Are you doing yoga for weight loss? These Hatha yoga poses burn more than 2.5 calories per minute, according to a study in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
You can burn calories 2.5 calories per minute while lying on your back, according to researchers at the Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences in India. You don’t even have to stand up to lose weight!
These Hatha yoga poses for weight loss are:
- Leg-lock pose, pavan muktasana – a lower-back stretch
- Shoulder stand, sarvangasana – an inversion
- Plow pose – an inversion
- Karnapidasana – an inversion
Yoga Poses for Weight Loss: Leg Lock Pose, Knee Hug – Pavan Muktasana
Pavan muktasana, also known as leg lock pose or a knee hug, is a beginner Hatha yoga pose that burns 2.62 calories per minute.
How do you do one round of pavan muktasana? Follow these 3 easy steps:
- Lay down on your back
- Hug your knees to your chest
- Lift your head to touch your nose to your knees. Slowly lift your head as you inhale, hold the breath as you touch your nose to your knees for three seconds, and exhale as you slowly lower your head to the starting position (see feature image)
Contraindications for leg lock pose include:
- high blood pressure
- a slipped disc
Yoga Poses for Weight Loss: Shoulder Stand – Sarvangasana
Sarvangasana, also known as shoulder stand, is an intermediate pose that burns 2.73 calories per minute. It requires strength in your arms and core. Yoga beginners approaching an intermediate level can give this pose a try by holding sarvangasana for only a few seconds and working their way up to 3 to 5 minutes, which allows you to burn 8 to 13.65 calories while you hold the pose.
How do you do an intermediate level shoulder stand? Follow these 5 easy steps to perform this inversion:
- Exhale as you raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor while leaving your upper body on the floor
- Exhale as you contract your abs to lift your hips and lower back off the floor
- Support your lower back with the palms of your hands and distribute your weight between your hands and your shoulders.
Want to burn even more calories per minute with shoulder stand? If you’re an advanced yogi, you can turn up the burn to 3 calories per minute by:
- Removing your hands from your lower back
- Straightening your arms
- Placing your palms on the floor
Contraindications for shoulder stand include high blood pressure, heart ailments, and an enlarged thyroid.
Yoga to Burn Calories: Plow Pose – Halasana
Halasana 1, also known as plow pose, burns 2.79 calories per minute. This Hatha yoga pose typically flows from shoulder stand and, meaning you can go directly into plow pose without getting out of halasana.
To get into the plow pose from shoulder stand, follow these 3 easy steps:
- Lower your straight legs over your head until your toes touch the floor
- In version 1, your hands remain on your lower back for support
- In version 2, remove your hands and reach back to grab your toes
Intermediate and advanced yoga practitioners can hold this pose for 10 minutes or longer for 28 yoga calories burned or more. Yoga beginners, who feel strong enough for this pose, should start by holding plow pose for 15 seconds and work up to 1 minute.
Contraindications for all versions of plow pose include:
- a hernia
- high blood pressure
- serious back problems
Yoga to Burn Calories: Ear Knee Pose – Karnapidasana
Ear-to-knee pose, also known as ear pressure pose or karnapidasana, burns 2.79 calories per minute. This Hatha yoga pose should flow from the plow pose and requires a good bit of flexibility in your back to perform properly.
Karnapidasana burns the same number of calories as the plow pose, you hold it for the same amount of time, and it has the same contraindications.
To get into karnapidasana follow these 3 easy steps:
- Bend your knees while in plow pose so your shins lay on the mat
- Wrap your arms around the back of your knees
- Gently apply pressure to the outside of your knees with your upper arms so they touch your ears
Note: When you do Hatha yoga poses for weight loss that burn over 2.5 calories per minute your results may vary. This is true for any exercise you do. The rule here is thinner people burn fewer calories during exercise than heavier people doing the same activity.
Yoga Poses for Weight Loss, Burn Over 2.5 Calories per Minute
1. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Hatha Yoga Practices: Energy Expenditure, Respiratory Changes and Intensity of Exercise; Uday Sankar Ray, et al.
2. Jaisiyaram; Karnapidasana – Ear Pressure Pose
3. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. S.l.: Satyananda Yoga-Zentrum, 2010. Print.
Yoga photos for Yoga Poses for Weight Loss, Burn Over 2.5 Calories per Minute by P. Grimmer feature Victoria Weinblatt.