Trying to lose weight around your midsection, but don’t like the idea of high-intensity, high-impact workouts? These fat-burning yoga poses can help strengthen and tighten abdominal muscles, without killing yourself at the gym.
Before you begin, find a comfortable place with lots of room to move. Start with the mountain pose to help you to real and ground yourself.
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After you have stretched and warmed-up muscle groups, try these 10 belly fat-burning yoga postures for a core-focused yoga workout.
1. Skull Shining Breath
One of the six cleansing exercises of yoga, the skull shining breath (also known as Kapalbhati pranayama) engages your belly. If you’re not such a fan of high-intensity workouts, low-impact breathing exercises like skull shining breath (along with a clean diet), can help in reducing fat around your midsection.
- Sit in a comfortable position on the floor. Inhale, taking deep intentional breaths.
- Squeeze your stomach muscles when you exhale.
2. Upward Abdominal Lock
Also known as the Uddiyana Bandha, this move lifts and strengthens the abdominal muscles with the power of breathing. Aside from giving you a taut tummy, this pose increases circulation and improves digestion. It’s a powerful yoga pose more suited to advanced yoga students, so if you are a beginner, move slowly; do not overexert or strain.
3. The Cat-Cow
Not to be confused with cows or cats, this pose is super easy to do (and a ton of fun).
- The cat-cow begins on the floor on all fours, placing palms on the floor.
- Engage your pelvic floor by pressing up and out.
- Intentional breaths strengthen and define your core.
- Watch how it’s done here.
4. Upward Dog Stretch
Blast your belly fat with the upward dog stretch.
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Push up from the floor, straightening arms, but not locking elbows.
- Gently lift your torso and sternum off the floor.
- With shoulders rolled back, stretch and lengthen abdominals.
5. Plank Pose
- On the floor in plank position, places hands shoulder-width apart.
- Align your body for the best form.
- Straighten your arms, lifting your body off the floor.
- Bend your elbows, tucking them into your ribs.
- Stay in this position as long as you can.
- Find out how to do the plank pose here.
6. Boat Pose
Work your abs and glutes with the boat pose, which is also regularly used in many other exercise programs, like Pilates.
- Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor on your mat
- Keeping your spine straight, lean back slightly and lift your feet, bringing your shins parallel to the floor.
- Extend your arms out in front of you, palms up, so your body is now in the shape of a “V.” In a steady motion, move your knees from one side to the other.
- Take deep intentional breaths.
Find out how to do it here.
7. Side Plank
Ah, the side plank. This is a fun exercise that sculpts your obliques.
- In plank position, lift your body into a straight line.
- Turn to the right side, lifting one arm upwards, stacking your feet.
- Squeeze and lift.
- Repeat on the left side.
Expert yoga instructor, Adriene, shows you how.
8. Downward Facing Dog
A popular yoga pose, the downward-facing dog works wonders for belly fat.
- On the floor, on hands and knees, press hips up and extend heels to the floor, palms on the ground.
- Alternate lifting one leg to your nose (as far as you can).
- Repeat until your abs are feeling the burn; complete the exercise without straining.
Watch yoga expert Adriene do it here.
9. Crow Pose
Not for beginners, the crow pose requires balance and strength. Your entire core is engaged while you balance your knees on the back of your elbows. Sounds intense? If you are a beginner, seek a certified yoga instructor before attempting this move. Watch the video with yoga expert Adriene.
10. Scale Pose
Another advanced yoga pose, the scale pose lifts you off the floor, enlisting abdominals and core strength. With (lots of) practice, you will be able to do this pose in no time.
- Begin on the floor sitting cross-legged, in a lotus pose.
- With your fingers on the ground, lift your body in the air.
- You will feel the burn in your abs. Watch the video here.
Finally, cool down with the Mountain Pose. Always consult with a certified yoga instructor to ensure the correct form and technique.
About the Author: GINA MCKNIGHT