Yoga For Weight Loss - Introduction

Yoga is a time-tested way to strengthen and tone the body, but can it also help you lose weight? Yes! In fact, yoga for weight loss is great because the asanas are safe and easy to practice.

They allow you to get into the hard-to-reach areas that other exercises don't reach, making them great for toning those tough spots (like your abs or thighs).

Yoga asanas can help you lose weight by helping you burn calories and fat. Also, yoga asanas are a great way to build strength and muscle mass while burning fat — which means they'll help you get slimmer faster! Best of all? Yoga poses can be done by anyone regardless of age or fitness level.

So whether you're young or old, slim or chubby – there's a variety of poses that will work just right for your body type.

11 Yoga Poses For Weight Loss that Actually Work

1. Kapalbhati (Skull Shining Breath) For Weight Loss

Kapalbhati is a breathing exercise that helps to burn fat and boost metabolism. It also helps to improve blood circulation, digestion, concentration and memory.

The Kapalbhati breath is an excellent yoga for weight loss. It helps to tone the abdominal muscles as well as balance your nervous system. This yoga technique can be performed by people of all ages and fitness levels with ease.

It’s important not to overdo this exercise because it can cause strain on the lower back if you’re not careful.

How to Practice Kapalbhati?

  • Sit on the mat with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Hold your toes and place them under the thighs.
  • Put your hands on the knees, palms facing down.
  • Inhale deeply through both nostrils.
  • Exhale forcefully through the nose and contract the abdominal muscles as much as possible.
  • Start with 12-15 counts per second, gradually increasing to 60 counts per second in a minute's time.
  • Exhale as long as you can, till you feel all air being pushed out.
  • Relax the rectus abdomen muscle while inhaling again then exhale forcefully once more and contract the abdominal muscles again.

Takeaway: Kapalbhati is an easy and effective breathing technique to help with weight loss.

a woman practicing kapalbhati

2. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) For Weight Loss

Bhujangasana is a great pose for weight loss. It is a simple pose that can be done at home, and it has several health benefits including weight loss & strengthening the spine.

The pose is also known as the Cobra Pose, where you will get down on all fours and then with your hands in front of you, press up into an arch with your back straight and head lifted up.

It may take some time to get used to this pose, but if you are really determined to lose weight it would be worth taking some time out each day or every other day to practice Bhujangasana for about 10-15 minutes at first before gradually building up until you can do it for 20 minutes or more twice daily.

How to Practice Bhujangasana?

  • Lying down on your stomach, place your palms under your shoulders with your fingers pointing forward.
  • Engage your abdomen as you press into your hands and raise your torso up, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Draw the shoulders away from the ears and gaze up or forward.
  • Hold for 15 seconds to 1 minute.
  • To release the pose, lower yourself back down onto the mat.

Takeaway: Bhujangasana can stretch out your neck and it's a good way to lose weight & warming up before more intense yoga postures.

a woman practicing cobra pose

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3. Sarvangasana For Weight Loss

Sarvangasana or the Shoulder Stand pose is a great asana to do when you want to lose weight. The pose stretches the spine, back and shoulders. It also helps relieve stress and insomnia. It helps with digestion, headaches, back pain and anxiety. Lastly, it can help improve depression symptoms too!

How to Practice Sarvangasana?

  • Start by lying down on your back.
  • Bend both knees and place them on the floor.
  • Keep the knees and hips together.
  • Keep your hands on the sides with palms facing downwards.
  • Take a deep breath. As you exhale, lift both legs from the floor by pressing your back against the ground.
  • Lift your legs till they are vertical to the ground. Try to maintain a 90-degree angle at the waist and hip joints.
  • To maintain balance, move your chin toward the chest as you lift up your legs.
  • Balance your weight mainly on the shoulders and upper back. Ensure that you do not strain your neck.

Takeaway: Practicing Sarvangasana regularly can help you reap its many health benefits including weight loss.

a woman practicing sarvangasana for weight loss

4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) For Weight Loss

Paschimottanasana is an excellent asana for weight loss. It stretches the spine and tones the lower back, abdomen, hips, thighs, knees and ankles.

It also helps to improve digestion by massaging the abdominal organs. The digestive process is very important for weight loss because it breaks down food in order to absorb nutrients from the food into our bodies so that we can gain energy for physical activities like exercising or practising yoga poses like Paschimottanasana (also known as seated forward bend).

Paschimottanasana also helps regulate blood pressure which makes it good for cardiovascular health since heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide today according to WHO (World Health Organization).

By stretching out your back muscles while sitting upright you can improve flexibility while reducing tension in this part of your body making it easier on yourself when performing other types of movements such as walking up stairs or reaching overhead without straining yourself unnecessarily due to an inflexible spine caused by hours spent hunched over at work all day long without taking any breaks during lunch break hour!

How to Practice Paschimottanasana?

  • Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Flex your feet and place your hands on either side of your hips to maintain a straight spine.
  • Inhale and lengthen the spine by lifting the breastbone up.
  • As you exhale, slightly round the spine and reach for your feet.
  • Continue to lengthen the spine as you bend forward.
  • Hold for five breaths once you achieve this pose.
  • Lift slowly out of the forward bend when complete.

Takeaway: Paschimottanasana is an excellent stretch for runners and cyclists and for those looking to tone their bodies & lose weight.

a woman performing paschimottanasana

5. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) For Weight Loss

Virabhadrasana is a yoga pose that strengthens the upper body and increases flexibility in the shoulders and hips. If you're looking to lose weight, it can be helpful to incorporate Virabhadrasana into your workout routine as often as possible.

How to Practice Virabhadrasana?

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes turned slightly inward toward each other.
  • Spread arms out to sides at shoulder height.
  • Bend both knees until thighs are parallel with the floor.
  • Lift the torso straight up so the arms stay parallel to one another and perpendicular to the floor throughout the movement.
  • Keep the chest open by drawing the shoulders back slightly while pressing them down away from the ears.
  • Keep your gaze forward or up at the ceiling; keep elbows bent at 90 degrees throughout the movement (but don't lock elbows!).

Takeaway: Virabadrasana is another great yoga posture for weight loss, practicing it regularly will help to get your body in shape by reducing extra fat.

virabhadrasana for weight loss

6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) For Weight Loss

This is a great pose to do if you want to lose weight. It helps strengthen your core and improves balance, which helps with overall wellness. It also improves flexibility in the hips and chest, as well as posture!

This asana is good for your lungs because it makes them breathe more deeply while they are in this position.

Steps to perform Trikonasana

  • Start standing in Tadasana, with your feet together and arms at your sides. Exhale and step your left foot back about 3 to 4 feet.
  • Turn your left heel slightly inwards so it is aligned with the arch of your right foot. The left toes are pointing out approximately 45 degrees from the centre line of your mat.
  • Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thigh muscles and turn your right thigh outward, so that the centre of the kneecap is in line with the centre of the ankle.
  • Exhale and angle your left foot out to 90 degrees, so that it forms a straight line parallel to the back edge of your mat.
  • Firmly press down across the ball mounds of all five toes and into the big toe mound on each foot.

Takeaway: Trikonasana is one of the easiest yoga postures that offers a number of benefits by improving flexibility & reducing weight.

Woman performing triangle pose

7. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) For Weight Loss

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is one of the most popular yoga poses. This asana stretches and opens up your chest, shoulders, hamstrings and calves.

This pose helps to improve posture by stretching out the spine. It also helps to relax the mind by focusing on breathing deeply into each breath while in this pose.

This asana is a good way to stretch the back muscles after sitting for long periods at a desk job or driving for hours on end without having much time for physical activity due to work responsibilities.

How to Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana?

The strengthening of arms, shoulders and legs will help with overall weight loss goals when practised regularly over time due to more efficient movement patterns being learned from practice sessions like these!

  • Begin in a standing position.
  • Move into a high lunge with the right leg forward.
  • Keep the back toes tucked under and lift the thigh of your back leg towards the ceiling.
  • Sink your hips down and bring your torso forward until it is in a parallel line to the floor. The front knee is over the heel, if possible. If not, keep the front knee slightly bent and contract the quadriceps to support that position.
  • Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your sides, and lower your head and torso toward the floor. Do this even if you need to walk your hands forward or take a seated position between fully extended arms.
  • Take five breaths here, letting each exhale drop you deeper into the posture while pressing through the feet and keeping length in the spine. You can also place your palms on blocks or books for additional support.

Takeaway: Downward Facing Dog pose refreshes and renews body and mind.

girl practicing adho mukha svanasana in garden

8. Natarajasana (Lord Of The Dance Pose) For Weight Loss

Natarajasana (Dancing Shiva Pose) is a challenging asana that requires you to balance on one leg while the other leg is raised and extended behind you. This creates an intense stretch in your calf muscles.

The posture also improves your flexibility and balance, which are essential for weight loss. If performed correctly, it can help improve both your posture as well as core strength.

How to Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana?

  • Stand up straight with your feet together, and then take a small hop back.
  • Bend both knees and squat down as far as you can, keeping your feet flat on the ground.
  • Keeping your arms by your side, bend your right knee and kick up with your right foot, aiming to put the sole of that foot against your left inner thigh.
  • At the same time, straighten both of your arms so that they're parallel to the ground in front of you. Keep them tight against your ears so that the holes and muscles in your armpits face forward.
  • Once you've balanced here for three breaths, place both palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.
  • As you exhale, reach up and over to the left, placing both hands on either side of your left foot. You will also sweep that leg out to the side slightly as you do this.
  • Let your chest slide down toward the inside of that left foot as much as possible, while holding this pose for another five breaths. Don't twist at all through the upper body — focus on stretching through the upper arms and shoulders instead.

Takeaway:  This yoga pose is one of several options for a good stretch if you want to have toned hips.

girl practicing natrajasana for weight loss

9. Ustrasana (Camel Posture) For Weight Loss

Ustrasana (Camel Pose) is a great asana for weight loss. It helps to stimulate the thyroid gland, which increases your metabolism and helps you lose more weight.

Among its many benefits, Camel Pose strengthens your back muscles, making it easier to lose weight in other places of your body as well.

Here's how to do Ustrasana

  • Lie on your belly with knees bent and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Place hands under shoulders with elbows pointing outward.
  • Spread fingers wide apart and palms facing up so that when you lift up into a backbend, there's no pressure on them at all.
ustrasana for weight loss

10. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) For Weight Loss

Dhanurasana is a backbend pose that helps to tone the abdominal muscles, strengthen the spine and improve digestion. It also improves blood circulation in the body and rejuvenates it, which helps in weight loss.

It tones the abdomen muscles and strengthens them by making them flexible and elastic. This prevents any kind of indigestion or constipation that may occur due to lack of movement as well as overeating during meals.

In addition to this, it also improves digestion by stimulating secretions from glands located along your digestive tract such as the gallbladder and pancreas which help break down food particles into nutrients for proper absorption into your bloodstream.

Here's how to do Ustrasana

  • Lie down on your stomach with your legs straight and toes outwards.
  • Bend your knees and bring your heels close to the pelvis as much as possible.
  • Hold the ankles of both feet with the hands by bending at the elbows and making sure the fingers point towards the respective feet.
  • Exhale, lift your chest off the floor and pull your legs up and back as far as you can.
  • Gently pull the legs higher towards the head while keeping your knees close together.
  • Ensure that you do not bend your knees but keep them straight.
  • Keep breathing deeply.
  • Once you are able to raise the legs completely (as shown in the image), take a few deep breaths and hold for 10-12 seconds (breathe normally).
  • Gently bring down the legs back to their original position while exhaling.
practicing dhanurasana for weight loss

11. Ardha Matsyendrasana For Weight Loss.

Ardha Matsyendrasana is an asana that focuses on improving your flexibility and balance. This asana can also help you increase your stamina and make your body stronger.

It's a good exercise to do before starting a new workout routine or if you're just getting started with yoga in general because it gives the muscles in the lower back and legs time to warm up before hitting them hard with other exercises.

You'll need mats for this exercise, so find something soft that's large enough for both of your feet together at once (about three feet wide). Make sure there are no obstructions within reach; this asana involves lying down flat on the ground while reaching toward someone standing over you, so if there's anything nearby that could trip them up (like tables or chairs), move those things away from where they'll be doing this pose near each other during practise sessions together!

To Perform Ardha Matsyendrasana:

  • Start by lying flat on your back with arms outstretched above your head so palms face upwards toward the ceiling - hold here for 3 deep breaths.
  • Next move into cobra pose by raising chest off the ground while simultaneously lowering hips until they almost touch the top surface - hold here again while breathing deeply until feeling comfortable.
  • Slowly roll onto one side so the stomach touches the floor; repeat the last two steps again until reaching the opposite side again - stay here at least 5 breaths before rolling back onto the first position again.
woman practicing ardha-matsyendrasana


Yoga is a great way to lose weight if you’re doing it consistently. However, you don’t need to practice it every day in order to see results. You should also incorporate some cardio into your routine and improve your diet. If you can do all of these things, you’ll be well on your way towards better health and happiness!