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Yoga Poses that Burn the Most Calories

by Deepika Meka (Certified Yoga Instructor)

You must have surely noticed the yoga craze! Nowadays, you can find people doing yoga in parks, gardens, terraces, and at home.

Yoga – a mind and body practice that combines physical postures and breathing, meditation, and/or relaxation techniques – can help you stay both physically and mentally healthy.[1]

While most people do not consider yoga to be a high-intensity workout, you may be surprised to learn that many yoga poses burn a substantial number of calories. Thus, people who are overweight or obese can greatly benefit from doing yoga.[2]

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best yoga poses that burn the most calories

There are many yoga poses that can help you burn calories and fat by providing strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance.[3] When you burn calories, you’ll start losing weight and get a toned-up body.

Here are some of the best yoga poses to burn the most calories.

1. Chair Pose or Utkatasana

The Chair Pose involves the use of the gluteus, the largest muscles in your body. Hence, it aids in burning a good amount of calories. This yoga pose also generates heat in the body, which helps boost your metabolism.[4]

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chair pose to burn calories

  1. Stand up straight with feet together. Keep your weight evenly distributed between each leg.
  2. Raise your arms up towards the ceiling as you inhale, palms facing each other.
  3. Exhale as you bend your knees, and move your hips back as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair.
  4. Raise your chest and suck in your abdomen.
  5. Hug the thighs and knees together, and bend your tailbone down towards the floor.
  6. Keep pushing your hips back so the knees are not at risk.
  7. Sink your weight back into the heels.
  8. Look straight out in front of you, and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, taking deep breaths.
  9. Straighten your knees as you inhale and stand up.
  10. Exhale and release your arms to your sides.
Caution: Do not practice the Chair Pose if you are having headaches, severe arthritis, low blood pressure, or insomnia.

2. Plank Pose or Kumbhakasana

The Plank is one of the best yoga poses for burning the most calories as it engages all of your body’s muscles. This pose is very effective in toning the abdomen, chest, and back. It strengthens the arms, wrists, and shoulders. Plus, as it strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine, it plays a key role in improving posture.[5]

Kumbhakasana to burn calories

The Plank is an essential part of Sun Salutations, but it can also be practiced on its own to build strength and stamina.

  1. Get on your hands and knees.
  2. Palms are right under the shoulders and are shoulder-width or slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Press the palms down and towards the front of the mat so there is a lift in the chest.
  4. Stretch the legs out one at a time coming on to the toes and balls of the feet so that your body forms a straight line.
  5. Engage your core muscles, and don’t let the hip sink or lift too high.
  6. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds and keep breathing.
  7. Exhale and lower your knees to the floor.
Caution: This yoga pose is not recommended for those who have high blood pressure, low blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, or osteoporosis. Also, do not practice if you have any injury in the arms or legs.

3. Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Chaturanga Dandasana

This yoga pose is very similar to the lower portion of a push-up. It helps build strength and stability. It provides a nice workout for all the major muscles, helps burn a good amount of calories, and tones up your body.

burn calories with four limbed staff pose

The Four-Limbed Staff Pose is not an easy one. You may need to practice a lot to master this pose.

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  1. Start in Plank Pose.
  2. Slightly roll your body forward so the shoulders are slightly ahead of the wrists.
  3. Press into your palms, keeping the arms as straight as possible.
  4. Tuck in your tailbone so that your legs, hips, and torso form a straight line.
  5. Press the crown of your head forward, and keeping the toes tucked, press the heels back.
  6. Exhale and keep your body in a straight line as you lower down towards the floor, making a 90° angle at the elbows and the wrists.
  7. Make sure the elbows are going back toward the feet and forearm is strong and straight throughout.
  8. Hold this position for as long as you can.
  9. To release, you can either inhale up to a Plank Pose or exhale all the way down to the floor.
Caution: This pose is not recommended for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and pregnant women.

4. Downward-Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana

The Downward-Facing Dog Pose is another huge calorie-burner yoga pose that you must add to your exercise routine.

downward facing dog pose

This pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, and back and stretches the spine, hamstrings, and calves.

  1. Get down to your hands and knees.
  2. Knees are right under the hips, and palms are slightly ahead of the shoulders.
  3. Palms are shoulder-width apart and feet are hip-width apart.
  4. Pressing the palms down and towards the front of the mat, lift the knees off the floor moving the hips towards the ceiling.
  5. Slowly straighten the knees and bring the heels to the floor or as close to the floor as possible.
  6. Externally rotate the upper arms, and take the shoulder blades back towards the hips.
  7. Now, allow your head and torso to come down so that your body forms an upside-down V shape.
  8. Take deep breaths while holding this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  9. To release, exhale as you gently bend your knees and come back to the floor.
  10. Rest in child’s pose.
Caution: Do not practice this pose if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, eye or inner ear infection, and serious shoulder injury and if you are in late-term pregnancy.

6. Warrior II Pose or Virabhadrasana II

The Warrior II Pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, and legs; stretches the chest and shoulders, and tones the abdominal organs.

warrior pose yoga

  1. Stand with your feet together and palms alongside the body.
  2. Inhale and take your right leg back as far as you can, and turn the right foot so the toes are pointing the long edge of the mat, making a 90° angle at the ankle.
  3. Exhale and bend the left knee, making sure the knee is right above the ankle and in line with the heel.
  4. Left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  5. Inhale and bring both arms at the shoulder level, palms facing down.
  6. Keep pressing the outer edge of the right foot and right heel firmly on the floor.
  7. Turn your head and look at the left middle finger.
  8. Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds
  9. To come out of the pose, inhale and straighten the left knee.
  10. Exhale and bring the palms alongside the body, turn the left foot towards the long edge of the mat on the right side, and slowly walk your feet towards each other.
  11. Repeat the same pose on the left side.
Caution: Do not practice this pose if you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, or any recent injury of the hips or knees.

5. Warrior I Pose or Virabhadrasana I

The Warrior I Pose tones up the ankles and knees and reduces fat around the hips. It relieves stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and back.

warrior posr 1 to burn calories

  1. Stand with your feet together and palms alongside the body.
  2. Inhale and take your right leg back as far as you can, and turn the right foot so the toes are pointing diagonally to the corner of the mat making a 45° angle at the ankle.
  3. Exhale and bend the left knee, making sure the knee is right above the ankle and in line with the heel.
  4. Left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  5. Inhale, raise both arms above the head, and join the palms.
  6. Keep pressing the outer edge of the right foot and right heel firmly on the floor.
  7. Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  8. To come out of the pose, inhale and straighten the left knee.
  9. Exhale and bring the palms alongside the body, slowly turn the left foot towards the long edge of the mat on the right side, and walk your feet towards each other.
  10. Repeat the same pose on the left side.
Caution: Do not practice this pose if you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, or any recent injury of the hips or knees.

Resources:

  1. Büssing A, Michalsen A, Khalsa SBS, Telles S, Sherman KJ. Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447533/. Published 2012.
  2. Bernstein AM, Bar J, Ehrman JP, Golubic M, Roizen MF. Yoga in the Management of Overweight and Obesity. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1559827613492097. Published July 17, 2013.
  3. Shinde N, KJ S, Khatri, Hande D. A Comparative Study of Yoga and Aerobic Exercises in Obesity and its Effect on Pulmonary Function. OMICS International. https://www.omicsonline.org/a-comparative-study-of-yoga-and-aerobic-exercises-in-obesity-and-its-effect-on-pulmonary-function-2155-6156.1000257.php?aid=12073. Published March 26, 2013.
  4. Divya TS, Vijayalakshmi MT, Mini K, Asish K, Pushpalatha M, Suresh V. Cardiopulmonary and Metabolic Effects of Yoga in Healthy Volunteers. International Journal of Yoga. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793005/. Published 2017.
  5. Woodyard C. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. International Journal of Yoga. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/. Published 2011.

Yoga Poses that Burn the Most Calories was last modified: October 18th, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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