Yoga Asanas For A Flat Stomach And Weight Loss.
The main benefit I draw from my yoga sessions is a sense of calm and relaxation and the ability to reduce stress.
However I also enjoy yoga because it does keep me fit and also helps in achieving a flat stomach.
There are a number of yoga asanas (positions or postures) which directly work the stomach muscles. From my experience almost all asanas work the core stomach muscles to some degree but I will highlight and explain 5 of my favorites.
1. Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon
- Stand with both feet touching from heel to toe, keeping your back straight and arms against the sides with your palms facing inward.
- Bring your hands together into the chest. Inhale and raise the arms straight up keeping your hands pressed lightly together.
- Arch your body backwards keeping your arms alongside your neck and head, tilt the head backward and hold.
- Keep your knees straight while holding the asana. Slowly return to the starting position, lowering your arms.
Benefits: Good for stomach obesity, works the whole skeletal and circulatory systems, helps with lower back pain, stimulates pituitary gland.
2. Supta Vajrasana/Fixed Firm
- Slowly bend the right leg, and keep the heel tight under the buttock. Bring the left leg under the left buttock.
- Keep the knees as close to each to each other as you can and the spine, head, shoulders and buttocks in a vertical line.
- Recline slowly backwards placing your body weight on the right elbow first and then the left.
- Lie flat on your back. Keeping your hands crossed above the head.
- Return to the starting position by using your elbows against the ground to raise yourself up.
Benefits: Strengthens abdominal cavity, Improves circulation to joints, Stretches front of hip joint, increasing flexibility, relieves lower back pain, slims and tones thighs
3. Dhanurasana/The Bow
- Lie on your stomach and place your chin on the floor.
- Bend your knees back, reach with your arms and grab the right ankle with the right hand and the left ankle with the left.
- Slowly raise your legs by pulling the ankles up and lifting the knees off the floor while raising the chest off the floor at the same time.
- The weight of your body should be resting on the stomach. Tilt your head as far back as possible.
- Slowly exhale and release the ankles, slowly bring the legs and arms straight down on the floor.
Benefits: Strengthens lower, mid and upper spine, improves flexibility of spinal muscles, increases tone of muscle fibers.
4. Bhujangasana/Cobra Pose
- Lie on the stomach with your chin on the floor. Place your arms by your side with your hands out in front of you so that they are below your shoulders.
- Use your stomach muscles to lift your torso from the waist up off the floor, arching the spine backwards and straightening the arms.
- Do not use your hands or arms to raise your body, you should be using your stomach and back muscles only.
- Keep your hips on the floor. Tilt your head as far back as possible and hold the posture.
- Reverse the process and return to the starting position.
Benefits: Strengthens the spine, stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen, firms the buttocks, stimulates abdominal organs, helps relieve stress and fatigue, opens the heart and lungs.
5. Pranayama Kapalabhati/Blowing in Firm
- In “Blowing in Firm”, the breath is short, rapid, and strong. The focus is on the exhale while using your stomach, the inhale will take care of itself.
- Repeat this 20 to 30 times, keeping a steady rhythm and focusing in exhalation.
- In this practice you want to deliberately breathe faster and at the same time use only your stomach muscles. In other words breath from the stomach and not the chest.
Benefits: Removes stale air and toxins from lungs, improves abdominal muscles, normalizes bowels, improves oxygenation to the body, increases circulation
Keep in mind that some of these are more advanced poses. Make sure you are aware of your own skill level before attempting certain asanas. If you are not sure you will be able to complete a posture, start with one that seems more to your level and work your way up once you build your strength and flexibility.
I would recommend trying to find a yoga studio in your local area, going along and giving it a try. Once you’re at a studio an instructor can guide you through the asanas and make sure you are doing them properly.