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The benefits of yoga truly seem endless. Yoga is on everybody’s checklist for ways to improve balance and flexibility, but did you know that you can also use yoga to lose weight? Yoga helps you shed the pounds in a number of different ways, including making improvements to your digestive system, your sleeping patterns, and your discipline. Read more about that here.

For this exercise, we’re primarily concerned about how yoga boosts your metabolism and tones your muscles. For your workout pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of the six best yoga poses for weight loss to help you do so! Try them out next time you need to cool off of an intense workout or incorporate them into your daily yoga routine. These are best performed on a yoga mat to prevent any unnecessary injury, you can find a great one here.

6 Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

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1. Plow Pose

If you’re using yoga to lose weight, this pose is necessary at it benefits your whole body as opposed to a single body part. It helps to increase the hormone and endorphin circulation in the body, which supports your metabolism and makes your blood flow better.

  1. Lie on your back and bring legs straight up toward the ceiling to start this pose.
  2. Put arms alongside the body with your palms down, and press hands into the floor to bring legs over the head.
  3. When your feet hit the ground, clasp your hands together and roll your shoulder blades toward each other.
  4. Hold for 45 seconds, then roll back to the starting position.

2. Shoulder Stand

  1. To do this pose, lie on your back with your hands at your sides and your palms down.
  2. Lift your legs into the air and press your hands into the floor in order to bring your legs over your head into the plow pose.
  3. Bring your hands around to your lower back to give you support, then lift legs straight up in the air, one leg at a time.
  4. Keep your body vertical for as long as possible, three minutes if possible.

3. Crescent Lunge Pose

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This pose helps to strengthen your legs and stretch your hips, as well as raising your heart rate!

  1. Start the position in downward dog, then step your right foot between your hands and lower your hips into a lunge position.
  2. Shift your weight forward onto the ball of your back foot, and bring your hands to your hips.
  3. Lift your upper body upwards and bring your arms above your head, with palms facing in.
  4. Hold this for 45 seconds.

4. Locust Pose

The locust pose is especially good for strengthening the muscles of your lower back, as well as those in your legs. It also opens up your back and elongates the spinal column.

  1. To perform this multi-purpose pose, lie on your stomach with your arms alongside your body, with palms facing up.
  2. Lift your head, shoulders, arms and legs off the floor.
  3. Hold the position for 30-45 seconds before relaxing back to the floor.

5. Bow Pose

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This pose opens your chest and makes your back muscles stronger!

  1. Begin the pose by lying on your chest, and keep your arms outstretched beside you, with palms facing upwards,
  2. Bend your knees and reach back to grab your ankles.
  3. Keep your knees a hip’s distance away from each other, and lift your heels up and away from the body.
  4. Pull your chest off the floor and hold for 45 seconds.

6. Bridge Pose

This pose is great for opening your chest and shoulders and strengthening the back.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling, and roll your shoulder blades together.
  3. Clasp hands together, and hold the position for 45 seconds.

Weight loss is just one of the many benefits of yoga, but definitely one of the most practical places to start!

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