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Say Goodbye To Your Belly Fat By Doing These 6 Effective Yoga Poses

Say Goodbye To Your Belly Fat By Doing These 6 Effective Yoga Poses

Belly fat is literally the toughest kind of fat to lose. People try every diet craze that hits the market; they exhaust themselves with strenuous exercise and workouts. But still that persistent belly fat lingers. And most do not even consider Yoga as a means to reduce belly fat, because somehow Yoga is just for those “inner peace” relaxation folks.

You would probably be surprised to learn, then, that football training now includes many Yoga positions and poses, because they tone muscles and increase flexibility, reducing the risk of serious injuries. But you don’t want to play football – you want to get rid of that belly fat. So – here are 6 Yoga poses that will do just that.

1. Mill Churning Pose

This pose actually imitates a churning work activity in India, and the motion you will be performing will look a bit like you are churning, except that you are seated on your mat and only your upper body will be moving.

Explanation of Steps:

  1. Sit on your mat as shown in photo #1
  2. Be certain that you fingers are clasped.
  3. Rotate your arms in a circular motion, starting clockwise
  4. Breathe out as you move forward and to the right; breath in as you move backward and to the left
  5. Do not raise your legs or feet – all of the motion is only in your upper body.
  6. After 10 clockwise rotations, do another 10 in counter-clockwise motion.
  7. You will really feel the pull on your stomach as you do these rotations, and isn’t this better than those pesky sit-ups and rowing machines at the gym?
  8. Other Benefits: All Yoga positions and poses have multiple benefits to both muscles and joints, but to internal organs as well. The mild churning pose has toning benefits back and thigh muscles too. Internally, it assists feminine uterine muscles and menstrual regulation. For everyone, it enhances digestive health.

2. Bow Pose (aka Rocking Bow Pose)

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This pose may take a bit of practice if you have not developed good flexibility, so work first on just getting the pose, then work on holding it for longer and longer durations and, finally rocking with it.

As you can see, this pose is achieved as follows:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach
  2. Bend your knees, bring your feet up toward your buttocks (exhale during this movement)
  3. Grab your feet with your hands
  4. Inhale as you lift up your head and chest, pulling on your feet, so that your thighs come up off the mat.
  5. Hold this raised position for 20 seconds (you may have to work up to this)
  6. Instead of holding it, try rocking back and forth on your abdomen
  7. Exhale as you return to your original position, and rest.
  8. For maximum benefit, do this 8-10 times
  9. You will feel a strong pull on your stomach, and the rocking will serve to loosen fat cells as well.

Other Benefits

  • This pose strengthens and tones our thighs, groin, back and chest muscles
  • It works to improve intestinal problems and liver function
  • After your 8-10 bow poses, you will be amazed at how the stress has just disappeared.

3. Boat Pose

BoatPose

    This is one of the very best poses for winning the belly fat battle! This gif above shows the boat pose that will be held once you get there. Here is how you get there:

    1. Sit on the mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the mat
    2. Place your hands palms down on the side of your hips
    3. Inhale, press on your palms and pull yourself back slowly, keeping your hips on the mat
    4. Lift your feet off the mat and straighten out your legs
    5. Extend your arms out in front of you on either side of your leg
    6. Try to bring your legs up as high as possible, putting your body in a “V” position
    7. Hold this position as long as possible, taking deep breaths as you do
    8. Exhale as you bend your knees and bring your feet back onto the mat.
    9. Hug your knees and lower your head to the top of your knees. Breathe deeply.

    Benefits

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    • This pose improves the function of several organs – thyroid, lungs, liver, pancreas
    • It also improves circulation and helps to lover blood sugar levels

    4.  Cobra Pose

    The Cobra pose is a part of a sequence of poses, known as the sun salutations. This series is usually begun at the beginning of a Yoga session, to open up the body. The Cobra position is that part of the sequence which works specifically on the abdomen and spine, as you can see from the position. During this pose you will really feel your stomach being stretched.

    Explanation of Steps

    1. The pose begins by lying flat on our stomach on the mat.
    2. Put your hands, palms down, under your shoulders
    3. Keep your legs stretched out and span out your toes if you are able, placing all of those toes on the mat.
    4. As you inhale, gradually push your chest and shoulders off the mat, keeping your elbows close to your body.
    5. Stretch up as high as you are able and hold the pose for 15-30 seconds
    6. Exhale and slowly return to the flat prone position
    7. Try to repeat this at least 5 times with a 10-15 second rest in between.
    8. As you get better, you will be able to stretch higher and higher and the higher you go the more you are pulling on those stomach muscles

    Benefits

    • In addition to working to reduce belly fat, this pose is great for the following:
    • It strengthens you back muscles and increases flexibility in your spine
    • It improves blood circulation, relieving fatigue and stress
    • It helps to improve breathing and digestion

    5. Wind Relieving Pose

    DigPose1

      As the name suggests, this pose has as one of it purposes, the reliving of gas that may be trapped in your intestine. However, because of the movements involved in this pose, it is also recognized as a great method of working those stomach muscles and breaking up and reducing that fat.

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      Explanation of Steps

      1. Lie flat on your back on you mat
      2. This one is easy. Exhale.
      3. Slowly bend your right knee up toward your chest beginning to inhale
      4. As your knee comes up grasp it with both hands and pull your head and chest up toward your knee. Hold it. Let your leg slowly return to the mat as you exhale
      5. Repeat the same procedure with your left knee.
      6. Then repeat the exercise with both knees together.
      7. You have finished one round. Try to doe 3-4 rounds at a time.

      Benefits

      In addition to strengthening and toning those stomach muscles and helping to relieve trapped gas, there are a few other things this pose does:

      • It helps to strengthen your hips and thighs
      • It reduces levels of acid in the stomach and provides relief for constipation
      • It can help relieve loser back pain.

      6. Standing Forward Bend

      1410212283-forward_bend

        You are probably thinking that this looks like it would really hurt. Actually, once you have achieved some flexibility, it a relatively easy pose. The other key to achieving this pose is to really relax as you are bending down and go slowly. You will be surprised how much more you can stretch when you do this.

        Explanation of Steps

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        1. You want to stand straight with your arms at your side.
        2. Raise your arms up straight above your head. Inhale deeply as you do this.
        3. When you inhale is complete, you are ready to exhale as you bend from the hip.
        4. Keep your back straight as you bend. Slowly bend down as far as you are able to go.
        5. If you are able, place your palms on the floor. If not, don’t worry. Eventually you will.
        6. If you can put your palms on the floor, try to turn your hands over and place your fingers under your toes.
        7. Until you reach the point of being able to get those hands all the way down, just grab the backs of your legs with your hands, hopefully as far down as the ankles.
        8. Now you are ready to tuck your head in as close to your legs as possible.
        9. Hold the pose as long as you can – maybe a minute at first – and breathe deeply.
        10. To return to your standing position, you want to remember one word – slowly. Try to think of “rolling” up rather than jerking quickly.
        11. The slow return to a standing position is what is going to pull on that stomach, and that’s what you want.
        12. Try to do 5-10 of these in a session, but give yourself a break between each one.

        Benefits

        This pose benefits that protruding belly in two ways. First, when you are in the full pose, your stomach is compressed, and that compression burns belly fat. As you come back up slowly, you are toning and pulling on those muscles. Here are the other good things that happen:

        • All of the muscles on the back of your body are stretched
        • Obviously, you have increased the blood supply to your brain
        • It really helps fatigue and insomnia

        A Word of Caution

        Do not engage in these poses if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, hip, back or joint pain, or if you have recently had abdominal, lung, brain or spine surgery. And many of them are not good for 2nd and 3rd trimester pregnancies. If you have any of these conditions, check with your doctor and show him/her the photos and videos in this post to see if you can safely adopt this program of exercise.

        Featured photo credit: raganmd via flickr.com

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2019

        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

        13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

        Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

        Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

        Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

        1. Stress Eating

        I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

        While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

        I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

        If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

        How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

        2. Nail Biting

        Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

        People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

        Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

        For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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        3. Hanging out with Naysayers

        We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

        Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

        Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

        4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

        Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

        While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

        Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

        Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

        5. Smoking

        Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

        In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

        Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

        Smoking risks

          6. Excessive Drinking

          All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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          According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

          • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
          • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
          • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
          • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
          • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

          If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

          If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

          7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

          Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

          If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

          A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

          “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

          And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

          While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

          Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

          Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

          8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

          There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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          In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

          Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

          Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

          9. Watching Too Much TV

          I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

          Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

          Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

          It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

          10. Being Late

          Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

          Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

          Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

          11. Being in Bad Relationships

          Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

          I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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          Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

          12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

          Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

          Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

          Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

          By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

          Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

          13. Focusing on the Negatives

          In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

          Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

          Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

          And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

          The Bottom Line

          So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

          Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

          Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

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