Excess fat around the belly is not just that annoying midsection tire that makes you feel self-conscious but it also has been shown to raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. (1) That being said burning off that belly fat should be a high priority when it comes to your health.
So, you have been doing cardio and high-intensity exercise daily, and you have jumped on the clean eating bandwagon, but you still have that last bit of belly fat that you just can’t seem to lose. A friend suggests that you add in some low-intensity exercise, but you don’t think that it’s going to do any good.
Often people think that exercises like yoga or pilates are only going to do one thing — stabilize your core. But did you know that by strengthening and stabilizing your core you are actually helping boost your metabolism and in return reducing that stubborn belly fat?
Research shows that yoga can also alter your eating patterns, your sleep habits, and your mood. These can all affect how much weight you lose or gain around your waist line. (2)
Now doing yoga isn’t a quick fix, to be honest, there isn’t a quick fix when it comes to losing belly fat. Belly fat is the easiest to gain and the hardest to lose. The only way is with hard work and dedication.
Make sure you continue eating clean and don’t drop your high-intensity exercise but add Yoga to your healthy routine 2-3 times a week.
Here are 5 brilliant yoga exercises to help reduce belly fat. Make sure to concentrate on your breathing, take your time and relax.
1. Upward Facing Dog Pose
This pose not only strengthens the ab muscles to help reduce belly fat, but it also helps strengthen the upper body by creating a strong and flexible spine.
- Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out and your palms positioned underneath your shoulders.
- Your chin and your toes should be touching the floor.
- Inhale slowly and raise your chest upward while bending backward.
- Depending on your strength, hold this pose for 15-30 seconds.
- Exhale slowly and bring your body back to the original position.
- Repeat 5 times with a rest time of 15 seconds in between each pose.
2. Mountain Pose
This simple pose helps improve posture and firms the abdomen area.
- Stand with your feet flat, and heels slightly spread out, and the big toes of your feet in contact with each other. Keep the spine erect with hands on both sides and palms facing your body.
- Stretch your hands to the front and bring the palms close to each other.
- Inhaling deeply, stretch your spine. Raising your folded hands up above your head, stretch as much as you can
- Try lifting your ankles and standing on your toes, with the eyes facing the ceiling. If you cannot stand on your toes, you can keep your feet flat on the ground, while your eyes face the ceiling.
- Breathe normally and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Inhale deeply, and while exhaling, slowly relaxes and bring your feet back to the floor. Repeat the asana 10 times, increasing the count gradually. Relax for 10 seconds before you attempt the next repetition.
3. Standing Forward Bend
This pose completely compresses the abdomen while you bend forward, which leads to burning fat and toning the abdomen.
- Stand in the Mountain pose, with your hands on either side of the body while your feet rest together, with the heels touching each other.
- Keep your spine erect.
- Inhaling deeply, lift your hand upwards.
- As you exhale, bend forward such that your body is parallel to the floor.
- Inhale, then exhale, and bend forward completely, with your body falling away from the hips.
- Try to touch the floor, with palms straight on the floor, and without bending your knees. Beginners can try touching the toes or just the ankles to start with, working your way to the floor.
- Holding your breath, tuck your tummy in, and hold the position for 60 to 90 seconds.
- Exhale, leave your toes and lift your body to come back to the Mountain pose.
- Repeat the asana 10 times, leaving an interval of 10 seconds between two repetitions.
4. Bow Pose
This pose strengthens you core abdominal area, while the rocking motion helps massage and activate the digestive system.
- Begin with lying down on your belly in the prone position with legs stretched together, arms placed on either side of the body.
- Then bend the knees, reach your arm to the ankles of the feet and hold.
- On inhalation lift your head and bend backward. Lift your legs as higher as you can.
- Hold this posture for 15 to 30 seconds. Breathe normally while holding the pose.
- On the exhalation, slowly bring back your body to the prone position.
- Repeat this for at least 5 rounds with relaxation for 15 seconds after each round.
5. Board Pose
While toning, and strengthening the shoulders, arms, thighs and butt this pose will also burn belly fat.
- Start with your hands and knees underneath your arms and shoulders.
- Tuck your toes under and step your feet back to extend your legs behind your body.
- Inhale while looking just ahead of your palms, so your neck and spine are aligned.
- Tighten your ab muscles and hold.
- Your body should form a straight line. Make sure your hands are flat on the ground, and your fingers are spread apart.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds or as long as possible. Do this pose 5 times?
- Exhale and drop to your knees.
- Repeat this pose five times with a rest time of at leas 15 seconds in between each pose.
Before doing any kind of exercise be sure to speak with your health care provider, especially if you are pregnant or dealing with any physical issues.