Belly fat is a main problem for anybody who wants to lose weight or to have a strong and sculpted look for their abs. Many people find that it is easy to lose excess fat from other parts of the body and it is extremely difficult to remove the belly fat once it gets deposited. Sedentary lifestyle, eating junk foods, stressful work all these contribute to the increase in the waist size of a person. The larger the size of the abdomen the greater the health risk. People with belly fat are prone to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Health Risks Of Having Belly Fat
If you want to avoid the risks of fat belly and want to have a fit and healthy body you need to have a proper diet, proper rest and proper exercise. Yoga is a highly effective form of exercise which helps people to relax their body and to achieve flexibility in their body. Practicing specific yoga asana helps to reduce belly fat and achieve stronger looking abdominal muscles. People with pot belly are more prone to back injuries as well. You can avoid many health risks with the help of yoga asanas to reduce belly fat. It has been found that yoga asanas targeting the core or abdominal area are more effective in removing belly fat than the crunches. Having belly fat will affect the overall appearance of the person and this may affect the self-confidence of the person. Whether you want to reduce belly fat for health reasons or for achieving a better looking body, you can opt for the various yoga asanas to reduce belly fat. Here are some of the top yoga asanas to achieve flat looking belly. Both men and women can practice these yoga asanas to achieve the required result.
Starting The Yoga For Flat Abdomen
If you are new to yoga do not go too hard from the beginning. Start with simple yoga exercise poses and move on to more complex ones. Avoiding rushing or making any jerky movements while doing the asanas. It is best to start your yoga practice with the help of a trainer, however the following asanas are easy to understand and practice. You will be able to control your body and mind in a better way when you start to practice the asanas apart from being able to reduce the fat deposits in the belly.
Best Asanas To Reduce Belly Fat
Tadasana is one of the easy warm up pose in yoga. It makes your body ready for the other yoga poses by improving the blood circulation. The steps in this asana are as follows
- Stand with your feet together. Make sure that your big toes are in contact with each other. Stand upright, keeping the spine erect. Place the hands close to the body on either side with palms facing your body.
- Stretch out the palms to the front and keep them joined
- Inhaling deeply, raise your hands with the palms joined together above the head. Try to stretch the hands as much you can.
- Now lift your ankles and stand on your toes. Your eyes should be facing upwards towards the ceiling. If you feel that standing on toes is difficult for you, keep the feet flat on the ground.
- Keep your body in this position for 20 to 30 seconds. You can breathe normally during this position.
- After 20 seconds inhale deeply and slowly start exhaling. During exhaling relax and bring the feet back to the floor and bring your hands down.
In the beginning repeat the pose for at least 10 times, gradually increases the count when the body gets adjusted. Before attempting the repetition always relax for 10 seconds.
2. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar includes a cycle of 12 yoga exercises. Each yoga position in Surya Namaskar has a special impact on the body. The stretches and bends make your muscles stronger and keep your body in shape. The deep breathing helps in bringing a good level of oxygen to the body and helps in detoxification and burning of fat deposits in the body. The bends also helps in improving the digestive power and strengthening the abdominal muscles. They get maximum benefit from this yoga asana and practice it daily in the morning facing the sun. The steps of Surya Namaskar are as follows.
Step 1: Pranamasan (Prayer Pose)
Stand facing the sun in an erect posture, with palms joined together near the chest like doing a namaskar. Keep your feet together and breathe normally.
Step 2: Hasta Uttanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
Breathe in deeply and raise the hands upward, bend your body backward in an arched position with the face pointing towards the sky.
Step 3: Pada Hastasana (Hand To Foot Pose)
Exhale and bring the body from the arched position to bend down forward, till your head reaches your knee. Bring your hands to the floor and keep them flat on either side of the feet.
Step 4: Ashwa-Sanchalan Asana (Equestrian Pose)
Now inhale and stretch your left leg backwards and balance the leg on toes. The heels will be raised upwards and your left knee will be touching the floor. Bend the right leg and should touch your chest. Lift your head towards the sky and keep your arms on either side of the right leg with palms facing the floor.
Step 5: Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
Exhale and with the palms pushing the floor stretch your right leg back words to make it parallel with the left leg. Your toes and hands will be touching the ground and your hip should be raised. Keep your head bent downwards.
Step 6: Ashtanga Namaskar (Salute With Eight Parts)
Inhale and lower your hips from the earlier position. Now rest your chin and chest on the floor and raise your hip a little bit. Now the eight parts of the body will be touching the floor. They are: chest, chin, two hands, two knees and feet
Step 7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Exhale and lift the chest from the ground and arch back by keeping your arms bent at the elbow. Bent the head in backward position and face the sky.
Step 8 Parvatasana
Exhale and repeat the movement in step 5.
Step 9: Ashwa Sanchaln- Asana
Inhale and repeat the step by keeping the right leg backwards.
Step 10: Pada Hastasana
Exhale and repeat the step 3
Step 11: Hasta Uttanansana
Inhale and perform the movement in step 2
Step 12: Pranamasan
Keep the feet together and bring back the hands in namaskar position breathing normally.
The steps are now repeated using the other leg in steps 4 to 9. So, to complete one round of Suryanamaskar you need to do 24 yoga steps. It is ideal to perform 12 rounds to get best results. However, you need to start with 5-5 rounds and gradually increase the round over time. Sip water in between the repetitions if needed and relax for about 15 seconds between each round.
3. Pada Hasthasana (Standing Forward Bend, Or Hand To Foot Pose)
This is a complete exercise for your abdominal muscles. When your body bends forward in this pose, the abdomen gets compressed this helps in toning the muscles of the abdomen. This is especially powerful in removing belly fat.
- First, you have to stand in Tadasana with hands close to your body and feet together.
- Keep your spine erect
- Inhale deeply and lift the hands upwards
- Slowly bend forward exhaling so that your body will be parallel to floor, bend completely till your head touches your knees.
- Try to touch the floor with your palms facing the floor. Make sure that you do not bend your knees. Beginners can start with touching their ankles or toes.
- Hold your breath and tuck the tummy in. Try to remain in this position for one minute
- Exhale and slowly lift to body back to the original position.
You need to repeat this asana for 10 times, remember to take an interval of 10 seconds between the repetitions.
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This is a pose taken from Hatha yoga, which helps to stimulate the solar plexus center of the body. Apart from providing reduction of belly fat and toning of the muscles, this pose helps to stretch the hamstrings, hip and thigh muscles. This is a good yoga posture for people suffering from digestive disorders.
- Sit straight on the floor with your legs folded, one over the other as in Padmasana.
- Stretch out your legs to the front. Your toes should be pointing to the ceiling.
- Inhale deeply and raise your hands above your head without bending the elbows.
- Exhaling, bend forward from the hip and bring your hands down to touch the toes. Your head should be bent to touch the knees. Beginners may not be able to touch the toes at first, so try touching ankles or thighs instead.
- When you reach the toes, try to pull the toes towards you so that you will experience a stretch on the hamstrings.
- Breathing in and keeping the tummy tucked in, continue in the position for about one minute initially. Gradually increase the time to five minutes.
- Slowly bring your body up, exhaling and come back to the original Padmasana position or sitting position.
To get the best result, you need to repeat the asana at least 25 times. Start with 10 repetitions and slowly increase the number. Beginners can also try the simple version called the ‘Ardha Paschimottasana”. The steps are as said above and the difference is that you have to stretch one leg at a time.
5. Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
This pose is highly effective in preventing and relieving constipation and indigestion problems. In this posture, your knees will be exerting pressure on the abdomen, which triggers fat burning from the area. You need to remain in the position for at least one minute to get maximum benefit for reducing belly fat.
- Lie down on your back with arms resting close to your body on either side.
- Bend your knees and keep your feet close together on the floor.
- Take a deep breath. As you exhale slowly bring the bent knees towards your chest. Your thighs will be applying pressure on your abdomen. Clasp your knees with hands to keep it in position.
- Inhale and as you exhale lift your head slowly and bring your chin near to the knees.
- Remain in this position for about one minute. Breathe deeply
- Exhale slowly and allow your head to rest on the floor. Release your knees and keep your feet on the ground. Bring the hands down and keep it on the side of the body.
- Let your body relax in Savasana.
To reduce belly fat you need to repeat the pose for at least 10 times. Take 15 second intervals between the repetitions. The beginners can practice the above pose with a single leg at first.
6. Naukasana (Boat Pose)
If you practice this yoga posture on a regular basis, then you can be assured of enjoying a flatter belly in due course of time. You need to hold this posture for about a minute or so to help in proper contraction of the abdominal muscles. It is a perfect asana that will help you to tone your abs and enjoy a flatter ab.
- Lie flat on your back on the yoga mat with your toes facing the ceiling. Your palms must be resting flat on the ground on either side of your body.
- Take a deep breath inside. You must now lift your head, chest and legs off the ground and while doing this you have to exhale.
- Stretch your arms towards your legs so that they are parallel to the ground. Keep your fingers also stretched out like your toes.
- You need to gaze at your feet and hold this position for about 30 seconds initially. You will feel the contraction of the abdominal muscles. You can breathe normally in this pose.
- Once you become familiar with this pose you can extend the duration to 60 seconds or even more. Now you will have to slowly relax and come back to the original position after inhaling and exhaling deeply.
You need to start with 5 repeats of this asana initially and gradually build it up to 30 times. You can take a 15 to 20 second break after each repetition.
7. Ushtrasana (Camel Pose)
The camel pose is a counter to the boat pose. You will need to touch your ankles by stretching your back in this pose and this will help in easily toning your abs muscles. The tension that you experience in the body after doing the Naukasana will be eased with a good back stretch in this Ushtrasana.
- Sit in the Vajrasana position and slowly lift your body weight from the knees in such a manner that your entire weight is supported by the knees.
- Your heels should be at right angles to the ground.
- After inhaling and exhaling deeply one to two times, you should bend your back towards your feet. Take your hands behind your body and try to hold the ankles of your feet, one hand after the other.
- Now take your head also backwards till you experience a stretch in your belly.
- Hold in this position for about 20 to 30 seconds in the beginning and then try to hold this posture for a minute or even more. You should breathe normally in this posture.
- Now exhale deeply and relax slowly and then come back to the Vajrasana position.
8. Marjariasana (Cat Pose Or Cow Cat Pose)
This is yet another easy asana that will help you to melt the fat in the abdomen area by forcing the abdominal muscles to contract. It will not just help in decreasing your belly size, but will also help to improve your spine’s flexibility.
- From the Vajrasana position, you need to rise in such a way that your body is parallel to your yoga mat and the weight of your body rests on your palms and knees.
- Make sure that your knees are beneath your hips and your palms under the shoulder in this pose. The knees have to be spaced out a wee bit so that the weight of your body is evenly distributed on both the knees. Maintain a straight head pose.
- After a deep inhalation, lift your head in such a way that your body now takes a concave structure. For this, you need to push your back down while lifting your head.
- Make sure that you expand your abdominal area as mush as possible. Hold your breath and maintain this pose for about 30 seconds.
- Now exhale deeply and start to lower your head and this time your back must arch upwards. You need to tighten up your buttocks and abdomen firmly so that you experience contraction in the abdominal muscles. Your head’s position now should be between your hands.
- Take a deep breath and hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds initially and gradually work it up to 60 seconds.
- Now slowly exhale ad come back to Vajrasana position and relax for 15 seconds before repeating the next set.
You need to work on this pose for 10 times initially and then slowly build it up to 30 times in a day. Take a pause of 15 seconds between each repetition.
9. Uttanpadasana (Raised Foot Posture)
This is another yoga posture that will help in easily shedding off excess fat accumulated in your belly area, thighs and hips.
- Lie on your back on the yoga mat with stretched out legs and heels touching each other.
- Hands have to be placed on either side of the body with the palms resting on the ground.
- Take a deep breath and then exhale out slowly. Now tilt your back side slowly while moving your head backwards so that it touches the floor. Make sure that your palms are in its original position.
- Now take a deep breath in and raise your legs from the floor at a 45 degree angle from the floor. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds. Breathe normally during this pose.
- Now, after 30 seconds, exhale deeply and lift your legs further up so that it is at right angles to the floor. Now hold this pose for 30 seconds and breathe normally.
- Inhale deeply and bring your legs back to the initial position that is resting it back on the floor mat.
Repeat this posture for 10 times initially and as soon as you come to terms with this pose, you can extend it to 30 times a day with a 15 second pause after each repetition.
10. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
This is a pose that helps in giving a good stretch to your back, thighs, abdomen, arms as well as chest muscles. It will also help in improving your posture.
- Lie down on your chest or in a prone position on the yoga mat. Make sure that your legs are together and your feet are placed on the ground. Rest your hands on either side of the body with your palms facing the ground.
- After a deep exhalation, lift your leg backwards so that you’re your knees are in a position to touch your buttocks.
- You need to also lift your head and move it backwards.
- Now take your hand backwards and try to hold your ankles with your hands.
- Your body weight ahs to be supported by your abdomen. Take a deep breath in and try to lift your knees even higher.
- Hold this posture for about 15 to 20 seconds. Work on it gradually so that you can extend to hold on this posture for about 90 seconds.
- You should be breathing normally while holding this pose. Exhale out and then relax your body by bringing it to the original position.
Repeat this posture for 10 times a day during the initial stages and gradually build it up to 30 times a day with a 15 second break between each repetition.
11. Bhujangasana (Cobra Posture)
This asana will help in giving your abdomen a very good stretch. It is an asana that will help in strengthening your back muscles if it is done on a regular basis.
- Lie down with your chest hitting the yoga mat and with your legs slightly spaced out and your toes touching the floor.
- Keep the palms touching the floor and make sure that your hands are on either side of the body.
- Now move your palms so that it is beneath your shoulders.
- Now breathe in and lift your head and your chest from the mat and make sure that you are looking at the ceiling. Hold your buttocks firm and push your pubis towards the navel.
- Hold on to this pose for about 20 to 30 seconds and breathe normally during the pose.
- Now take a deep breath and now lift your body from the waist upward while bending backwards as much as possible.
- Now hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds while breathing normally.
- Exhale air and then bring your body back to the prone position.
Repeat this posture for 10 times in the beginning and then try to work it up to 30 times a day. You need to relax for 15 seconds after each repetition.
12. Relaxation Pose Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
This is the final pose that you should do after completing your yoga workout routine. It is an ideal pose that will help to relax your body after a strenuous workout.
- Lie with your back resting on the yoga mat.
- Keep your feet completely stretched out and place your hands on both sides of your body with your palms facing the ground.
- With closed eyes, breathe in and breathe out deeply while allowing your body to relax completely.
- You should lie down in this position as long as possible until your breathing returns to normal and your body is completely relaxed.
You should compliment these yogasanas with a healthy diet in order to achieve your goal of losing belly fat effectively and quickly. It is also important for you to make sure that your body is getting the adequate hours of rest and sleep for these yogasanas to be making a huge impact on your body fat. There is no doubt that practicing the above yoga poses everyday for a minimum of 5 to 6 days a week will help you to see a visible difference in your waistline within a few weeks. So, start practicing these yoga postures from today and easily shed off the excess fat baggage that you are carrying around your abdomen area.