Yoga is a great way to change things up, tone your entire body and lose weight. If you are looking to focus on your waist and belly, even better! Yoga is the perfect way to trim down.
Here are my best tips for using yoga to reduce belly fat and trim your waist, including a few practice tips.
1. Create a healthy lifestyle
Yoga is more than just the static poses you do in class, known as asanas. The ideas of yoga encompass so much more than the physical practice. Yoga inspires you to practice an overall healthier lifestyle, one focused on becoming an amazing version of you. If trimming your waistline and reducing belly fat is part of that, yoga can be a great help!
2. Mindful eating
Some yogic-eating ideas: favour raw and fresh foods, reduce the amount of sugar and alcohol, choose local-grown and seasonal produce, eat slowly and a little less than you need to feel full, but not too little. You should always listen to your body when trying to change your eating habits. There is no point in going vegan when you feel that your body needs some meat every now and then just to function properly. You can tell that you're eating the right way when it makes you feel happy and balanced. Experiment and you're sure to find what's yours.
3. Improve the posture
Look at your whole body, not just your belly. If you round your upper back – and almost anyone who uses a computer, cooks, or drives a car does – then your belly is likely to stick out. Practice backbends and chest opening poses to help stretch and strengthen your upper back, and watch your “belly fat” magically disappear.
4. Reduce stress
It might surprise you, but stress is associated with larger waist size. This is because it increases the hormone cortisol, which is associated with weight gain around the belly. The other problem with stress is that it causes many people to overeat or reach for the snacks. Meditation and yoga are techniques that can help you reduce stress.
People sometimes wonder why waistline is so much harder to shrink than it is to lose weight in general. This is because waist size is linked to the hormones of cortisol and insulin, not just diet. If you understand this, you will realise that reducing stress can be a key factor in shrinking your waistline.
5. Engage your center
Ok, you may have heard this tip over and over again, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Best part is, it’s super easy!
During every yoga class, continuously keep drawing your belly to your spine. Engaging your core in every pose will help make your abs stronger and reduce fat around your belly.
6. Twisting poses
Twisting yoga poses massage inner muscles and organs, essentially wringing out toxins while bringing in a rush of fresh oxygen and nutrients. Yoga twists stimulate digestion and circulation. When you're in a twist, you're essentially compressing your digestive organs – placing them under weight.
This will cause a lack of circulation. When you release your twist there will be a rush or fresh blood that will flood your digestive organs. Fresh blood flow equals fresh oxygen and nutrients. Twisting will increase blood flow to the digestive organs, increasing their ability to function. Incorporating twists into your routine will not only aid your digestion, they will also sculpt your oblique muscles and tone your abdominals, creating a beautiful waistline.
7. Plank and low plank
Plank and low plank poses – these poses are a total-body fat burner. If you only do one core exercise a day, hold this one for one minute (or more if you can!). Make sure you’re actively pulling your core up and in to activate your transversus abdominus (low core). If you feel your low back collapsing, don’t be afraid to lower your knees – you’ll still get the core benefits and you’ll be protecting your lower back from injury.
8. Stretch the abdominal muscles
When you're practicing yoga you usually perform a lot of different stretching exercises involving different groups of muscles (abdominal and oblique muscles). They not only make your core strong but also stimulate blood flow in your abs, to help tighten and reduce your waistline.
Especially effective are backbends.
Or try Bow pose (Dhanurasana).
This pose can strengthen the abdominal muscles. Rocking back and forth in this pose will stimulate the digestive system and fight constipation, while allowing the body to stretch.
... and Wheel pose (Chakrasana).
This is ideal pose for strengthening the core and tightening abdominal muscles. It offers a full body stretch that increases energy and promotes digestion. Your body will generate a lot heat and that heat will burn fat.
9. Forward bends
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). This yoga pose will give completely compress the abdomen area by forwarding bending, which leads to burning of fat around waistline area. Thus, the compression given during this asana helps in toning the tummy and strengthen your back muscles.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend). This yoga pose is one of the elementary poses of Hatha Yoga, Along with burning of your belly fat and tummy toning also it stimulates the center of your solar plexus, the forward bend boosts your energy level and stretching to the hamstrings, thighs, as well as hips gives elasticity to your lower body parts.
10. Balancing poses
When practicing balancing poses, there are three main things to remember. The first is your drishti, or focal point. Second is your breath, steady and even throughout the entire pose. Third, and most important to this topic, is to keep your core engaged.
A strong core is instrumental to balancing poses. The best part is that the more you practice balancing poses, the stronger your core will be. And we all know that a strong core means a beautiful belly.
While the main goal of yoga may not be fitness or weight loss, it is certainly a great tool to keep your body toned and in shape.
And one last but important piece of advice:
Eat less sugar and fried foods and eat more fruits and vegetables. Drink less canned juices and fizzy drinks and drink more water. Take care of your body, it's the only pace you have to live.
I’d love to hear how these tips work for you and any other tips you have!