning calories. Some of them are also quite challenging, so they’ll help you build lean muscle throughout your body.

What you’ll need: Yoga mat

What to do:  Hold each move for 30 seconds, or to your comfort level. Complete all 10 moves then repeat 2-3 additional times.

1. The Chair

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The chair is like holding a squat, so it really gets your quads, hamstrings, and calves burning. And since it activates such large muscle groups, the chair pose is great for burning calories.

2. Warrior I

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The longer you hold warrior I pose, the more you will challenge your thighs. If you feel yourself shaking, that means it’s working!

3. Warrior II

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Warrior II is similar to Warrior I, except it also allows you to open to the side, stretching and elongating different areas. Try it out, and you will notice the subtle, but important difference.

4. Warrior III

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When you’re really ready for a challenge, try Warrior III. It looks simple, but it’s not. Trying to maintain your balance while holding the pose will require engaging all your leg, core, and back muscles. The first time you work on this pose, you might notice some serious soreness in your legs.

5. Plank Pose

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Planks will engage your abs, arms, and shoulders. Your body should be in a straight line, without sagging or raised hips, to maintain proper posture.

6. Boat Pose

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The boat pose requires strong abs to hold yourself up, so focus on keeping your legs and back straight to avoid straining.

7. Downward Dog

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The downward dog is great for stretching your legs and spine, so it’s one of the most popular positions. However, achieving and maintaining proper form will also engage different muscles throughout your body, burning calories and raising your heart rate.

8. Upward Dog

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Upward dog, or upward facing dog, is a great pose for engaging your upper body, since your arms, shoulders, and back will all need to work together. It’s also a great stretch for your abs and chest.

9. Eagle Pose

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The eagle pose targets the calf, while also engaging other leg muscles. You’ll also need to use your back and abs to keep your torso straight instead of leaning over.

10. Triangle Pose

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Our final weight loss yoga pose is the triangle pose. It’s a great aligning and stretching pose that works your entire body, including hips, thighs, calves, and shoulders.

Yoga is a great way to improve your fitness and kickstart weight loss. It can help you both tone and stretch tight muscles. Looking for different ways to incorporate yoga? Check out 7 Yoga Poses to Tone and Define Your Arms and 5 Yoga Poses for Runners.

 

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Sofia Lopez

Sofia received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She creates workouts and fitness challenges. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and listening to audiobooks from the exercise bike.

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30 Comments

    1. Deb, That’s really up to you and your comfort level. These moves are really good for balance as well. I’d shoot for 30 seconds. You can
      always decrease or increase the time. Do what feels right for you. 🙂

  1. If you can hold for 30 seconds then how many reps of each should you do? I’m so interested in starting yoga and would love to in the privacy of my own home. If you can share about how long and how many of each in order to be effective

    1. Ellen, Shoot for 4 reps of each pose. First do all the poses once, then repeat 3 times, or more if you like.

      1. Are you supposed to do it four times a day or within the week, I am interested in yoga and I heard it is good for your brain and muscles and me and my sister are going to be going on a diet this Sunday so please which us luck and thank you so much

  2. alot of these poses are incorp into my cool downs with some of my work outs..i love them…some i have not done , but am willing to try for sure.

  3. Very helpful indeed!! A combination of Yoga poses and breathing exercises can really boost weight loss, being a Yoga instructor I’ll definitely try to include some of these poses in my teaching schedule. Can you suggest me some really effective ones among these 10.
    Thanks.

    1. That’s awesome, Rachael! Chair pose, boat pose, and plank pose are especially effective for weight loss, especially when held for at least 30 seconds at a time.

  4. I have tried this for the first time and it is incredible how amazingly it engaged all my muscle groups. Thank you 🙂

  5. Is there something I could do in place of the ones that you need to lay or sit on the floor ? I can not get down and then back up .

  6. Hello ladies! I am an overweight 41 year old. What poses can I start with that does not worsen my left foot pain? I have arthritis.

    1. Elizabeth, Have you tried chair yoga? I would recommend starting there. Google, Chair Yoga videos, and you’re on your way. 🙂

  7. New to yoga…so when doing the poses such as warrior eagle and others do you alternate legs and do 4 reps on each leg?

  8. hi, I have a lower back pain but not severe. Can I practice all these poses? Does any of these poses are not recommended?

    1. Hi Yolanda,

      We definitely recommend getting approval from your doctor first, especially post-injury. Hope you recover quickly!

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