Doing yoga daily is fabulous for your health. Yoga is a combination of mental, spiritual and physical practices that helps strengthen the union between the body, mind and soul.
In fact, there is growing awareness worldwide about the benefits of yoga. Today, you can find professional yoga classes just about everywhere.
People are learning that yoga helps them remain fit and healthy. It helps you to move, sweat and burn calories as well as increase the rate of your metabolism. Yes, you read it right – yoga poses can help boost metabolism.
Metabolism is the process through which your body transforms the food you eat into energy. A faster metabolic rate means you’ll feel more energetic and active. Your body will look younger and you’ll start feeling younger, too.
You can use yoga to help increase your activity level, improve your digestion, boost your blood circulation and create lean muscle mass. All these factors work together to help increase your metabolic rate.
Here are some of the yoga poses that boost metabolism.
1. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
The Bow Pose boosts your metabolism and your energy. In this pose, the abdominal organs bear the weight of the body and get a gentle massage, which stimulates blood flow to the organs.
It also improves digestion and the detoxification process. Plus, it helps combat stress and fatigue, while strengthening your abdominal and back muscles.
- Begin by lying on your stomach with your chin on the floor, your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Inhale, bend your knees and try to grab your ankles with your hands.
- Slowly raise your chest and pull your legs up and back.
- Keep your head facing straight ahead.
- Hold the pose and take deep breaths for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Exhale as you lower your ankles and chest back to the floor.
- Repeat 8 to 10 times.
- Finally, relax and continue to take long, deep breaths for 1 minute or so.
2. Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)
Shoulder Stand Pose is known as the “queen of all asanas”. It helps turn your world upside down and get your stubborn fat cells moving. During this pose, blood rushes to your upper body and sends a good flow of oxygen to your heart and brain. It also nourishes the thyroid gland, which regulates the body’s metabolism.
It is recommended to practice this pose either first thing in the morning or at least four to six hours after a meal. The important thing to remember is that your stomach and bowels must be empty when you practice this asana.
- Begin by lying flat on your back.
- Keep your legs together and your arms by your sides.
- With one swift movement, lift your legs, buttocks and back, such that your elbows support your lower body and you stand high on your shoulders with your toes pointing at the ceiling.
- Use your hands to support your back and hold this position for as many seconds as possible, while taking deep breaths. Do not support your body with your neck or head.
- To release, lower your knees and bring your hands to the floor.
- Then, lie flat and relax for several seconds before standing up.
Note: You can put a folded blanket under your shoulders to allow your neck to remain relatively free rather than scrunched against the floor.
3. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
This powerful standing balance pose is good for your metabolism as well as immunity.
The Tree Pose helps you use all the muscles in your legs, engages your core and promotes poise and calmness. It also helps you gain focus, concentration and coordination.
- Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Your spine and neck should be straight and chin drawn in.
- Slowly place your right foot high up on your left thigh.
- Keep your left leg straight and balance yourself on one leg.
- On an inhalation, raise your arms over your head.
- Maintain the pose for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Exhale, and slowly bring down your hands and release your right leg.
- Repeat the process with the other leg.
- Do this 10 to 12 times per session.
To give a boost to your metabolism, you can also try the Boat Pose.
This pose strengthens the core, and the strong contraction of the abdominal muscles improves the digestive process, which in turn boosts metabolism. This pose even helps fight stubborn abdominal fat.
- Begin by sitting on your mat with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hands beside your hips and fingers pointing toward your feet.
- With an inhalation, press on your palms, lengthen your spine and slowly pull yourself back while staying on your hips.
- Taking deep breaths, lift your feet off the floor, bringing your shins level with the floor.
- Extend your arms to the front, parallel to the floor.
- Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Straighten your legs to form a ‘V’ shape and hold this position for 2 to 5 breaths.
- Exhale, bend your knees and hug them tight.
- Inhale, straighten your spine and bring your forehead to your knees.
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Inhale and raise your head, then exhale and cross your legs.
- Repeat these steps 3 to 5 times.
5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
The Bridge Pose stimulates the abdominal organs and thyroid gland, which in turn improves digestion and helps regulate metabolism.
This yoga pose also improves blood circulation and makes you more energetic. Plus, it is beneficial for your bone health.
- Lie down on your back.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground hip-width apart.
- Keep your arms by your sides, with your palms down.
- Inhale and raise your hips off the floor, pressing your feet firmly on the floor.
- Slowly raise your upper body along with your hips, shifting your weight to your shoulders.
- Maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds, taking deep breaths.
- Exhale and slowly return to your starting position.
6. Locust Pose (Salabasana)
In the Locust Pose, all your body weight is focused on the abdominal region, which means it helps massage the digestive organs and improves their functioning. A healthy digestive system gives a boost to your metabolism.
This yoga exercise also strengthens your lower back.
- Begin by lying on your stomach, with your toes pointing toward the back.
- Keep your arms alongside your body, palms facing up.
- Inhale and lift your head, chest, feet and hands up from the ground.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation.
- Take a few breaths and repeat 1 or 2 times more, if you like.
7. Crescent Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
This is a standing yoga posture that helps improve your metabolism. While it challenges your leg muscles and your ability to balance, it also provides the benefits of mild inversions, including relief from stress, anxiety and fatigue.
It also improves core strength and helps fight digestive problems.
- Stand straight on your yoga mat, with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides.
- On an inhalation, raise your hands over your head and press your palms together.
- Go, exhale and bend your body to one side slowly, so it forms a crescent shape from your hands to your feet.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
- Inhale and return to the standing position, with your hands still over your head.
- Repeat the bend on the opposite side.
- Finally, exhale and lower your arms.
8. Plow Pose (Halasana)
The Plow Pose is another good yoga pose for boosting your metabolism. It massages and tones the digestive organs, which improves detoxification. It also improves blood circulation and stimulates the thyroid gland, which are important for your metabolism.
This pose should be done at the end of your yoga session, when your body is thoroughly warm.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and arms beside you, palms down.
- Inhale, and lift your legs off the floor using your abdominal muscles. Raise your legs vertically to a 90-degree angle.
- Using your hands for support, lift your hips and back off the floor while continuing to breathe normally.
- Bend your legs to 180 degrees, passing them over your head and touching your toes to the floor. Keep your back perpendicular to the floor.
- Hold this pose for several seconds, while trying to relax your body more with every steady breath.
- After some time, slowly bring your legs down as you breathe out.
Note: For support, you can put a folded blanket beneath your shoulders.