4 Simple Yoga Poses to Reduce Belly Fat

Belly fat is a common problem that unfortunately spares no one, given enough time. Not even those that fall within the ideal body mass index (BMI) are exempt from it. Evolution decided long ago that this was the most logical spot on the body to plop our extra reserves, and there’s nothing we can currently do to change that.

But we can work with it. Another process, fairly ancient itself, has been designed (this time by us) to work with our bodies in a very effective manner. The age-old yet timeless process of Yoga Asana, along with a balanced diet, is a surefire method of gaining overall physical and mental health — as long as it’s executed properly and regularly. 

According to Wai Lana, a Yoga asana veteran of more than 40 years, anyone and everyone can start the practice — from preschoolers to grandparents. Ranging from the extremely basic to the extremely complex, yoga asanas help tone and strengthen the entire body, including its internal systems. And yes, it can even deal with your stubborn belly fat. 

Here are four simple yoga poses that can help with that.

Wind Easing Posture (Pavanamuktasana)

This pose helps soothe lower back pain and strengthen your hips, thighs and abdominal muscles. In addition, it also regulates pH levels, as well as improves metabolism for a flatter belly and stronger core.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Begin by lying on your back, with legs outstretched, heels touching and arms at either side. Inhale.
  • Then exhale while slowly bending your knees toward your chest.
  • Hug your knees closer to your body, tightening your thighs and applying pressure to your abdomen. Hold the pose for a minute or so as you breathe slowly, deeply and with more awareness.
  • After the last inhalation, exhale and let go of your knees as you resume the starting position, with legs outstretched and arms at either side of your body.
  • Repeat three to five times, making sure to add 20-second rests in between.

Board (Kumbhakasana)

This pose can almost pass as a full body workout, focusing on the back, shoulders, buttocks, thighs and your core or abdominal area.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Begin in push-up position, with your arms perpendicular to the floor. Make sure that your hands are right underneath your shoulders and chest area, creating a straight vertical line.
  • Inhale while you gaze straight at your hands on the floor below. Do your best to maintain a straight spine and back, while keeping both hands flat on the floor and fingers spread. Try pulling your abdominal muscles in towards your body, as if fighting the pull of gravity.
  • Hold the pose for about 20 seconds or as long as comfortable. Then release by slowly lowering your knees onto the floor.
  • Repeat three to five times, adding 20-second rests in between.

Cobra Pose (Bhujang asana)

This pose helps to stretch and strengthen your upper body and spine. Furthermore, it simultaneously expands the chest, and stretches and strengthens your neck, as well as both upper and lower abdominal areas. However, do take note that the cobra pose isn’t for everyone. Pregnant women and individuals suffering from back injuries or hernia should not try this pose.  

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Lie on your stomach with legs closed and outstretched, heels touching and toes pointed.
  • With your toes and chin against the mat, position your hands right under either shoulder with elbows bent.
  • Inhale deeply as you slowly raise your upper body on your elbows, with your head looking upward, your neck stretched and your abdominal muscles pulled in toward your body and against gravity. Hold the pose for 30 seconds or as long as comfortable.
  • Exhale as you release slowly back to the starting position, with chin on the mat and elbows bent.
  • Repeat five times with the necessary 20-second relaxation breaks in between.

Stretching Cat and Dog Pose

This combination works wonders for your midsection, both front and back. The movement stretches and contracts your spine as well as your abdominal muscles. It also strengthens and tones your arms, and firms your gluteal muscles.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Begin on all fours, with your hands and knees securely anchored on the floor. Resembling a table, make sure your arms and thighs are perpendicular to the floor, vertically straight and not slanted.
  • Inhale as you bend your back inward, stretching your neck upward while simultaneously stretching your pelvis and tailbone upward. Feel that stretch in your spine and your abdominal muscles.
  • Exhale as you arch your back in the opposite direction, hunching upwards. Pull and contract your abdomen, tucking your chin toward your chest.
  • Repeat five times or as long as comfortable, making sure to coordinate your proper breathing with each movement.
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An online writer with a wide range of experience in fields such as health, fashion, technology, startups, social and personal issues and lifestyle, Lyn has worked with clients from all over the world, including Canada, USA, Australia, and the UK.