Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat
by Nithya Shrikant
Erroneous lifestyle, indulgence in junk, lack of exercises, and above all unpredictably high stress levels –all these give rise to a flabby tummy. The wider your abdomen, the higher the level of risk is. And, there are no shortcuts to get rid of the abdominal fat. Proper diet combined with a good fitness routine can definitely help you reduce this fat to a greater level. Yoga not only helps in lessening the abdominal fat, but also allows you to control your body and mind like never before thus, thwarting the risks associated with a wider abdomen.
1. Warm up with Tadasana (Mountain Pose):
- Stand with your feet flat, heels slightly spread out and big toes in contact with each other. Keep the spine erect, with hands on either side of your body, palms facing your body.
- Stretch your hands to the front and join the palms.
- Inhaling deeply, stretch your spine. Raising your folded hands up above your head, stretch as much as you can.
- Try lifting your ankle and standing on your toes, with 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.
The yoga poses for a flatter tummy:
2. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation):The picture given above gives you a comprehensive and vivid view of how one needs to perform this energetic yoga pose.
Start off slowly, with five rounds, increasing the counts gradually over time. Make sure that you keep a bottle of water with you. Take a sip after each repetition and relax for 15 seconds between repetitions so that you are not worn out.
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3. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend):
- Stand in Tadasana with your hands on either side of the body while feet rest together, heels touching each other.
- Keep your spine erect.
- Inhaling deeply, lift your hand upwards.
- As you exhale, bend forward in such a way that your body is parallel to the floor.
- Inhale and then exhaling, bend forward completely, body falling away from the hips.
- Try to touch the floor, with palms straight on the floor, without bending your knees. Beginners can try touching the toes or just 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.
- Exhaling, leave your toes, and lift your body to come back to Tadasana.
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend):
- 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.
- Exhaling, bend from your thighs forward. 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 5 minutes or if possible, more.
- Exhaling, bring your body upward, relieving your toes from your fingers to come back to the Sukhasana or Padmasana.
[ Read: Ramdev Yoga for Thyroid ]Variation:
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.
5. Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose):
- Lie down in supine position with arms beside your body and feet stretched out, heels touching each other.
- Bend your knees.
- Take in a deep breath and as you exhale, gradually bring the bent knees towards your chest, with thighs applying pressure on the abdomen. Hold the knees properly in place by clasping your hands underneath the thighs.
- Inhale again and as you exhale, lift your head allowing your chin to touch your knees.
- Hold the position for 60 to 90 seconds, while breathing deeply.
- Exhale slowly, and release your knees while allowing your head to rest on the floor. Bring your hands onto either side of your body, palms facing the ground.
- Relax in Savasana.
Those who are new to yoga can practice the pose with a single leg. Repeat the above outlined procedure with a single leg.
6. Naukasana (Boat Pose):
- Lie down on the yoga mat in supine position, legs stretched out, toes facing the ceiling, and palms resting on either side of your body facing the ground.
- Inhale deeply. As you exhale, lift your body from the ground – head, chest, and legs.
- Stretch out your arms so that they form a parallel line with your legs.
- Your fingers should be in the same line as the toes. Gaze towards the toes.
- As you hold the position, you should feel the abdominal muscles contracting.
- Breathing normally, hold the posture for 30 to 60 seconds to start with.
- Inhale and exhaling deeply, slowly relax and come back to supine position.
[ Read: Satyananda Yoga Nidra ]
7. Ushtrasana (Camel Pose):
- Sit in Vajrasana.
- Slowly, lift your body up from your knees in such a way that you are now sitting with your whole body weight supported by your knees.
- Your heels should make a perpendicular line with the ground.
- Inhale and exhaling deeply, arch your back. Bring your hands behind your body and try to hold your ankles, one by one.
- Tilt your head behind and stretch backwards until you experience a stretch in your belly.
- Hold the posture for 20 to 30 seconds to begin with, working your way to 60 seconds, breathing normally.
- Exhale and slowly relax.
- Come back to Vajrasana.
8. Uttanpadasana (Raised Foot Pose):
- Lie down on the mat with your back on the floor, legs stretched out and heels touching each other. Keep your hands on either side of your body, palms facing the ground.
- Inhale deeply and exhaling slowly, tilt your back while bringing your head backwards so that it touches the floor.
- Do not move your hands from their initial position. Breathe normally.
- Stretch to the maximum possible level, without hurting your back.
- Taking a deep inhalation, raise your legs from the floor, making a 45-degree angle with the floor.
- Hold the pose for a period of 15 to 30 seconds, breathing normally. Slowly workout to hold the posture for more than 60 seconds.
- Take a deep exhalation and lift your legs so that it makes a 90-degree angle with the floor. Breathing normally, hold the posture for 30 seconds.
- Inhaling deeply, bring your legs back gradually to initial position – the supine position.
9. Marjariasana (Cow Cat Pose or Cat Pose):
- Sit in Vajrasana.
- Breathing normally, arise from the position and allow your body to come parallel to the floor in such a way that your body rests on your knees and palms.
- While knees should be placed beneath your hips, palms go under your shoulders facing the floor. Keep the head straight. Space out the knees slightly so that your weight is spread out evenly.
- Taking a deep inhalation, lift your head while pushing your back down so that your body resembles a concave structure.
- Expand the abdominal region to the maximum possible level so as to suck in as much air as possible.
- Holding the breath, maintain the posture for about 15 to 30 seconds.
- Exhale deeply and lower the head, while arching your back upwards. Hold the buttocks and abdomen firm until you experience the contraction. Your head should be between your hands.
- Breathing deeply, hold the pose for about 15 to 30 seconds, working up to 60 to 90 seconds gradually.
- Exhale and slowly come back to Vajrasana. Relax for 15 seconds.
[ Read: Exercises To Reduce Belly Fat ]
10. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):
- Lie down on the mat in prone position, legs slightly spaced out, and toes touching the floor.
- Keep the hands on either side of the body, palms facing the floor.
- Bring your palms beneath your shoulders.
- Taking a deep inhalation slowly lift your chest and head off the floor, your gaze fixed on the ceiling. Tuck in your pubis towards your navel, whiling holding your buttocks firm.
- Hold the position for a period of 15 to 30 seconds, while breathing normally.
- Take a deep breath and try to lift your body from the waist upward, bending backward as much as possible. Nevertheless, make sure that you are not hurting your back in the process.
- Hold the posture for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing normally.
- Exhale and slowly bring your body down – chest, neck, and forehead – to return to the prone position. Stretch your arms slowly to the front.
Repeat this pose for 10 times to begin with, working up to 30 times gradually. Relax for 15 seconds after each repetition.
11. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
This pose does a wonderful job in toning your tummy. Along with offering a good stretch to your abdomen, back, thighs, arms, as well as chest, this pose also helps in improving your posture.
- Lie down in prone position on the mat, legs together while your hands rest on either side of your body, palms facing the floor.
- Taking a deep exhalation bend your knees so that it could touch your buttocks.
- Lift your head and bend backward.
- Bring your hands backward and try holding your ankles with your hands.
- Support your body weight with your abdomen. Taking a deep inhalation, try to lift your knees higher.
- Hold the posture for 15 to 30 seconds, working up gradually to 60 to 90 seconds. Breathe normally while holding the posture.
- Exhale and slowly relax, stretching out your body.
12. Relax with Shavasana (Corpse Pose):
You should allow your body to relax after the rigorous workout and the Corpse Pose is the ideal asana.
- Lie down in supine position.
- Keep your feet together or stretched out, as per your comfort level.
- Allow your hands to rest on either side of the body, palms facing the ground.
- Close your eyes.
- Inhale and exhale deeply, allowing your body to relax completely.
[ Read: Aerobics Exercise To Reduce Tummy ]
Belly fat is most prevalent these days thanks to the unhealthy food habits, long sitting hours, stressful life and lack of exercise. Belly fat besides making you unattractive is also a heads- up for you to start taking your body seriously to avoid heart stroke, diabetes etc. So it’s important to for you to loose that extra flab but in a natural way!!