12 Best Yoga Asanas for Reducing Belly Fat
The modern lifestyle of the metros with erratic work hours has taken a toll on the health of one and all. The unhealthy eating habits combined with the stress and lack of proper exercise lead to collection of fat in the belly which in turn causes many ailments.
The bigger the size of the belly, the higher are the levels of health risk. Reducing the belly was never an easy task. A slight change in food habits combined with a fitness regime can help you reduce the belly fat.
Among different forms of exercise, Yoga is the most ancient and effective one in reducing belly fat. Here are 12 yoga asanas which will help you not only in reducing the belly fat, but also help you in maintaining a proper control over your body and mind.
1. Tadasana- The Mountain Pose
It is treated as a warm up pose in the beginning of any yoga session. It is a definite good start up asana for reducing the belly fat as it improves the blood circulation, thereby ensuring that your body is ready for the upcoming asanas.
- Stand on the ground with your feet flat, heels apart a little, and the toes touching each other.
- The spine should be erect with your arms on your sides, and the palms should face your body.
- Stretch the hands to the front, slowly bringing the palms close to each other.
- Stretch the spine inhaling deeply and raise the folded hands up above the head and stretch as much as you can.
- Lift the ankles and stand on your toes while looking at the ceiling. While breathing normally hold the pose for at least 10 seconds.
- Exhale slowly and relax the posture while bringing your feet back to the floor. Repeat the asana 10 times, gradually increasing the count.
2. Utkatasana- The Chair Pose
This asana helps in strengthening of the lower back muscles, spine muscles and the muscles of the chest and hips. Uthkatasana helps improve the concentration power as it requires high focus on the muscles being used.
- Stand straight with your palms joined and hands folded together in the namaskaar pose.
- Bend your knees at an angle that the thighs remain parallel to the floor. The position resembles as if one was sitting on a chair.
- Raise both the hands above the level of the head.
- Take a deep breath while you bend your torso slightly forward. Hold the position for a few seconds. Breathe normally while holding the position.
- While exhaling, straighten the knees and bring the hands down. Repeat the pose 5-10 times.
Caution – Not recommended for people with knee or back injury.
3. Dhanurasana- The Bow Pose
At the first glance the Dhanurasana may look easy, but it involves the entire abs to work out to reduce all the belly fat. It strengthens not only the back and abdominal muscles, but those of the arms and legs also.
- Lie down on the yoga mat with your face down.
- Inhaling slowly and deeply, raise both your hands and legs.
- Hold both your feet with your both hands.
- Hold the position for up to 30 seconds, gradually increasing the time to 90 seconds.
- Breathe normally while you hold the position.
- Exhale slowly while releasing the position.
4. NAUKASANA- The Boat Pose
Naukasana is a great pose to tone the abs and reduce all the belly fat. It strengthens the back and abdominal muscles and tones up the arms and legs.
- Lie flat on your back on the yoga mat with the feet together and arms beside the body.
- Breathe in. While exhaling lift your back off the floor.
- Raise your feet off the floor at an angle of 30 degrees. The arms should be straight and the fingers should be outstretched towards your toes.
- The eyes, fingers and toes all should fall in a straight line.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Exhaling slowly, release the pose and lie down on the mat.
- Repeat the pose for 10 times.
Caution- People with low blood pressure, migraines and severe headaches and spinal injury should avoid the asana. Pregnant women and women experiencing menstrual flow should avoid this asana as a strain is experienced in the belly muscles which contract during the asana.
5. Vrikshasana- The Tree Pose
This asana is one of the yoga asana that helps in maintaining balance and reducing the belly fat. It also helps in strengthening the abdominal muscles.
- Stand straight on the floor.
- Slowly raise the left foot and place it on the inside of the right thigh.
- Hold the hands together folded in the namaskaar pose.
- Breathe normally and hold the pose for about 60 seconds while smiling.
- While exhaling release the pose and stand straight again.
- Repeat the pose with the right leg.
6. Adho Mukha Svanasana- The Downward Facing Dog Pose
One of the Sun salutation poses, this is a wonderful asana for reducing the belly fat. It helps in balancing the body and working out the lower abdomen muscles and hence reducing the belly fat.
- Take the downward dog position using your hands and legs to raise the body above the floor.
- Inhale deeply while bending your right leg at the knee. Bring it forward towards the knee while exhaling.
- Position the leg at the back and repeat the process with the left leg.
- Repeat in a cycle of 10.
7. Bhujangasana- The Cobra Pose
This asana gives the abdomen muscles the much needed stretch for reducing the belly fat. It also strengthens the back muscles and helps in alleviating post partum pain.
- Lie down on the mat in the prone position that is the chest facing the floor. Legs should be slightly spaced and toes touching the floor.
- Keep the hands on the side of your body with palms down. Position the palms beneath the shoulders.
- Lift up your chest and head off the floor, while inhaling deeply.
- Look up at the ceiling and keep the balance of the buttocks firm.
- Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and breathe normally.
- While inhaling deeply, lift the body up from the waist, bending backwards.
- Hold this position for 30-40 seconds while breathing normally, gradually holding for 60 seconds or more.
- Exhaling, bring your body down slowly and return back to the original position.
- Repeat for 10 times working towards a target of 30. Do not forget to relax for 10-15 seconds between each repetition.
Caution- People suffering from back injury and pregnant women should not perform the Bhujhangasana.
8. Setubandhasana- The Bridge Pose
It is one of those asanas that works out the abdominal muscles, spine and the hip joints thereby helping in reducing the belly fat. It also helps relieve pain and discomfort and any kind of stiffness in the abdominal and spine regions.
- Lie on the yoga mat with your back flat. The feet must be flat too.
- Exhale deeply and push your body up the floor with your feet.
- The body should be raised in a manner that the neck and head must be flat and in line with the feet. While the remaining body is in the air.
- The hands must hold the ankles in this position.
- Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Exhale and release the hold, bringing the body flat down on the mat.
Caution- People with back and neck injury should avoid this asana.
9. Kumbhaksana- The Plank
It is one of the most effective yet simplest yoga asana. It not only works on the abs to reduce the belly fat but also tones your arms, shoulders, back, thighs and buttocks.
- Lie flat on our belly on the mat.
- The palms should be placed next to the face. Bend the feet in a manner that the toes push off the floor.
- Slowly pushing off the hands raise the buttocks into the air.
- This is the downward dog pose. Now inhale deeply and lower your body making the arms perpendicular to the floor.
- The shoulders and chest should be directly above the arms, while the fingers of your hand should be kept close.
- The belly muscles will tighten at this point helping in reducing the belly fat.
- Hold the position for some time.
- To release the position, exhale slowly and lower the torso to the floor.
Caution- People with back pain or shoulder injury must avoid doing this asana. People experiencing High Blood Pressure must not do this pose.
10. Ardha Purvottasana- The Reverse Table Top Pose
This is a very effective asana that exerts on the abs to balance the body. It is an equally effective asana to reduce the belly fat.
- Sit on the floor or yoga mat with your knees bent and feet kept flat.
- The arms need to be kept slightly behind your back.
- Slowly while inhaling deeply raise your body. The head and knees should be in a straight line.
- Breathing normally, one must hold the position for about 30 seconds.
- While exhaling, release the position. Repeat 10 times for better results.
11. Bitilasana- The Cow Pose
This cow pose is believed to work on the abs as hard as iron thus ensuring strengthening of the abs muscles, helping in reducing the belly fat.
- Kneel down on your yoga mat as in vajrasana.
- Rise from this position, breathing normally and let the body be parallel to the floor, while resting it on the knees and your palms.
- The knees must fall directly below the hips and the palms must face the floor and fall under the shoulders.
- The head must be kept straight.
- Inhale slowly and deeply and lift your head while pushing the back down making a concave curve.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds while breathing normally.
- Now exhale slowly and deep while lowering the head and arching the back upwards.
- The hips and abdomen should be kept firm to experience a contraction.
- Breathe deep at this point, holding on the position for at least 30 seconds. Gradually increase the time to 60 and 90 seconds.
- While exhaling release the pose and come back to the vjrasana pose.
- Repeat the asana 10-15 times with a 15 seconds relaxation each, for best results to reduce belly fat.
12. Vasisthasana- The Side Plank
The side plank comes as a variation to the originally traditional Khumbhakasana (The plank). This side plank is a great asana, to strengthen and tone the muscles of the arms, legs and belly. It is therefore helpful in reducing the belly fat.
- Take the original plank position on the mat and while inhaling deeply place the right foot on the edge of its ankle.
- Using the left hand, raise the body up in a manner that it is positioned sideways.
- The position of the left hand should be directly below the left shoulder to ensure maximum support for your body.
- The edge of the left foot at its ankle can be used for support.
- Place the right hand in a manner perpendicular to the body.
- Hold the pose for 10 seconds.
- Repeat on both sides and to release, return to the plank position.
I hope this collection of yoga asanas helps prove beneficial and effective in reducing the belly fat and in attaining the healthy body you always dreamt of. But care must be taken in practicing the asanas as per the instructions given to attain maximum benefit out of them. Also Sava asana (the corpse pose) must be practiced at the end of every 30 minute session, to relax the body and mind.