Are you wondering which are the best Yoga postures for weight loss?

It may sound like an odd question.

After all, Yoga isn’t exactly a weight loss-oriented workout program.

Everyone knows Yoga is best for improving flexibility, mobility, mindfulness, balance, coordination, and muscular and cardiovascular endurance. It’s an amazing form of exercise, but it’s not exactly aimed at burning fat or losing weight.

Or is it?

The truth is that Yoga works your cardiovascular system and muscles effectively, which means it CAN burn fat, activate your metabolism, and increase energy output—all of which lead to weight loss.

So which are the best Yoga postures for weight loss? Read on to find out for yourself…

My 6 Favorite Yoga Postures for Weight Loss

I want to start this off with a disclaimer: to see real, effective weight loss, you’ll need to do the more active forms of Yoga, like Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, or Vinyasa Yoga. These forms of Yoga involve constant movement, changing between the Yoga postures, and that movement is what leads to a metabolism boost and weight loss.

The slower, more meditative forms of Yoga are excellent for clearing your mind and calming your spirit, but not as effective for weight loss.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to look at the best Yoga postures for weight loss to include in your workout:

Sun Salutations – The Sun Salutation sequence involves a number of different movements and Yoga postures performed one after another. Some Yoga workouts involve slow transitions between the poses, but you can speed things up in order to get your heart and lungs pumping for greater fat-burning.

To really maximize the effectiveness of the Sun Salutations sequence, try adding a Push-Up every time you transition into and out of Plank. You’ll find that incorporating a muscle-building exercise does wonders to increase your energy expenditure, which will burn through available calories in your bloodstream and force your body to tap into calories stored in your body fat.

Chair Pose – Chair Pose is an amazing exercise to shred your lower body muscles—not just your quads, but also your glutes, hamstrings, hips, and the muscles that connect your pelvis to your lower back. The fact that you’re maintaining your balance in a seated position without support forces your muscles to work overtime. It’s more focused on building muscular endurance than strength, but it still burns through a lot of energy.

Best of all, because it’s a low-intensity exercise (more aerobic than anaerobic) your cardiovascular system can still absorb enough oxygen to burn fat instead of just glucose. The result: better fat loss!

Warrior Poses – All three Warrior Poses make excellent additions to your weight loss Yoga workout. They’re all great Yoga postures for weight loss because they activate your lower body muscles very effectively. You have to bend your legs to remain in the Warrior Poses, which means your leg muscles burn through available ATP energy and need to bring in additional energy.

After a long Yoga workout, you’ll have used up all of the carbohydrate-based energy in your bloodstream, and thus your body will be forced to tap into stored fats to produce more energy. Ultimately, it will lead to fat loss—the real­ weight loss results you’re looking for through your workouts.

Plank – Plank is one of the absolute best core workouts, hands down. It engages your abs, lower back, glutes, hips, quads, shoulders, chest, and triceps, all of which burn through a lot of stored energy—increasing your metabolism and accelerating calorie burning.

The fact that you’re maintaining a static (unmoving) position means that Plank is incredibly safe for you to perform. There is virtually no risk of injury to your lower back, and little to no strain on your joints. Because it’s all bodyweight, you need no equipment and can do it literally anywhere you are. All of this combines to make the Plank not only one of the best Yoga postures for weight loss, but one of the best Yoga postures PERIOD.

Bow Pose – This is a more advanced pose, but it will do wonders to shred your abs muscles. Think about it: your abs have to work at full intensity to elevate your chest, shoulders, head, and legs off the ground. You’ll no doubt feel them screaming long before you finish your Bow Pose, and they’ll start trembling from exertion and fatigue.

That’s absolutely a good thing! Strengthening your abs and lower back will lead to better overall fitness and mobility, but it will also help to improve your weight loss—specifically burning the fat around your belly. Because the muscles beneath the layers of fat are doing the work, they have easily available energy to tap into and burn through as you exercise.

Shoulder Stand – Shoulder Stands are an intermediate-level Yoga posture, and they are excellent for strengthening your core. Because your abs and lower back are engaged to keep your body stable in the upright position, you burn through a lot of energy and activate your metabolism. Plus, it’s effective at boosting thyroid function, which in turn accelerates your metabolism and leads to increased fat and weight loss.