The hustle-bustle of life, unhealthy eating, and lack of exercise, irregular sleep patterns, and increased stress levels all contribute to make us lethargic and increase our waistline. This issue is now seen in all the age groups. The pandemic lockdown has further amplified the challenges for us. We are increasingly gorging on unhealthy, fried and junk eatables since we are apprehensive from ordering in and also can’t go out. Eventually, our belly fat and weight are soaring. The best way to reduce that bulging tummy is yoga. It has various health benefits and will help you stay active and relaxed.
Benefits of yoga
- Help reduces weight and belly fat
- Helps tone the body
- Helps in holistic healing of the body (the mind, body, and soul)
- Strengthens the body and improves its flexibility
- Calms the mind and helps relieve stress
- Improves blood circulation and functioning of body systems like respiratory, digestive, nervous among many more
Yoga Asanas to Reduce Belly Fat
We have enlisted five beneficial poses for you to get rid of that rigid below the belt bulge
Naukasana/Navasana (Boat pose)
This asana strengthens the core and stimulates the abdominal muscles and organs along with reducing the abdominal fat. Sit on the floor with your hips and legs forming an inverted ‘V’. Lean back on the floor and lift your legs together towards the ceiling. Legs should be straight and at an angle that is neither too close to the body nor too near the floor. In short, the toes should be aligned with your head. You will feel a stretch in your abdomen and this is when the pose will be complete. Hands can be stretched out in the front. Hold this posture as long as you feel comfortable.
An easy variation could be to bend the knees a bit but they should again be aligned with the head. You can also support your thighs gently with your hands. However, make sure that whatever the variation is, the chest is open and does not curve or scrunch towards the floor. To release, slowly place the legs on the floor, bring your body towards the thighs. Hug your legs and rest your head on the knees for a few seconds. Perform maximum 4 rounds of maximum 2 minutes.
Paschmiottasana (Seated forward bend pose)
This asana helps get rid of the bulky belly and also relaxes the mind along with reducing fatigue and anxiety. The pose will be complete only when your hands will be bent, elbows or forearms touching the floor. Your back, shoulders, and hamstrings should feel a stretch and the spine should be straight. Perform maximum 3-4 rounds while taking a 15 second interval in between.
An easy variation of the pose would be to rest the hands on the ankles, shins or knees or hold the ankles of the feet gently. Also, reach forward step by step while exhaling.
Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
This posture stretches the back and neck, stimulates the nervous system, and relieves abdominal organs from any tension along with inducing fat reduction in the stomach.This asanas helps in burning belly fat and is also one of the easiest to do. Start this pose by lying down straight on the floor and bend your knees. The legs should be together.
Inhale and while exhaling, bring the bent knees towards your chest. Thighs will be applying pressure on your abdomen. Hold your knees while wrapping your hands around the calves. Inhale again and while exhaling, lift your head, pushing it away from the floor to the extent that your chin touches the knees. Hold this pose for a minimum of 30 seconds and breathe normally. While exhaling, drop your knees and head to the floor gently. Again take a 15-second break before the next round.
Ushtrasana (Camel pose)
This pose helps in bulgy belly cutback along with strengthening the back muscles. Initiate this pose by sitting in Vajrasana. Lift your body away from the calves in a way that your body is aligned with the floor and back should be straight, the bodyweight would be on the knees.
While exhaling, arch your back backward. Try to touch the ankles of the feet with your hands one by one. Tilt your head backward too. You should feel a stretch in your belly. Hold this pose minimum for 30 seconds and maximum for 60 seconds and just breathe normally. To release, exhale while coming back to Vajrasana slowly and gently. Just make sure to relax for 15 seconds after the next round. Start with 5 rounds and gradually increase the frequency to 30.
Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
This posture is beneficial as it stretches the entire body and helps in shrinking the waistline. While lying down in the prone position, bring the legs together. Exhale and bring your knees upwards towards the roof. Lift your head and push the body away from the floor towards the legs. Try to hold the ankles of the feet with your hands.
Use your abdomen to support the body weight. Inhale and try to lift your knees too away from the floor, kicking them towards the roof. Breathe normally during this posture and hold it minimum for 30 seconds and maximum for 90 seconds. To release the pose, exhale while bringing the body gently back to the prone position. Start with 5 rounds and eventually increase to 30. Again give a break of 15 seconds after each round.
Additionally, Surya Namaskar, Bhujnagasana (Cobra Pose), Balasana (Child’s pose), Uttanasana (Standing forward bend), Dandasana (Plank Pose), Uttanpadasana (Raised foot raise) can also aid in this belly fat reduction process. After performing all the asanas, it is advised to rest your body for a few minutes in Shavasana.
A major point to be taken care of is that just don’t force your body into the pose. Please listen to your body. The duration and frequency should be increased gradually. Also, the flexibility and the intensity of the stretching will also increase with practice. You shouldn’t worry if you can’t reach the correct posture at the first go. It is recommended to spend some time every day on the asanas as benefits will be visible if there is regularity.
Along with yoga, keeping yourself hydrated and having a nutritious diet packed with all the essential elements especially fiber (legumes, oranges, berries nuts) and protein (dairy and dairy products, eggs) is essential. Avoiding fatty, sugary foods and carbs, minimizing stress, performing yoga along with a brisk walk, jog or aerobics/cardio will definitely prove to be beneficial. With consistent and persistent efforts, you will surely be able to lessen that paunch and have a flat and toned abdomen.