“Belly Fat” is the peskiest problem area for so many people. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to getting rid of stubborn belly fat, yoga can be a great way to help reduce excess fat in the mid-section. Yoga not only strengthens muscles and your core but also helps regulate stress hormones like cortisol levels built up in the body by relieving tension and tightness stored in the body. In this article, we’ll explore the idea of yoga for belly fat loss and also learn some tips to be followed.
How Does Yoga Help with Belly Fat Loss?
Though there are many different kinds of yoga, all forms can help with belly fat loss. Practicing yoga regularly has many health benefits and can improve your overall well-being. For example, yoga improves digestion and detoxifies the body, which can lead to reduced belly fat. In addition, yoga helps to increase circulation, improve flexibility, and strengthen muscles.
Yoga can help to increase muscle tone and flexibility and also helps to control stress levels. In addition, it can help increase flexibility and range of motion, improve balance and coordination, and provide a complete workout for the entire body, including the cardiovascular system.
Stress plays a significant role in your body’s storing of belly fat. Built-up stress and tension in the body contribute to excess belly fat due to cortisol levels released from stress. Reducing stress helps eliminate excess cortisol in the body that further helps promote weight loss. Yoga is a great way to relieve stress for a better night’s sleep.
Cortisol Levels and Belly Fat
Regular yoga practice also leads to a better night’s sleep because it relaxes and relieves stress. Built-up stress and tension in the body contribute to excess belly fat due to cortisol levels released from stress. Yoga is a proven effective way to reduce cortisol levels in the body, which can lead to feeling more relaxed and less stressed overall. Yoga has been shown to improve sleep quality, and better sleep leads to better regulation of hormones. There are many benefits of yoga, including reducing stress and cortisol levels. Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall health.
10 Yoga Poses That Target Belly Fat
- Naukasana or Boat Pose – This pose is also great for toning the abdominal muscles and helping to reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Next, lean back slightly and lift your feet off the floor so that you are balancing on your buttocks. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Pashchimottanasana or Seated Forward Fold Pose – This pose is excellent for stretching the abdominal muscles which helps to reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Next, you will bend forward at the hips and reach toward your feet, extending your arms and hands towards your feet. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Bidalanasa- Marjariasana (aka Bitilasana-Marjaryasana) or Cat-Cow Pose – This pose is a great way to release tension in the back and neck. Start on all fours with your spine in a neutral position. As you inhale, arch your back and look up towards the ceiling (cow pose). As you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin to your chest (cat pose). Repeat this sequence a few times.
- Salabhasana or Locust Pose – This pose is good for toning the abdominal muscles and helping to reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start by lying on your stomach with your legs straight behind you and your arms at your sides. Next, lift your head, chest, and legs off the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Dhanurasana or Bow Pose – This pose is great for toning the abdominal muscles and helping to reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start by lying on your stomach with your legs straight behind you and your arms at your sides. Next, reach back and grab hold of your ankles. Then, lift your head, chest, and legs off of the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Ustrasana or Camel Pose – This pose is really effective for toning the abdominal muscles and helping to reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor. Next, arch your back and tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute before repeating it on the other side.
- Ardha Ustrasana or Half Camel Pose – This pose is great for stretching the abdominal muscles and helping reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor. Next, arch your back and tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. Then, reach one hand behind you and grab hold of your ankle. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute before repeating it on the other side.
- Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose – This pose is great for toning the abdominal muscles and helping to reduce belly fat. To do this pose, start by lying on your stomach with your legs straight behind you and your hands flat on the floor beside your shoulders. Next, press your hands to lift your chest off the floor. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute before repeating it on the other side.
- Child’s Pose – This pose is ideal for relaxation and can be performed at any time of the day. Simply sit on your heels with your forehead resting on the ground. Take deep breaths and focus on letting go of all the tension in your body. This will help with cortisol levels in the body.
- Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutations – This is a sequence of twelve yoga poses that can have a great positive impact on the body. While the poses help you to stretch and strengthen, they also tone your loose skin which is very essential. Toning is necessary when you are on a weight loss journey. The breathing patterns that are to be followed during the sun salutation sequence help reap maximum benefits.
Tips to Reduce Belly Fat
- Eat healthy and exercise regularly: This is the most important thing you can do to reduce belly fat. Eating healthy foods (like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) and exercising regularly will help you lose weight all over, including your belly.
- Practice Yoga: Yoga can help you lose weight all over, but it’s especially good for reducing belly fat. Try doing some yoga poses that focus on your core, like boat pose, plank pose, or chair pose.
- Avoid unhealthy foods: Foods high in fat and sugar can contribute to belly fat. So avoid eating things like cake, cookies, candy, and other sweets. And avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, like fried foods and processed meats.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is vital for overall health and can help with weight loss. Getting quality sleep can help you regulate your appetite and metabolism, which can reduce belly fat.
How frequently should I practice yoga?
Yoga can give you some of the best benefits even if you practice only for an hour in a week. However, making yoga as a daily practice can give you benefits multifold and it should eventually become a way of life. If you are a beginner start with smaller durations like 15 to 20 minutes on alternate days of week or even twice a week. Gradually increase your session time and the frequency.
Which type of yoga should I start with?
Yoga is practiced in different variations under different names such as Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and so on. It could be really confusing to choose your style if you are new to yoga.
We would recommend you pick a gentle yoga style like Hatha Yoga if you are an absolute beginner to yoga as well as workouts. But if you are a seasoned trainer and are looking for an intense form then you might find Power Yoga more to your liking. Look for some trial classes and understand why you are looking for yoga in the first place to understand what variation is best suitable for you!
What is belly fat?
Belly fat is nothing but the fat that is accumulated around your waistline over the years. This is not an overnight change but is a result of years of fat deposition that could be due to medical reasons or a sedentary lifestyle. Belly fat is of two types:
- Subcutaneous, fat that sits right under the skin.
- Visceral fat that is deposited deeper and much closer to the organs.
How long does it take for me to see visible signs of belly fat loss?
One cannot answer this as a one size fits all solution but we can see you might start feeling changes in just a couple of weeks of regular dedicated yoga practice. Some people could even start seeing results in a short duration of 2 weeks.
Yoga is an effective way to lose belly fat. Not only does it help burn calories, but it also helps to tone the abdominal muscles. There are a variety of yoga poses that can help you lose belly fat, and with regular practice, you will see results. Also, if you’re looking for a way to reduce stress and cortisol levels, yoga may be a good option for you. Yoga can be a great way to relax your body and mind, and it’s something you can do anywhere. Now, get on your mat and start practicing today!