Yoga is a great way to tone and condition the entire body. By holding static poses, you can use your own body weight to work your muscles in ways you may not in a traditional gym setting. Perform this free yoga routine a few times a week in addition to a healthy diet and cardio plan and start your body transformation.
Free Yoga Routine for Losing Weight
Make sure you have plenty of space to move. Wear comfortable clothing and utilize blocks if needed to help modify the poses.
Downward Facing Dog to Plank
Plank pose focuses on your core, helping to tone and strengthen it. Alternating Plank with Downward Facing Dog lets you stretch out your shoulders in between. For an added challenge, perform these poses on your forearms, rather than your hands.
- Place your hands flat at the top of the mat.
- Step your feet back and lift your hips into the air to form in inverted V.
- Keep your hands shoulder-width apart, and your feet hip-width apart.
- Pull your belly button in and up to engage your abdominal muscles.
- Shift your weight forward onto your hands into Plank position. Your back should be perfectly straight.
- Press your heels back behind you and look down at your mat. Pull your stomach in.
- Hold for five breaths; shift back to Downward Facing Dog for five breaths and repeat.
Crescent lunge works your quadriceps, core and shoulders. Adding a twist to the lunge helps detoxify while working your legs even more.
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog.
- Lift your right leg straight behind you and swing it through so your foot lands between your hands.
- Rise up into a high lunge position. Take care not to let your knee go beyond your foot.
- Pull in your stomach to activate your core and lift your arms overhead.
- Flex your hands and turn your pinkies in toward one another.
- Look up at the place where the ceiling meets the wall and gently arch your back.
- Hold this pose for five breaths.
- Lower your hands to prayer position.
- Lean forward over your right leg.
- Twist to the right, hooking your left elbow on the outside of your right leg. If you prefer, you can also open your arms, placing one hand on the ground or on a block and lifting the other into the air.
- Hold for five breaths.
- Return to Downward Facing Dog and repeat on the other side.
Side Plank works your arms and your core, helping to strengthen both the middle and the sides of your body.
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog.
- Shift your weight forward on your hands into Plank position.
- Place your right hand beneath your chest and put your feet together in the back.
- Swing your body open to the left, placing most of your weight on your right hand.
- Stack your feet, left on top of right and pull in the right side of your body, arching slightly up and to the left.
- Raise your left arm straight up.
- Hold this position for five breaths.
- Come back through Plank pose and work the other side.
Locust works your back, triceps, glutes and hamstrings, tightening and toning the entire back side of your body at once.
- Lay face down on your mat with your arms by your sides and your palms facing down.
- Bring your feet together and place your chin on the mat.
- Raise your arms up and squeeze them above your back as you lift your chest and legs off the floor. You will be balancing on your pelvis.
- Hold this position for five breaths, and then lower to the ground. Rest for five breaths and repeat.
Bow works your quads, hamstrings and glutes while opening your shoulders and improving your posture.
- Lay face down on your mat with your arms by your sides and your knees bent, feet in the air.
- Reach back with both hands to grab hold of your ankles.
- Push back with your legs as you hold your ankles, this will pull your chest up off of the floor.
- Hold for five breaths. Lower and repeat.
Flower works your core and your glutes, forcing you to make micro adjustments in your core to help you balance.
- Sit upright on your mat with the soles of your feet together in Butterfly pose.
- Relax your knees and let them stretch gently toward the ground.
- Put your hands underneath your calves so your calves rest on your wrists and your hands are free, palm up behind them.
- Rock backward onto your tailbone as you pull your legs into the air.
- Keep the soles of your feet touching one another as you balance for five breaths.
- Lower to Butterfly and repeat.
Boat is an intense pose that works your core, legs and glutes as you balance on your tailbone.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent into your chest.
- Rock slowly from head to tail until you come up onto your tailbone.
- Extend your legs up and out in front of you, hovering them well off the floor.
- Lean back with your upper body and extend your arms in front of you or overhead. Your body will be in the shape of a V.
- Hold this pose for five breaths. Lower your legs and repeat.
Shoulder stand is an inversion that works your core while giving a rest to your heart.
- Lay on your back with your arms down by your sides.
- Slowly lift your legs in the air, rolling back onto your shoulders as you bring your legs behind your head in Plow pose.
- Carefully extend one leg and then the other straight up and place your hands on your lower back for support.
- Hold this pose for 10 breaths, and then lower your legs carefully back into Plow. Hold for five breaths, and then carefully lower them to the ground.
Fish is the counter pose to Shoulder stand, it helps release any tension in the neck and shoulders.
- Lay on your back with your arms by your sides.
- Lift yourself up on to your elbows, bringing your shoulders underneath you.
- Point your toes and let your head drop back. Hold for 10 breaths.
End your practice in Savasana to relax your body.
- Lay on your back with your arms relaxed at your sides and your palms up.
- Let your feet fall open as you relax each muscle in your body.
- Breath normally for five minutes.
Build a Strong Body
Yoga may not result in immediate weight loss, but with continued practice, you will gain muscle and strength that will tone your body and help burn more fat and calories over time. Practice poses like this on a regular basis, along with more classic yoga routines to help maintain flexibility as well. By stretching and strengthening your body, you'll find many benefits that go far beyond weight loss.