Yoga Pose Transitions for Weight Loss - Aura Wellness Center

Yoga Pose Transitions for Weight Loss

yoga pose transitionsBy Faye Martins and Gopi Rao

What are Yoga pose transitions? Can posture transitions create circumstances for weight loss? Here’s the hard truth: Yoga pose transitions are the movements between asanas, and movement creates an ideal situation for burning calories. This is not a miracle. This is the same situation we make when walking, swimming, biking, or moving our bodies. That said, flowing postures such as Vinyasa and the movements we see in Kundalini-based Yoga classes are perfect for burning calories. Let’s dig into the research, laugh at a few myths, and look at what we can do to live a healthy lifestyle.


Yoga for Weight Loss

Regular, moderate, and vigorous yoga will help boost metabolism, burn calories, and drop unwanted pounds. Practicing Yoga poses regularly will also help to detoxify your organs, balance your nervous system and increase muscle tone and flexibility. There are many different styles from which to choose. These styles range from deeply relaxing, restorative sequences to vigorous, flowing Power Yoga workouts that burn calories and strengthen all of the major muscle groups in the body.

More active and strenuous practice is recommended to burn calories, increase muscle mass, and tone your body. Flowing styles, such as Power, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and Ashtanga, are all great ways to improve your heart rate, burn calories and increase muscle tone. One of the ways to increase the effectiveness of vinyasa-based practices is to incorporate strengthening movements into the transitions between poses. In the Yoga world, this is known as “working in the transitions.”


Working in the Transitions

For example, one straightforward way to add a strengthening and toning movement into the transition between Downward Facing Dog and various standing poses is to practice leg raises as you move into the next standing asana from Downward Facing Dog. Downward Facing Dog is one of the vital Yoga poses of the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation is an excellent sequence for recognizing Yoga pose transitions. Many variations are available on streaming video or at your local Yoga studio.


Leg Raises in Downward Facing Dog

When you are in Downward Facing Dog, shift your weight to your left foot, and with an inhale, raise your right leg to hip height with your toes pointing towards your mat. Bring your right knee to the outside of your right elbow with your next exhale. Hold for a moment, and then raise your right leg to hip height. Repeat this movement twice and synchronize the action with your breath before placing your right foot on the mat before you move into the next standing asana.

Repeat this strengthening movement three times on each side just before entering into the next standing pose in the sequence of poses you are practicing. Over time, you will find that this strengthening movement “in the transition” will very effectively tone and strengthen your legs, buttocks, back, arms, and shoulders. The increased rigor of this additional strengthening movement will also enhance your Yoga practice’s cardiovascular and metabolic benefits.


Myths and Facts

It would help if you didn’t think Yoga pose transitions are the latest and greatest wave on the weight loss circuit. The reason why Yoga has caught the attention of medical science and fitness fields is within the research. Low-impact physical movements stress the muscles, joints, connective tissue, and bones less. Still, the idea of burning calories with asanas or Yoga pose transitions has thrown many industries into a state of rage.

When doctors started recommending Yoga to their patients, that hurt the bottom line for selling supplements and pills. If you like conspiracies, here’s some food for thought: It is possible that the backlash against Yoga’s popularity is a carefully constructed smear campaign by big business, skeptics, and dark money, which wants to maintain a status quo of pill-popping and sitting on the couch for life.

On the Other Hand

Some people just flatly state: “Yoga is a fad, and all this weight loss nonsense is hype to put money in the hands of the Yoga industry.” There is a steadfast no pain – no gain belief in the court of public opinion. Some people believe they must suffer for the “sins of gaining weight.” Bikram marketed this approach and convinced thousand to follow him. In fact, he is not alone and if you tell people there is an easier way to approach exercise and diet, most of them won’t believe you.


Back to Reality

Everyone loves a conspiracy, the court of public opinion, and a sprinkle of inaccurate facts, but let’s review Yoga pose transitions for weight loss. On paper, they should work to a limited degree. So, what does the research say? It looks like the Yoga lifestyle is the cause of good news. As you practice over time, you become constantly aware of everything, such as eating habits, daily exercise, and handling stress. The patterns created with a healthy Yogic lifestyle stay with us for life.

So, what’s the big deal? Most people live on auto-pilot, and their lifestyles contain bad habits. When you visit the doctor’s office, they always ask: “Do you smoke?” You probably think, “Who smokes anymore?” If you walk around the back of every medical lounge, you see a pile of cigarette butts on the ground.

Medical Merry Go Round

The staff that weighs you and gives you a frown as they total the weight of your coat, shoes, and purse isn’t practicing their Yoga pose transitions. If you eat right and exercise, you are in the minority, which might result in moderate weight loss, and we should pack light when going to a weigh-in at the doctor’s office.

All laughing and silly dark humor aside, Yoga pose transitions burn unwanted calories, but pranayama, meditation, and mantra practice create a harmonious situation for weight management. Research shows that healthy sleep, coping with stress, proper posture, and breathing at a controlled pace create ideal circumstances for controlling body weight.


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Related Research

Manchanda, SC, Narang, R, Reddy, KS. Retardation of coronary atherosclerosis with yoga lifestyle intervention. J Assoc Physicians India. 2000;48:687-694.

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Streeter, CC, Gerbarg, PL, Saper, RB, Ciraulo, DA, Brown, RP. Effects of yoga on the autonomic nervous system, gamma-aminobutyric-acid, and allostasis in epilepsy, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Med Hypotheses. 2012;78:571-579.

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Ekkekakis, P, Lind, E, Vazou, S. Affective responses to increasing levels of exercise intensity in normal-weight, overweight, and obese middle-aged women. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010;18:79-85.

Related Studies

Moliver, N, Mika, E, Chartrand, M, Burrus, S, Haussmann, R, Khalsa, S. Increased Hatha yoga experience predicts lower body mass index and reduced medication use in women over 45 years. Int J Yoga. 2011;4(2):77-86.

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Singh, S, Kyizom, T, Singh, KP, Tandon, OP, Madhu, SV. Influence of pranayamas and yoga-asanas on serum insulin, blood glucose and lipid profile in type 2 diabetes. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2008;23:365-368.

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Introduction to Yoga Pose Transitions

By Sangeetha Saran, Jenny Park, and Kimaya Singh

Are you tired of the same old yoga routine? Do you want to spice up your practice and add an extra challenge to your workout? Look no further than yoga pose transitions. These seamless movements between poses improve flexibility, balance, and coordination, aiding in weight loss. Let’s explore different types of yoga pose changes, their benefits, and how to incorporate them into your practice for maximum impact. Get ready to take your yoga game to the next level with these dynamic movements.

Different Types of Yoga Pose Transitions

Yoga pose transitions involve moving from one yoga posture to another seamlessly. Different types of yoga pose transitions can help you achieve other goals, such as increasing flexibility or building strength.

One type of transition is the flow sequence, which involves moving through a series of poses in a continuous motion. This can be energizing and help build stamina.

Another type is the static-to-dynamic transition, where you hold a pose for several breaths before transitioning into a more active movement. This can help improve stability and balance.

The dynamic-to-static transition is when you move from an active movement into holding a static position. This helps with strengthening muscles and improving focus.

There are also transitional movements that involve twisting or bending the body in specific ways to prepare for certain postures. These movements can help improve mobility and range of motion.

Whether you’re looking to increase your flexibility, build strength or add variety to your practice, incorporating different types of yoga pose transitions can benefit your overall well-being.

Benefits of Yoga Pose Transitions

Yoga pose transitions are a dynamic way to move through your practice with fluidity and grace. But beyond the aesthetics of these movements, numerous benefits come from incorporating them into your routine.

One significant advantage of yoga pose transitions is that they help you build strength and endurance. When you flow between different poses, you engage multiple muscle groups in your body, which helps to tone and strengthen them over time.

Another benefit of practicing pose transitions is improved flexibility. As you move through various postures, you stretch out tight muscles and increase the range of motion in joints throughout your body.

In addition to physical benefits, transitioning between poses can have mental health advantages. The smooth movement patterns require concentration and focus, which can help calm racing thoughts and reduce stress levels.

Practicing yoga pose transitions allows for greater creative expression within your practice. You can experiment with different sequences or variations on traditional flows to keep things exciting and challenging.

Incorporating yoga pose transitions into your regular practice provides both physical and mental wellness benefits that can enhance the overall quality of your life.

How to do Yoga Pose Transitions

To do a pose transition, having a strong foundation in both the starting and ending poses is vital. Begin by practicing each pose individually until you feel comfortable with its mechanics.

Focus on your breath as you transition from one pose to another. Inhale as you prepare for the movement, and exhale as you transition.

Take it slow and be mindful of your body’s limitations. If a particular transition feels uncomfortable or painful, back off and try again later or seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor.

It can also be helpful to use props such as blocks or straps during transitions for added support and stability.

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering yoga pose transitions. With patience and dedication, even challenging movements can become effortless over time.

Emphasizing the Value of Yoga Pose Transitions During Practice

Emphasizing the value of yoga pose transitions during practice can significantly improve one’s overall yoga experience. Transitions serve as a bridge connecting two poses, allowing for a smooth and seamless flow between them.

Incorporating transitions into your practice can enhance your flexibility and strength while improving your balance and coordination. These movements challenge the body and mind by requiring focus, concentration, and mindfulness throughout each transition.

In addition to physical benefits, transitioning between poses helps create a sense of fluidity in your practice. It allows you to move seamlessly from one posture to another without interrupting the breath or losing momentum.

Moreover, practicing yoga pose transitions encourages creativity, opening up endless possibilities for sequence variations. This fosters an explorative attitude toward movement, essential for growth and development in any physical activity.

Therefore, emphasizing the importance of transitions during practice adds variety and improves our ability to connect with our bodies on a deeper level while enhancing our overall performance in yoga sessions.

Kundalini Yoga Transitions

Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on the awakening of energy or Kundalini within the body. This type of yoga incorporates various breathing techniques, postures, and meditation to achieve spiritual growth and physical well-being.

In Kundalini yoga, transitions between poses are essential for maintaining energy flow throughout the body. These transitions often involve movements that engage multiple muscle groups and require balance and coordination.

One example of a Kundalini Yoga Pose Transition is the “Stretch Pose.” This transition involves transitioning from sitting with your legs crossed to lifting your feet off the ground while keeping your arms straight before you. This pose helps strengthen both the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles.

Another example is the “Downward Dog to Plank” transition, strengthening core muscles while stretching hamstrings. It starts by moving from a downward-facing dog into a plank position without losing momentum.

Kundalini Yoga Pose Transitions can help improve flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination and promote overall health and well-being in practitioners. Incorporating such transitions into regular practice can lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation for this unique style of yoga practice.


Incorporating yoga pose transitions into your practice can be a powerful tool for weight loss and overall wellness. By seamlessly linking different postures, you can increase your heart rate, build strength and endurance, improve flexibility and balance, and reduce stress.

It’s important to remember that mastering transitions takes time and practice like any other aspect of yoga. Start with simple sequences before moving on to more challenging ones. Listen to your body, breathe deeply, and focus on the present moment.

Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner looking for a fresh challenge, adding creative pose transitions is a great way to spice up your routine while reaping all the benefits this ancient practice offers. So next time you step onto the mat, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flows – you might surprise yourself with what you’re capable of!

Related Research

Gokal, R, Shillito, L, Maharaj, SR. The positive impact of yoga pose transitions and pranayam on obesity, hypertension, blood sugar, and cholesterol: a pilot assessment. J Altern Complement Med. 2007;13:1056-1057.

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McCaffrey, R, Ruknui, P, Hatthakit, U, Kasetsomboon, P. The effects of yoga on hypertensive persons in Thailand. Holist Nurs Pract. 2005;19:173-180.

Seo, DY, Lee, S, Figueroa, A. Yoga training improves metabolic parameters in obese boys. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2012;16:175-180.

Related Studies

DeBar, LL, Stevens, VJ, Perrin, N. A primary care-based, multicomponent lifestyle intervention for overweight adolescent females. Pediatrics. 2012;129:e611-e620.

Sabet-Sarvestani, R, Kargar, M, Kave, MH, Tabatabaee, H. The effect of dietary behavior modification on anthropometric indices in obese adolescent female students. Iranian J Pediatr. 2008;18(suppl 1):71-76.

Hagins, M, Moore, W, Rundle, A. Does practicing hatha yoga satisfy recommendations for intensity of physical activity, which improves and maintains health and cardiovascular fitness? BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007;7:40.

Mody, BS . Acute effects of Surya Namaskar and yoga pose transitions on the cardiovascular & metabolic system. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2011;15:343-347.

Howren, MB, Lamkin, DM, Suls, J. Associations of depression with C-reactive protein, IL-1, and IL-6: a meta-analysis. Psychosom Med. 2009;71:171-186.

Related Information

Kiecolt-Glaser, JK, Christian, L, Preston, H. Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice. Psychosom Med. 2010;72:113-121.

Yadav, RK, Magan, D, Mehta, N, Sharma, R, Mahapatra, SC. Preliminary results include the efficacy of a short-term yoga-based lifestyle intervention in reducing stress and inflammation. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18:662-667.

Rocha, KK, Ribeiro, AM, Rocha, KC. Improvement in physiological and psychological parameters after six months of yoga practice. Conscious Cogn. 2012;21:843-850.

Tapper, K, Shaw, C, Ilsley, J, Hill, AJ, Bond, FW, Moore, L. Exploratory randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women. Appetite. 2009;52:396-404.

Quilliot, D, Bohme, P, Zannad, F, Ziegler, O. Sympathetic-leptin relationship in obesity: effect of weight loss. Metabolism. 2008;57:555-562.

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