There are several benefits to doing yoga but perhaps one that isn’t often highlighted is how this ancient technique can help you lose weight, and also tone and strengthen specific body parts like help you lose belly fat.
Certain yoga postures directly target belly fat and help build core strength too. Breathing exercise like kapalbhati, combined with some posture holding practices, can help trim your waistline.
Some asanas that target belly fat include:
Navkasana (boat pose)
Lie on your back, with your feet together and arms by your side; inhaling, lift both your hands up above your head. As you exhale, in a slow, simultaneous move, lift your legs and upper body off the floor, while keeping your arms parallel to the floor, along your lifted legs. Your entire body should be balancing on your buttocks as your abdominal muscles contract. Hold this posture for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
Uthidapadasana (90 degree leg raise)
Lie down on your back with your feet together and arms beside your thighs; first inhale deep, and as you exhale, lift both legs to a 90 degree angle, perpendicular to the floor. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 5-7 times.
Variations with leg raise at 60, 45 and 30 degrees can be practiced in a similar manner.
Chaturangadandasana (plank pose)
Sit in Vajrasana (on your heels, knees bent). Slowly bending forward, place your palms on the mat and stretch your legs, straightening your knees while keeping your body weight on your toes. Your heels and toes should be together, palms at shoulder width distance. Your entire body weight needs to be on your palms and toes. Make sure your shoulders are exactly above the wrist joint (your entire arm should be perpendicular to the floor) while your back, hips and legs are leveled to resemble a plank. Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 5-7 times.
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Note: Holding time of any posture can be increased or decreased depending on individual capacity.