Belly fat is something nearly everybody has to battle at some point in their life. Even if you eat a balanced diet and work out regularly, getting a flat stomach can definitely take some time. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged because some easy yoga moves will work wonders on your midsection.
Yoga has been an effective form of exercise for over 5,000 years. WebMD describes yoga as a full body workout that not only tones and tightens muscles, but relaxes and calms the mind. With over 100 forms that range from simple to complex, anybody can incorporate this exercise program into your daily routine. Let’s take a look at 10 easy yoga poses that help tackle abdominal fat.
1. Board (Kumbhakasana) The board pose proves to be nearly a full body workout. This move focuses on the thighs, buttocks, shoulders, back, and the stubborn belly area.
How to do it: Step 1: Start in a pose similar to a push-up with your arms extended under your knees and hands positioned under your shoulders and arms. Step 2: Breathe in as you gaze ahead of your hands. Take care to keep your back and spine straight. Step 3: Keep your hands flat and your fingers spread as you pull in your abdominal muscles. Step 4: Remain in this position for 15-30 seconds before releasing to your knees. Step 5: Repeat this pose 5 times with a 15-second break in between.
2. Wind Easing Posture (Pavanamukthasan) The wind easing posture is a great pose for soothing lower back pain, strengthening your core, hips, and thighs. It has even been used to promote healthy pH levels and increase metabolism.
How to do it: Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs stretched out with your heels touching each other and your arms at your side. Step 2: Breathe out as you bend your knees as you move them toward your chest. Step 3: Hold your knees as you pull them closer into your body Step 4: Tighten your thighs and apply pressure to your abdominal muscles as you hold the position. Step 5: Hold the position for 60-90 seconds as you breathe deliberately and deeply. Step 6: Breathe out and release the knees as you allow your arms to rest on your side. Step 7: Repeat 5 times with a 15-second break between each pose.
3. Pontoon Posture (Naukasana) The pontoon pose focuses on the back and leg muscles which ultimately helps reduce stored fat in the waist.
How to do it: Step 1: Start in a lying position on your back with your legs stretched out and your arms down at your side. Step 2: Inhale as you lift your legs up while stretching your toes and feet. Your legs should remain straight. Step 3: Form a 45-degree angle with your body by reaching your arms toward your extended legs. Step 4: Breath normally as you hold the post for 15 seconds. Step 5: Release the pose and allow your body to rest for 15 seconds. Step 6: Repeat the pose 5 times with a rest in between each one.
4. Bow Posture (Dhanurasana) The bow posture is ideal for strengthening the core and tightening abdominal muscles. It offers a full body stretch that increases energy and promotes easy digestion.
How to do it: Step 1: Lie stomach down on the mat with your legs stretched out and your arms to your side. Step 2: Bend the knees upward while reaching your arms back to hold your ankles or feet. Step 3: Hold the position 15-30 seconds while breathing normally Step 4: Exhale and return to the lying position allowing your body to rest for 15 seconds. Step 5: Repeat 5 times with rest time in between each pose
5. Cobra Posture (Bhujang asana) The cobra pose strengthens the spine and upper body — it proves to be a multi-muscle workout. An article published on Healthy Food House states that this pose is not recommended for people who suffer from a hernia or back injury or women who are pregnant.
How to do it: Step 1: Start by lying stomach down on the mat. Step 2: Stretch your legs away from your body as you pull your arms in under your shoulders Step 3: Allow your toes and chin to touch the floor. Step 4: Breathe in deep and slow as you thrust your body chest upward. Step 5: Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds and slowly exhale. Step 6: Rest for 15 seconds. Step 7: Repeat 5 times with a break in between each pose.
6. Boat (Naukasana) Similar to the bow pose, the boat pose offers a workout for the belly, back, arms, and legs.
How to do it: Step 1: Start by lying on your back with your legs stretched and your arms at your side Step 2: Breathe in deeply as you lift your chest upward and raise your feet off the floor. Step 3: Keep your gaze forward to encourage alignment in your body. Step 4: Hold this pose as you inhale and exhale 10 times. Step 5: Repeat this pose 5 times with 15 seconds of rest in between.
7. Chair (Uthkatasana) The chair pose is a focused pose that strengthens the spine, pulls in the abs, and supports the hips and thighs. An article on The Health Site warns that you should not do this pose if you have a back or knee injury and should be avoided if you suffer from chronic headaches or insomnia.
How to do it: Step 1: Stand up straight with your hands in the Namaste position in front of you Step 2: Bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair Step 3: Raise your hands above your head. Step 4: Bend your torso inward as you go deeper into the position Step 5: Breathe normally as you hold the position for as long as you can.
8. Bridge (Setubandhasana) The bridge pose has a number of benefits including relief for stiff muscles, strengthening the hips and spine while also stretching the abdominal muscles to promote useful exercise. It has even been proven to help with high blood pressure, improve digestion and curb symptoms of menopause.
How to do it: Step 1: Start by lying on your back. Step 2: Exhale as you push off the floor with your feet. Step 3: Raise your body so that your buttocks and back are off the floor, but your neck remains down. Step 4: Push your hands down on the ground for additional support. Step 5: Hold the position for as long as you can.
9. Warrior 1 (Veerbhadrasana 1) Warrior one is a natural pose that gives your back a nice stretch as it strengthens your core, thighs, and buttocks. Not only does it help you reduce belly fat, but it is also a calming position that promotes clarity and peace.
How to do it: Step 1: Begin in a standing position with your feet brought together and your hands to your side Step 2: Extend your right leg forward as you extend your left leg backward similar to a lunge movement. Step 3: Slightly turn your midsection so that you are facing your bent right knee. Step 4: Give your body added support by slightly turning your left leg. Step 5: Exhale and you raise your body up from your knees. Step 6: Slowly stretch your arms upward as you bend your back to create a slight arch. Step 7: Remain in this position for 15-30 seconds as you breathe normally Step 8: Slowly break the pose by exhaling and straightening your right knee. Push off your right leg and allow yourself to come back gently into the original pose. Step 9: Repeat for the opposite leg.
10. Warrior 2 (Veerbhadrasana 2) Warrior 2 offers similar benefits as Warrior 1 and is best done in conjunction with the pose described above.
How to do it: Step 1: Follow the same steps as above, but rather than raising your hands above your head, extend them outward from your torso Step 2: Turn your head so that you face toward your right leg. Step 3: Repeat for the left leg.