Stress Less, Burn More: Yoga Workouts That Blast Fat

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Yoga has endless benefits, including the ability to add flexibility and feel less stressed. It can also be a great way to increase your heart rate and burn calories. But, like all exercise, in order to achieve a fat-blasting workout, you’re going to have to crank up the intensity and push yourself. Ready to feel lean and limber? Here are three yoga workouts that create an optimal calorie burn.

1. 500 calorie burner

Inspired by a Fitness yoga routine, this workout lasts an hour and burns about 500 calories.

Start with the sun salutation series. You’ll begin in mountain pose, where you stand tall with your feet together and arms at your sides. Breathing deeply, raise your arms straight and reach toward the sky. From here, exhale, sweeping your arms sideways. Bend at the hips until your fingertips or palms reach the ground on either side of your feet. Keep our fingers in line with your toes. Keeping your feet together, place your fingertips on the ground near the outer edges of your feet, in line with your toes. Inhale while lifting your torso halfway up, keeping your back flat. Look forward, reaching your tailbone away from the top of your head. Finally, bend your knees, placing palms flat on the ground and about shoulder-width apart, jump both feet back, landing in a downward dog position.

Add on the half push-up series. From downward dog, get on all fours, aligning your knees on the ground under your hips and keep your hands directly below your shoulders. Keeping your abs pulled in and your head aligned with your spine, bend elbows about 45 degrees in a half push-up, arms close to your sides. Straighten your arms and repeat four to six times before returning to downward dog.

Add on the lunge jump. From downward dog, step your left leg forward between your hands, bending your left knee 90 degrees while keeping your right leg straight. Hold for a few breaths, then switch legs, jumping your left leg back and your right leg forward. Repeat four to six times and return to downward dog.

Add on the warrior series. From downward dog, step your left foot forward between hands, bending your left knee 90 degrees with foes facing forward. Keep your right leg straight and lift your upper body. Raise your arms overhead next to your ears and hold for three to five breaths. Then straighten your left leg while lowering your arms, keep your palms in and your right heel lifted. Repeat four to six times. Return to the warrior pose, then to downward dog. Repeat on the opposite side, ending in downward dog.

The last move in the series is chair with a twist. From downward dog go into mountain pose. Then, bend your knees, pushing your butt back. Bring your palms together in front of your chest and bend forward, pressing your right upper arm against the outside of your left thigh as you twist your upper body to the left. Hold for one to two breaths, then come back to the center and twist to the right. Continue alternating sides, four to six times in each direction, then stand.

Each full sequence should take about 15 minutes. Repeat four to five times.