When we think of yoga and weight loss, power yoga instantly comes to mind. Endorsed by celebrities the world over-from Malaika Arora Khan to Jennifer Aniston-it’s a wonderful practice for those who want to shed kilos without hitting the gym.
Power yoga is dynamic in nature, flowing from one posture to another. When you practice it, your muscles warm up quickly which helps to burn calories. Not to mention, the postures build muscle and develop strength.
Did you know that there are certain power yoga poses that can help you burn more calories than running on a treadmill. Yes, you read that right.
Here are five that you can start your power yoga practice with:
1. Chaturanga dandasana or plank pose
- Start with balasana (child’s pose) with arms extended forward.
- Lift your hips up so that your shoulders come in a straight line with your palms, and your knees are placed below the pelvic bone.
- Look down, but the back of your neck and head should be parallel to the ground. Make sure that your shoulders are pushed away from your ears and your tailbone is tucked in with the contraction of abdominal muscles.
- Now without changing the position of the upper body, stretch your right leg back, followed by your left leg, and tuck in your toes.
- Your body should be in a straight line starting from your shoulders till your heels.
- Now challenge your body strength by bending your arms at the elbows keeping your body in a straight line. The trick is to push your body weight forward and turn your elbows closer towards the torso.
- The body should be two inches above the floor. Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds with normal breathing.
2. Vashishthasana or side plank pose
- Start with a full plank pose.
- Now place the right palm in line with your right foot by coming on to the right edge of the right foot. Now you will be facing towards the left side of your body in a side plank.
- Push your right shoulder away from your right ear keeping it in line with your right palm.
- Place your left foot above your right foot or across depending on your comfort level.
- Extend your heels as much as possible and lift your hips up by contracting the external obliques on the right side of the torso.
- Your body should be in a straight line from your head to heels.
- Hold the pose with normal breathing for at least 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
3. Ardha pincha mayurasana or dolphin pose
- Come in ardha-mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog).
- Bend your arms at the elbows by placing your forearms on the mat. Make sure your elbows are placed below your shoulders.
- Push your shoulders away from your ears and relax your head, but keep it at least an inch above the mat.
- Keep working on pushing your chest out and heels down. Hold the pose with normal breathing for at least 10 seconds.
4. Sirsasana or headstand
- Sit in vajrasana and grab your elbows with opposite palms.
- Extend your elbows forward. Now lift your hips up and interlock the fingers of both palms for the head support.
- You will see a tripod formed between the forearms where the elbows are placed below the shoulders.
- Now place the back of the head within the support of the palms and the top of the head on the mat.
- Tuck the toes in and lift your hips up.
- Keep pushing the shoulders away from the mat and tippy-toe towards your head till your hips are placed above the shoulders. Keep the spine and back of your neck straight.
- Focus on deep breathing and try to balance using your core strength.
- Squeeze your glutes and lift your feet up whenever you are ready. Hold the pose for at least a minute with deep breathing.
- This pose should be followed by balasana (child’s pose).
Note: If you’re trying this pose for the first, please use the support of a wall to create balance and avoid injuries.
5. Virabhadrasana or warrior pose
- Stand straight and stretch your feet apart as much as possible so that they are parallel towards each other. Your heels should be in one straight line.
- Lift your arms parallel to the ground with your palms facing down. Look towards your right and turn your right foot at a 90-degree angle.
- Now bend your right leg at the knee so that your knee is placed above your ankle and your thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Keep stretching your right knee towards your right, keeping the weight of your body on the right thigh. At the same time keep the left leg straight and strong.
- Squeeze your glutes and push your pelvis towards the left side of your body.
- Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds with normal breathing. Repeat on the other side.
Note: If you’re a beginner, please perform these asanas only under the guidance of a seasoned yoga practitioner.