Yoga plays an important part in switching on the abdominals and their subsets, allowing one to recoup while keeping ailments like acid reflux at bay.
A disturbed routine, un healthy eating habits, lack of exercise, and high stress levels – all of these give rise to a flabby tummy. Lack of abdominal strength usually manifests itself in the form of low back pain and can cause the visceral organs to sag and bring about maladies of pelvic region.
Proper diet, combined with a good fitness routine, can definitely help you reduce belly fat to a large extent.
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana is an ideal warm-up pose. It improves blood circulation and activates the core and other peripheral areas , thereby ensuring that your body is ready for the other poses in store.
How To Do
- Stand with your feet flat, 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 relax 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. The picture given above is a variation for beginners.
- Improves your posture
- Firms the abdomen and buttocks
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Relieves sciatica (pain that affects the back, hips, and the outer side of the legs)
2. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar is a confluence of twelve yoga positions, each of which has a major impact on the entire body. The forward and backward bends allow stretches, while the deep breathing performed during the act helps in detoxification. Practice Surya Namaskar daily in the morning, facing the sun, for reaping the maximum benefits.
How To Do
- Stand with both your feet together, expand your chest, and relax your shoulders.
- As you inhale, lift both your arms from the sides. And as you exhale, bring your arms to the front of your chest and keep them in the prayer position.
- Inhale, raise your hands, and stretch backwards, slightly.
- Exhale, bend forward, and try to touch your forehead to the knees.
- Bending your left knee, stretch your right leg backward, with your palms placed on the floor.
- Move into downward dog position.
- From Adhomukha (downward dog), coming on the tips of the toes, move forward in an Ashtanga Namaskar (a form of Chaturangadandasana), where the hips are slightly elevated and take the entire torso in one plane down towards the floor.
- Inhale, stretch forward, and bend backwards into Urdhvamukha,or upward facing dog.
- Keeping your hands fixed on the floor, move the torso into downward dog.
- As you inhale, bring your right leg forward, in between your elbows and stretch upwards.
- Bring your left leg forward and inhale deeply.
- Stretch back from the waist.
- Return to the initial position.
From head to toe, all parts of the body and the internal organs are benefitted by this pose. Regularly practicing Surya Namaskar keeps you healthy and energized.
People with spinal problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases must not perform this pose.
3. Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
This forward fold is really good for the heart and relieves issues like anxiety and is good for getting the heart rate slowed down. The abdominals become soft and relaxed, allowing the stomach to do its work, appropriately addressing major or minor abdominal issues.
How To Do
- Stand in the Tadasana 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.
- Inhale while coming up into Tadasana. It is good to stay in this asana for slightly longer durations as per individual capabilities and need.
- Improves digestion, as your abdominal muscles are toned
- Strengthens the wrist joints
- Relieves mental and physical exhaustion
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This is one of the basic poses of Hatha Yoga, and it stimulates the center of your solar plexus. Along with acting as a tummy toning pose, the forward bend also offers an admirable level of stretch to the hamstrings, thighs, as well as hips. It is also ideal for those who are prone to digestive disorders.
How To Do
- Sit on the floor in Sukahasana or Padmasana.
- Keep your spine erect, and stretch your legs out to your front. Your feet should point to the ceiling.
- Inhaling deeply, stretch your hands above your head without bending your elbows. Your gaze should follow your hands. Stretch your spine to the maximum.
- Exhale, and bend forward, bringing your hands down and trying to touch the toes. Your head should rest on your knees. Beginners can try touching their ankles or just thighs or shins as a starter.
- Once you touch your toes, hold them and try pulling them backward till you experience the stretch on your hamstrings.
- Keeping the breath even, try to retain the position for 60 to 90 seconds initially. Slowly, increase the time of holding the position for five minutes, or if possible, more.
- Exhaling, bring your body upward, releasing your toes from your fingers to come back to the Sukhasana or Padmasana pose.
- Relieves stress
- Udyankriya mannerisms are learnt here.
- Balances menstrual cycles
5. Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
This asana helps in alleviating various gastric problems, including indigestion and constipation. Since your knees exert pressure on your tummy, holding the position for more than a minute helps in triggering the burning of fat in the region.
How To Do
- Lie down in the supine position (face upwards) with your arms beside your body and feet stretched out, heels touching each other.
- Bend your knees.
- Take in a deep breath, and as you exhale, gradually bring the bent knees towards your chest, with the thighs applying pressure on the abdomen. Hold the knees properly in place by clasping your hands underneath the thighs.
- Inhale again, and as you exhale, lift your head, allowing your chin to touch your knees.
- Hold the position for 60 to 90 seconds, while breathing deeply.
- Exhale slowly, and release your knees while allowing your head to rest on the floor. Bring your hands onto either side of your body, palms facing the ground.
- Relax in Shavasana.
- Repeat the asana 7 to 10 times, leaving a 15-second interval between repetitions.
- Strengthens the back and abdominal muscles
- Helps in digestion and release of gas
- Tones the muscles in the legs and arms
6.Relax with Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
You should allow your body to relax after a rigorous workout, and the Corpse Pose is the ideal asana.
How To Do
- Lie down in the supine position.
- Keep your feet together or stretched out, as per your comfort.
- Allow your hands to rest on either side of the body.
- Close your eyes.
- Inhale and exhale deeply, allowing your body to relax completely.
- You should lie down till your breathing becomes normal and your body is completely at peace.
- Helps you attain a deep, meditative state of rest, which can aid in the repair of tissues and stress relief
- Helps reduce blood pressure, insomnia, and anxiety
Along with all these yoga poses for reducing belly fat, you should also concentrate on practicing healthy food habits. Plus, make sure that your body is getting adequate levels of sleep as studies have proven the negative impact of sleeplessness on your abdominal health.