Many of us turn to yoga as a fun and gentle way to add movement into our day, but did you know that it can also help you to lose unwanted weight around the midline?
For this to happen, you’ll need to put a lot of focus on poses that strengthen the core whilst ensuring that you’re getting a bit of a cardio workout from your yoga practice. Remember that your body is beautiful, and whilst you may have a little unwanted tummy fat, you’ll gain so many benefits on top of this from regular practice.
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How can yoga help you lose belly fat?
A focus on poses that target the core area will help to strengthen the muscles in this area. We’ll look at some of these below.
Practicing yoga can promote better body awareness and allow you to be more in tune with what you need. When you pay attention to your body it’s easier to know when you’re full, when you need to move, etc.
Without further ado, here are some of the very best poses for core strength and slimming down your waist.
7 Belly-busting yoga poses for a slimmer waist
1. Cat-Cow pose
How to do it la postura gato-vaca
Starting on all floors - spine long and looking to the mat - take an inhale as you drop the belly, reaching the tailbone up towards the sky and looking forwards to find cow pose.
As you exhale, round the spine, starting at the tailbone, curling up through the back, and then coming to look between the hands or the knees to find cat pose.
Maintain a tight core throughout the movement and repeat 5-10 times.
2. Boat pose
A great pose to quickly start building heat in the core! Boat pose can feel like a swear word coming out of our yoga teacher’s mouth - but it’s fabulous for building strength.
How to do it la postura del barco
Start by sitting on your mat, then grab behind the knees as you start to lift your chest and lean slightly backward. From here, lift your feet so that your shins are parallel to the ground, then reach your arms straight in front and alongside your legs.
When you’re ready for a challenge, try dropping into low-boat pose and then coming back up to boat pose without bringing your feet, hands, or shoulders to the ground. To find low-boat pose, simply straighten the legs as you bring the feet and shoulders towards the ground, hover a couple of inches from the mat before returning to boat pose or lowering all the way down for a much-needed rest.
Hold boat pose for 3-5 long breaths. Long, we said looooong. You can do it!
3. Chair pose with twist
A 2-in-1 glute and core workout! What’s not to love? Or hate...that’s entirely possible too.
How to do it la postura de la silla
Start from standing with your feet together. Take an exhale into forward fold, and as you inhale draw the arms overhead and start lifting the chest.
From here, bend the knees as though you’re going to sit back on a chair and engage the arms as though you’re holding a large beach ball between the hands.
Look ahead, keep the chest open, and engage the core.
Stay for 2-3 breaths before coming back to the center and repeating on the other side.
4. Plank pose
Oh plank pose, how we despise you (but also love you for making our cores so wonderfully strong).
How to do it la plancha
Start on all fours, then step the feet back and straighten the knees.
Keep your hands under your shoulder and push into your arms as though you’re trying to push the ground away from you - were aiming to bring the shoulder blades apart.
Keep the core engaged!
Try holding plank pose for 60 seconds - if it’s too difficult you can bring the knees down to the floor.
5. Side plank pose
If you didn’t think that it could get worse than plank pose we’re here to tell you that, in fact, it does. Welcome to side plank.
How to do it la plancha lateral
Lay on your right side with your elbow underneath your shoulder and forearm pointing away from the body. From here lift the hips HIGH up to the sky, resting on the side of your right foot (or both feet, one in front of the other).
Push into the elbow to avoid sinking into the shoulder, and keep the core strong.
To make it easier you can keep the bottom leg bent - with the knee and calf resting on the floor behind you.
To make it more difficult, come up onto your right palm instead of the elbow.
Try to hold this pose for 1 minute before repeating it on the other side.
6. Locust pose
Locust pose is effective for strengthening the entire core in both the front and back body.
How to do it la postura de la langosta
Start by laying on your belly with your hands laying close to your sides. On an inhale lift your feet and chest away from the floor whilst reaching back towards your feet with your hands.
To make this pose harder, reach your hands in front of you.
Hold this pose for 2-3 big deep breaths and repeat it 3 times, taking a much-needed rest on the mat in between.
7. Dolphin pose
Se trata de una versión un poco más complicada de la postura del perro boca abajo, que es ideal para fortalecer el tronco y estirar los isquiotibiales.
How to do it la postura del delfín
Start from all fours, then walk the hands one palm print in front of your shoulders and tuck the toes. Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale lift your hips to the sky. It’s important to keep the spine straight so bend the knees as much as you need to allow this.
Bend one knee at a time for a few seconds to warm up the hamstrings, and then come down onto the forearms to find dolphin pose.
Stay here for as long as it feels good - for at least 3 breaths and up to around 1 minute.
Get creative in your yoga flow by incorporating a few of these belly-busting poses to help build core strength.
Keira is a mother, certified yoga teacher (250h vinyasa +30h yin yoga), yin yogaand writer from the UK, now living in France with her partner and 3 year old daughter. She loves sharing yoga as a way to connect with your body and relax.
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