An erroneous lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and high stress levels – all of these give rise to a flabby tummy.
The wider your abdomen, the higher is the level of risk. And, there are no shortcuts to get rid of abdominal fat. Proper diet, combined with a good fitness routine, can definitely help you reduce belly fat to a large extent.
This is where yoga comes into play. It not only helps decrease abdominal fat, but also allows you to control your body and mind like never before!
Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
- Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
- Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
- Naukasana (Boat Pose)
- Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
- Uttanpadasana (Raised Foot Pose)
- Marjariasana (Cow Cat Pose or Cat Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana is an ideal warm-up pose. It improves the circulation of blood, thereby ensuring that your body is ready for the other poses in store.
How To Do
- Stand with your feet flat, heels slightly spread out, and the big toes of your feet in contact with each other. Keep the spine erect with hands on both sides and palms facing your body.
- Stretch your hands to the front and bring the palms close to each other.
- Inhaling deeply, stretch your spine. Raising your folded hands up above your head, stretch as much as you can.
- Try lifting your ankles and standing on your toes, with the eyes facing the ceiling. If you cannot stand on your toes, you can keep your feet flat on the ground, while your eyes face the ceiling.
- Breathe normally and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Inhale deeply, and while exhaling, slowly relax and bring your feet back to the floor.
- Repeat the asana 10 times, increasing the count gradually. Relax for 10 seconds before you attempt the next repetition. The picture given above is a variation for beginners.
The mountain pose has variations in terms of positioning the arms. You can stretch your arms upward, parallel to each other, and perpendicular to the floor.
- Improves your posture
- Firms the abdomen and buttocks
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Relieves sciatica (pain that affects the back, hips, and the outer side of the legs)
People suffering from low blood pressure, insomnia, and headache must not perform this pose.
2. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar is a confluence of twelve yoga positions, each of which has a major impact on the entire body. The forward and backward bends allow stretches, while the deep breathing performed during the act helps in detoxification. Practice Surya Namaskar daily in the morning, facing the sun, for reaping the maximum benefits.
How To Do
- Stand with both your feet together, expand your chest, and relax your shoulders.
- As you inhale, lift both your arms from the sides. And as you exhale, bring your arms to the front of your chest and keep them in the prayer position.
- Inhale, raise your hands, and stretch backwards.
- Exhale, bend forward, and try to touch your knees with your forehead.
- Bending your left knee, stretch your right leg backward, with your palms placed on the floor.
- Hold your breath and stretch your left leg as well. This is called the plank posture.
- Come down to the floor holding your spine out. Here, your knees, chest, and chin must be in contact with the floor.
- Inhale, stretch forward, and bend backwards.
- Keeping your hands fixed on the floor, exhale and lean forward.
- As you inhale, bring your right leg forward, in between your elbows and stretch upwards.
- Bring your left leg forward and inhale deeply.
- Stretch back from the waist.
- Return to the initial position.
Here Is The Video – Surya Namaskar
From head to toe, all parts of the body and the internal organs are benefitted by this pose. Regularly practicing Surya Namaskar keeps you healthy and energized.
Women must not perform Surya Namaskar during menstruation. Pregnant women must check with their doctor before performing this asana.
People with spinal problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases must not perform this pose.
3. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
The abdomen gets completely compressed while bending forward, which leads to burning of fat. Thus, the compression helps in toning down the tummy.
How To Do
- Stand in the Tadasana pose, with your hands on either side of the body while your feet rest together, with the heels touching each other.
- Keep your spine erect.
- Inhaling deeply, lift your hand upwards.
- As you exhale, bend forward such that your body is parallel to the floor.
- Inhale, then exhale, and bend forward completely, with your body falling away from the hips.
- Try to touch the floor, with palms straight on the floor, and without bending your knees. Beginners can try touching the toes or just the ankles to start with, working your way to the floor.
- Holding your breath, tuck your tummy in, and hold the position for 60 to 90 seconds.
- Exhale, leave your toes, and lift your body to come back to the Tadasana pose.
- Repeat the asana 10 times, leaving an interval of 10 seconds between two repetitions.
Here Is The Video – Padahastasana / Standing Forward Bend
Padahastasana has variations in terms of holding your toes, placing your hands beneath the balls of your feet, or simply holding your ankles or shins.
- Improves digestion, as your abdominal muscles are toned
- Strengthens the wrist joints
- Relieves mental and physical exhaustion
Before performing Padahastasana, you need to master Uttanasana, which is a less challenging forward-bending pose. Also, people with spinal disc disorders must refrain from performing this pose.
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This is one of the basic poses of Hatha Yoga, and it stimulates the center of your solar plexus. Along with acting as a tummy toning pose, the forward bend also offers an admirable level of stretch to the hamstrings, thighs, as well as hips. It is also ideal for those who are prone to digestive disorders.
How To Do
- Sit on the floor in Sukahasana or Padmasana.
- Keep your spine erect, and stretch your legs out to your front. Your feet should point to the ceiling.
- Inhaling deeply, stretch your hands above your head without bending your elbows. Your gaze should follow your hands. Stretch your spine to the maximum.
- Exhale, and bend forward from your thighs. Bring your hands down and try to touch your toes. Your head should rest on your knees. Beginners can try touching their ankles or just thighs as a starter.
- Once you touch your toes, hold them and try pulling them backward till you experience the stretch on your hamstrings.
- Breathing in, hold your tummy, and try to retain the position for 60 to 90 seconds initially. Slowly, increase the time of holding the position for five minutes, or if possible, more.
- Exhaling, bring your body upward, relieving your toes from your fingers to come back to the Sukhasana or Padmasana pose.
- Repeat the asana 10 times to begin with, working up to 25 times or more.
Here Is The Video – Paschimottanasana / Seated Forward Bend
Those who are new to the pose can try Ardha Paschimottanasana. The process is the same as outlined above. The only variation is that you have to stretch out only one leg at a time.
- Relieves stress
- Helps in the reduction of fat in the abdomen
- Balances menstrual cycles
People who have spinal disc disorders, or had abdominal surgery recently must not perform this pose. Even individuals suffering from asthma and diarrhea must stay away from this pose.