Yoga is a great exercise for weight loss because you can combine muscle development with deep, controlled breathing. Muscles burn fat even in their resting stage, so strengthening and building muscles is a key component to a healthy weight management plan. Because of the nature of yoga, it elevates your heart rate, but not as high as some types of fat burning cardio. That’s why, for this brief 20 minute yoga workout, we suggest that you start your warm up with some cardio. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, so long as you get the blood pumping around your body. Some suggestions include; jump rope, running, power walking or cycling.
Once you are all warmed up you will be ready to start your 20 minute yoga workout.
Backbend to forward bend: start in a backbend position and hold it for two deep breaths, then move slowly into the forward bend holding this for two deep breaths. Repeat 5 times. This exercise works to tighten your stomach while strengthening your back, building fat burning muscle.
Squatting chair: this exercise will help keep your heart rate up. Move down in a squatting motion until you’re in the chair position and hold there for a deep breath before slowly rising up again. Repeat this for at least 10 counts and feel the burn. This exercise is perfect for tightening and toning the thighs.
Plank: the best yoga exercise for engaging the core, this will be a test of strength and endurance. The first few times you do this, you might find your muscles vibrating as you try to hold tight. Work through the discomfort, as this is really a great toning exercise. Aim for three sets of 1 minute, but remember you will have to build up to this time.
Moon flowers: this movement is all about slow, controlled movement. Resisting the urge to just fall into the lower position, which help ensure your muscles are being properly worked out. This pose works everywhere; thighs, glutes, core, back, and side. Do between 10-20 reps, being sure to match your breathing with each movement.
Boat lifts: Focusing almost entirely on your legs and core, this simple movement works wonders for tightening and reshaping your legs. Repeat this exercise 10 times on each side.
Side plank: Similar to standard plank, side plank works out the sides of your body, while one arm at a time holds up a portion of your weight. This is the perfect exercise to end your workout with, as it will really test your abdominal strength. Try to hold for three sets of 30 seconds!
This easy, fun 20 minute yoga workout is perfect for weight management and tightening up your body. We suggest that you try to do this three times a week, but if you have more time available, it is suitable for every day use too. Often when people do yoga they overlook the importance of breathing, which is a big mistake! Be sure to focus on your breathing and you will see a huge difference in your results.