That’s right, yoga isn’t just a bunch of stretching—it can torch major calories! It builds muscle, which causes fat to melt, and can also increase your heart rate, which aids in boosting your metabolism.
These poses are some of the best to burn calories. Do this entire sequence three to five days a week, and any extra padding on your body will turn into sleekly sculpted muscle in no time.
Down Dog Split, Knee-to Nose-Repetitions: From down dog, inhale your right leg high, opening the hip if that feels nice. On an exhale, start to round your right knee to your nose, drawing your navel toward your spine. Inhale your leg back to down dog split. Do 10 reps, then repeat the sequence with your left leg.
Plank with Arm-Leg Lift: From down dog, roll out into plank with your shoulders and wrists lined up, lengthening from the crown of your head through your heels. Reach your right arm forward and lift your left foot off the ground. Take three deep breaths here, then repeat with your left arm and right foot. Do 5 to 10 reps on each side.
Dolphin Push-ups: From all fours, place your forearms on the ground shoulder-distance apart, then tuck your toes and lift your hips. From here, start to lower your chin toward your thumbs on an inhale, coming almost to a forearm plank but not quite since your feet are too close to your elbows for that. Use your exhale to lift back to dolphin, raising your hips back toward the ceiling. Do 20 reps.
Forearm Stand: From dolphin, walk your feet toward your elbows and lift one leg toward the ceiling. Start to rock forward and lift both legs off the ground. (You can also do this against a wall.) Try to stay here for 5 deep breaths.
Wheel: Lie on your back, knees bent and feet on the ground hip-distance apart. Bend your elbows and place your hands on either side of your head shoulder-distance part, fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Pressing into your feet and hands equally, lift your hips and lengthen your arms. Keep pressing into your feet (especially through the big toe mound) and reaching your chest away from your feet as you stay here for 5 deep breaths. Be sure to tuck your chin to your chest before you slowly come down.
High Lunge Twist Repetitions: From high lunge with your right foot forward, inhale to straighten your legs and lift your arms high. On your exhale, come back down to high lunge, reaching your left arm forward and your right arm back. Inhale back to center. Do 10 to 20 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
Revolved Half Moon: From a supported warrior three with your right leg on the ground and your left fingertips on the ground or a block, lift your right arm toward the ceiling and look up at your fingertips. Stay here for 5 deep breaths, then repeat on the left side.
Chair: From standing, sink your hips and reach your arms high. Look in front of your knees and make sure you can see your toes. If you can’t, sit back until you can. Take care to drop your shoulders away from your ears—maybe even try turning the corners of your mouth up—and breath for 5 long, deep breaths.
Crow: From a forward fold, plant your palms shoulder-distance apart on the mat. Press into your fingertips, look slightly forward, and take your knees into the back of your upper arms, aiming for your armpits, though your knees will most likely slide down. Bend your elbows and, one at a time, lift your feet off the ground, reaching your heels toward your butt. Breathe here for 5 deep breaths.
Tip Toe: With arms by your sides and keeping your toes and knees together, rise up on the balls of your feet and squat, lowering your butt to hover just about your heels. One at a time, try to take your hands together at the center of your chest and stay here for 5 deep breaths.
Photos: Vera Boykewich