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Who said you can’t lose weight with yoga? Yoga is actually one of the best exercises to tone, build lean muscle, lose weight, and decrease cravings. But the types of poses you do and how you implement them definitely play a huge role in how fast you achieve the results you are looking for. We are going to show you a simple 15 minute yoga routine for weight loss any beginner can do to jumpstart your weight loss, boost your metabolism,  and get a lean, toned body while building your yoga practice.

If you are still skeptical of how yoga can help you lose weight, read my How Yoga Can Help you Lose Weight Quickly and Effectively article. I go over in depth the science back effects yoga has on the body and how it’s effectiveness has been proven for weight loss.

Basically, yoga is a body weight workout, and is very effective in turning body fat into lean muscle mass, when the right poses are implemented correctly.

The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism becomes, and the easier it becomes for you to lose weight and meet your goals.

The 15 poses I’m going to show you all hold their own unique benefits, and are all amazing at toning, burning fat, and decreasing stress (another huge factor in weight loss!).

I have put them in order in a way that creates a “flow” to keep your body moving to be the most effective for weight loss.

Hold each pose for 15 seconds, and then repeat the sequence 4 times, switching sides.

If you need to rest between poses when first starting out, that’s okay. These will be the most effective when each pose is done right after the other, forming a “flow” to keep your body moving and increase your metabolism, but just do your best and keep building up to it.


1. Plank

Plank pose activates your core muscles and builds strength in your arms, shoulders and back. Planks are an excellent way to warm up your body and get your heart beating faster, which in turn begins to speed up your metabolism and promote fat burn.

Start on all fours, with your hands planted directly underneath your shoulders and fingers spread.

Activate your core as you straighten one leg at a time out behind you, pushing through your heels to engage your legs.

Don’t let your back arch or you shoulders slump. Strongly engage and breathe through the discomfort.

Breathe and hold for 15 seconds.



2. Chaturanga

You will hate this pose at first, as did I. I always thought Chaturanga was for people who naturally had upper body strength but that’s not true!

I literally had zero upper body strength when I first began yoga, and this did not take me long to get at all. All it takes is some dedication and consistency.

Chaturanga activates your entire body, as you are basically doing a slow reverse push up and staying in a hover position.

Believe me, you will learn to love this pose because it will give you the strength and lean muscle you need to meet your goals. Just don’t give up!

From plank position, first make sure you have proper alignment. Hands should be directly underneath your shoulders and you feet should be hip distance apart. Make sure your core is engaged and your back is straight.

Slowly start to bend your elbows and keep them tucked in tight towards your body as much as you can. You don’t want them to fan out from your body at all.

Throughout the pose, you should be engaging from your head to your toes to form stability. This will take all the pressure from landing completely on your arms as well.

Get to the point where you are hovering above the ground in a half push up position and hold for 15 seconds.

If you can’t hold it for this long when first starting, it’s okay. Just build up a few seconds each time.

From here you can choose to slowly descend to the ground or go directly into the next pose.



3. Upward Facing Dog

From Chaturanga, flip the tops of your feet so they are touching the ground, as you breathe and push up from the ground and extend your chest towards the ceiling.

Completely engage your legs. Your entire body all the way to your ankles should now be off the ground. Your hands and the tops of your feet should be the only body parts on the ground.

Don’t let your shoulders or chest collapse. Lift through your sternum and engage your core and breathe.

Hold for 15 seconds.



4. Three Legged Dog

From Upward Dog, flip your feet back so your toes are on the ground, and as you push your weight back into Downward Dog, lift your right leg up high into the air.

Don’t let the weight fall onto your shoulders by pushing through your left heel and engaging your entire body.

Breathe here and hold for 15 seconds.





5. High Lunge

From Three Legged Dog, come into a one legged plank pose as you curl your right leg into your core for the transition, and then step it through between your hands.

First make sure your right foot is strongly grounded and you are engaging through your left heel, then bend your right leg and rise up into High Lunge, with your arms up in the air.

Hold for 15 seconds.





6. Warrior II

Keep your right leg bent at a 90 degree angle. Plant your left foot on the ground by letting it turn on 30 degree angle.

Bring your arms straight out behind you and in front of you and adjust your hips so they are facing towards the left side of the room.

Let your gaze fall over your right fingertips. With each exhale, sink deeper into the pose, staying super engaged in both of your legs and lifting through your chest.

Breathe and hold for 15 seconds.



7. Unsupported Pyramid

Straighten your right leg and adjust your body so it is facing foward, keeping your back foot grounded.

Bring your arms behind your back and grab opposite elbows. Slowly begin to hinge forward at your hips by engaging your core.

Only hinge forward as much as is comfortable for your body. When first starting out, the hamstrings tends to be very tight, so make sure to go slow and listen to your body.

The main focus here to make sure you are engaging your core to keep your torso elevated above your right thigh.

Push through your chest and stay here for 15 seconds.

8. Warrior III

Unbind your arms from behind you, and begin to very slightly bend your right leg as you bring your left leg off the floor and push forward into Warrior III.

You can choose to do this pose supported or unsupported. Doing it unsupported will work your core more than when your hands are on the ground, but make sure you aren’t curling your body forward and are lifting through your chest.

Keep your back leg straight and flex your foot towards the ground.

If you are going unsupported, you can either bring your hands up by your ears, behind you in a bind, or bring them to touch at your heart in a prayer position.

Stay grounded and hold for 15 seconds.



9. Twisted Chair

Slowly bend your right knee as you bend your left knee behind you and bring it to meet your right.

As you come into your chair pose, bring your hands to your heart ina prayer if they aren’t already there, and twist to the side, laying your left elbow on your right knee.

Your body weight should be on your heels to the point where you can lift your toes off the ground while still feeling grounded.

With each exhale, sink your seat deeper and twist more to the right.

Hold for 15 seconds.


10. Forward Fold

Forward fold is usually looked at as a resting pose but it is actually a great pose for weight loss!

You are engaging your core a lot here to fold forward as well as your thighs.

From Twisted Chair, hinge your body back to center, and straighten your legs as you fold forward, using your core.

Don’t just let your body hang here, engage as much as you can to sink deeper.

With each exhale, fold more towards your body, building up power in your center for the next pose.

Hold for 15 seconds.



11. Goddess

Come back up to a standing position, and then step your left foot out as far as you can while keeping it grounded on the floor.

Turn your heels out slightly, causing your toes to turn inward, and sink your seat as much as you can.

Bring your arms up to form a goal post and lift through your chest.

Tuck your tailbone to make sure your back is not arching and engage your core.

You will feel the burn in this one A LOT.

Just breathe through it and harness the energy that is building up in your core.

Sink deeper with each exhale and hold for 15 seconds.



12. Extended Side Angle

Rotate your right heel towards the front of the room, and your left heel on a 90 degree angle as you rotate your body over your right leg and straighten your left leg out behind you.

Plant your right hand on the inside of your right foot and float your left arm up towards the ceiling, letting your gaze follow.

For more of a challenge, bring your right arm underneath your right thigh and bring your left arm behind you to grab your right hand. This will cause you to engage your core more to keep your chest lifted.

Try to keep your body linear, like in Triangle Pose by engaging your core and lifting through your chest.

Extend through your left foot. Hold here for 20 seconds.


13. Boat

Come to the ground with your feet grounded in front of you and knees bent. Make sure you are sitting up tall.

Slightly lean back as you lift one foot at a time off the ground. You should feel a lot of engagement in your core here. Lean back to the point where you are balancing on your sits bones.

Bring your arms straight out to hover along your sides. Straighten your legs if possible and hold here for 15 seconds. Remember to lift through your chest to not let it collapse, minimizing the effect.



14. Bridge

From Boat Pose, bend your knees if they are straight, and let your feet slowly come to the ground.

Use your core to slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time to the ground.

When you come to the ground, make sure you feet are planted hip distance apart.

Place your hands flat on the ground and shimmy your shoulder blades underneath you so your fingertips can graze your ankles. Clasp your hands together if you would like.

On your next exhale, engage your core and lift up off the ground as much as you can. You will feel your glutes engage to help you lift your pelvis.

Engage your arms and shoulder and keep pushing them towards the ground.

Stay here and hold for 15 seconds.



15. Bow

Slowly come down from Bridge one vertebrae at a time, then turn over to your stomach.

Bend your knees to being both feet up into the air, and grab your feet or ankles with your hands.

Place your forehead on the ground, then on your next exhale, pull on your ankles to lift your chest, abdomen, and thighs off the ground as much as you can.

This pose is amazing for strengthening the back muscles, and stimulates the organs in your abdominals, improving digestion and your metabolism.

Stay here and hold for 15 seconds.



Do this sequences four times total, switching sides each time.

This is a great routine to do every morning to stimulate your metabolism and burn fat the rest of the day.

15 minutes is really not a long time, and by doing this you will be strengthening, building lean muscle, burning fat, and boosting your metabolism to meet your fitness and weight loss goals!