9 Top Yoga Poses for Weight Loss: Asanas to Help Burn Fat

Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, then you might be thinking of taking up running or another form of high intensity cardio exercise.

However have you considered yoga?

One of yoga’s many advantages is that it aids weight loss, it’s just a case of finding the perfect asanas!

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of the best nine yoga poses for weight loss:

Pose 1: Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

1. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Struggling to shed the pounds, particularly around your tummy? Plank Pose is a good asana to begin with.

Yoga experts describe how Plank Pose uses your abdominal muscles to the max!

By working your tummy muscles in this way, they’ll grow stronger, helping you to start shifting belly fat.

Plank is an isometric asana, as your body is held in one position throughout.

It’s this hold that causes your body to burn between two and five calories per minute, depending on your body weight.

Plus it gives your body a full stretch, ideal if you want to try asanas to help relieve back pain.

Yoga poses for weight loss to master at home

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Pose 2: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Yoga influencer, Adriene Mishler, explains how Bridge Pose stimulates the thyroid gland.

It’s this gland that she explains is responsible for “energizing and fueling your calorie burning fire”!

Bridge also has a number of other health boosting benefits, including improving digestion and increasing your flexibility.

Focusing on the one-legged variation of the posture, Tarun Shah, an experienced yoga teacher based in India, states:

If this pose is practiced regularly, it has the ability to reduce thyroid problems, relieves menopause symptoms, and helps with digestion.

It works wonder for people with asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis.

Watch Adriene Mishler demonstrate how to practice Setu Bandha Sarvangasana effectively:

YouTube video
Pose 3: Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)

3. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)

Shoulder Stand is not the easiest asana to master, so perhaps not one for beginners.

Yoga sequence software builder Tummee reminds yogis that the Shoulder Stand is known as the ‘mother of all yoga poses’.

Some even refer to it as “the ultimate yoga asana to shed fat and tone your body”.

Activating your core muscles, it helps shed fat around your middle and can even help to regulate your blood circulation.

It’s also thought, like the Bridge asana, that it stimulates the thyroid gland and improves your digestion.

Pose 4: Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

4. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

One way to lose weight is by boosting your metabolism. Extended Side Angle Pose can give it the kickstart it needs.

Erin Dewar, owner of The Middle Way Yoga, describes how the asana stimulates the abdominal organs.

It also gives the legs a good stretch and helps you increase your stamina — perfect if you’re stepping up your exercise regime.

In fact, research published in 2012, proved that leg-related poses such as Extended Side Angle Pose improve leg muscular strength.

Pose 5: Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

5. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward Dog has to be one of the best known yoga poses. It has so many benefits, includingbeing super powerful for improving your digestion.

Better digestion can be key to ensuring that your body absorbs the nutrients you need and can lead to healthier weight loss.

As you engage your abdominal muscles when practicing the pose, you’re helping to strengthen and tone your stomach.

It’s this movement that gets your digestive organs moving and allows your body to digest food more effectively.

Downward Dog, and yoga in general, can also stop food preoccupation that can develop as a result of weight management.

A study in 2010 looked at 50 adolescents aged between 11 and 16 years old with eating disorders.

Researchers found that obsessive concern about food was reduced after practicing.

Pose 6: Boat Pose (Navasana)

6. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Another metabolism boosting asana is the Boat Pose.

Navasana was used in a trial in 2016 that focused on abdominal obesity in 60 young women.

The women undertook a maximum of 42 hours of supervised yoga practice. Boat Pose was included to work on the core.

Results showed that abdominal circumference was significantly reduced, with improvements also noted in waist/hip ratio, body fat percentage and self-esteem.

It’s worth noting that none of the participants embarked on a low-calorie diet while taking part in the study.

Researchers concluded that yoga should be recommended as a technique for combating abdominal obesity.

Pose 7: Twisted Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

7. Twisted Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

If you’ve indulged a little too much lately and you’re hoping yoga can get you back on track, then try the Twisted Chair Pose.

It’s great for improving your digestion and helps with detoxification, ideal if you’re looking for a way to cleanse your body.

Parivrtta Utkatasana is also ideal for building strength and increasing flexibility in your spine.

Doctors are keen to highlight however that Parivrtta Utkatasana isn’t some magical fix!

It’s still important to eat a nutrient-rich diet and stay motivated to exercise regularly.

Pose 8: Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

8. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Yoga school, Diya Yoga, describes how Bow Pose is the most effective asana if you want to shed the pounds.

By creating the shape of a bow, the whole weight of your body comes to your abdomen, strengthening the muscles.

Dhanurasana is also thought to be powerful for anyone using yoga to reduce stress and anxiety.

It’s worth nothing that it could be uncomfortable for people with back pain, however there are other effective positions you can try.

Pose 9: Crow Pose (Bakasana)

9. Crow Pose (Bakasana)

Start burning fat and building lean muscle by mastering the Crow Pose.

This asana helps you tone the muscles in both your arms and your core, as you find balance and strength.

Yet if you’re wanting to lose weight and feel you’re bound to fail, Bakasana might offer you another unexpected benefit.

Be inspired by the insightful yoga reflections of content creator Yoga Merge:

Crow will give you the chance to attain a goal, overcome your fear and build great confidence. The pose requires focus and that focus can help you forget or release stress and worries.

Now you’re ready to get started, why not take a look at a few poses for beginners to ease you in!

Laura Smith


Laura Smith

Associate Editorial Manager

Specialist health & wellbeing writer, passionate about discovering new technologies & sharing the latest research.