Weight loss through Yoga! Are we serious?
Well, Yoga holds so many misconceptions around it. Some think it’s just a practice meant for Yogis or those with a spiritual bent of mind while others perceive it as a form of exercise. To understand whether you can lose weight through Yoga or not, first of all, it’s imperative to understand what Yoga actually connotes.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise, and the practice of yoga can support you physically, mentally, and spiritually. The five-thousand years old Indus transcription by the Indus Valley Civilization has paved the way to an innovative weight loss therapy.
Yoga is not a religion but a science of well-being, youthfulness, body, mind and soul. If one adopts the practice of Yoga as a part of everyday routine, then you can feel the difference- mentally, physically and spiritually with an added advantage of losing your weight.
With the developing fashion of human beings getting careful of their expanding waistlines and expanded instances of metabolic issues like cancers, diabetes and others – there has been a surprising upsurge in human beings prioritizing their fitness and resorting to diet plans and health regimes.
After a few kinds of research and knowledge, I could understand the mechanism of different asanas. Still, I must tell you understanding and practising these asanas is enlighting, affirmative and oh, so gratifying!
Some people who assume that Yoga is just for the spiritual headed, here’s an eye-opener- Yoga is a wonderful form of practice for Weight Management. It helps you maintain your desired weight while getting more flexible too.
Is Yoga Helpful for Weight Loss?
As a form of exercise, well Yoga is the perfect practice to get a perfect body. Yoga can definitely help you lose weight and get a toned body as you desire.
Yoga helps you stretch and gain flexibility. Depending upon the pace, it also acts as a cardio session. In fact, there are certain very simple breathing exercises that can get you sweating in less than 2 minutes! It boosts up the metabolism that in turn helps us burn more calories and hence lose pounds. A set of asanas like the Surya Namaskar can get your heart racing effortlessly.
Let’s have a look at the best asanas or poses for weight loss.
Asanas for Weight Loss
Yoga doesn’t always help you lose weight immediately, but these poses will focus mostly on body flexibility, improving concentration and toning your muscles. Once you are used to these asanas regularly, then you can also add the practice of Pranayama for weight loss.
Important things to know before doing any asana
- You should always perform the asana in empty stomach.
- There must be a gap of four to five hours after your meal before you do this asana.
- Make sure your bowels are empty.
- The best time to practice yoga is in the early morning.
Chaturangadandasana or the Plank Pose:
The plank pose or Chaturangadandasana is the best exercise to strengthen your body. It is also known as the low plank, which is a Yoga asana, in which your body is parallel to the ground. Your toes and palms support it with the elbows at a right angle.
Though the asana looks simple, its benefits are immense. The pose dedicates to the primary support system of our body- the spine. When you practise this exercise, it only then you start to feel its intensity on your abdominal muscles.
How to do Chaturangadandasana?
Ease into the high plank pose and ensure that the outer edge of your shoulder is in the same line as your fingers on the floor.
Hold the floor properly so that the air gets jammed between your fingers.
Inhale with your stomach in contract, your elbows close to your body and chest closer to the floor. Create a straight firm line of energy from the head through your feet.
Maintaining this plank position for a while. Don’t let your centre sag nor stick your buttocks up in the air.
As you exhale, you come back up with hands straight in line to your shoulders and knees still bent.
Get back to the regular plank position, and you complete one round of Chaturangadandaasana.
This Yoga technique makes your wrist more robust and flexible.
It tones your muscles at the back, shoulder and arms and one of the best yoga for belly fat.
Your core muscle gets strengthen and stiff.
It is a great way to improve your entire body, mainly your spine.
Precautions and beginners tips
You should avoid this asana if one is pregnant or has an injury on your wrist, elbow, shoulder and lower back.
This asana might be a challenge for beginners; therefore, first, you need to strengthen your legs, arms and back strong enough to support you.
Once you learn the plank pose, you can practice this exercise as said above.
Virabhadrasana or the Warrior Pose
Virabhadrasana or the warrior pose has been derived from Virabhadra, a mythological character created by Lord Shiva. The warrior technique not only helps you to tone your thighs and shoulders but also improves your concentration. It is known as one of the graceful postures in yoga as the more you hold this position, the better results you get gain.
With just a few minutes of the warrior pose, you will get tighter quads along with toning your back end, legs, and arms. It also helps to tone your belly and thus, helps to lose weight.
How to do Virabhadrasana?
Keep your legs parted apart from each other. Turn towards your right side by a 90-degree angle with your left toe slightly in making 15-degree. Make sure your right foot is perfectly aligned with the centre of your left foot.
Lift your arm, stretching them somewhat at the back until they reach your shoulders. Make sure your arms are parallel to the ground.
Breathe out and twist your right knee, to such an extent that your knee and lower leg should be in a straight line. Your knee shouldn’t move ahead of your ankle.
Look towards your right and being in that position, stretch your arms more while joining your palms above your head.
Try to push your pelvis down and hold the warrior pose for a few seconds. Keep breathing normally.
Come up keeping your hand above your head and gently bring down your hands while you exhale.
Keep your right leg back to a normal standing position and repeat the pose on the left side as well.
This asana is beneficial to tone your arms, hands and legs.
It helps to increase the stamina of your body along with stabilizing and balancing your body.
It not only a good exercise for your spine but also stimulates your metabolism if you have a desk job.
This asana helps in frozen shoulder and also helps to release stress from your shoulder immediately.
It relaxes your mind & body with a notion of peace, courage, and grace.
Precautions and Beginners tips
If you have a spinal problem or have recovered from a chronic illness recently, then you must consult your doctor before performing this asana.
The asana should be avoided in case of shoulder and hand pain. You should do it under the guidance of a Yoga teacher.
If you have a neck problem, then try to look straight rather than looking towards your hand.
If you are pregnant, then this asana will benefit you on your second and third trimester only if you are practising yoga regularly.
People suffering from knee pain, you should perform this asana with the support of a wall.
If you are suffering from high blood pressure or heart problem, then avoid doing this asana.
Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose
Trikona is Sanskrit means triangle and asana mean posture. As the asana is performed in a triangle-shaped therefore the name is Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose.
This asana improves your digestion, and mainly reduces your belly fat. It improves your blood circulation, and the position of this asana helps to burn more fat from your waist and belly.
How to do Trikonasana?
Stand straight with your legs three-four feet apart. Your right foot should make a 90-degree angle, and the left foot should form 15 degrees.
Press the ground through your feet properly so that the balance of your body is maintained equally.
Take a deep breath and bend your body such that your waist forms a straight line along with your body while you exhale. Your left arm should be up towards the sky while the right arm should be touching the ground.
Be in that position for a few seconds, and your body should be bent sideways. Make sure your chest and pelvis are wide open.
Stretch your body fully, focusing on stabilizing your body. Keep taking long breaths.
Inhale and come up, keeping both your hands sideways. Repeat the same with left leg.
The amazing asana benefits your knee, legs, hands, and especially the belly.
As you stretch completely during this asana opens up your chest, hamstrings, calves, spine and shoulders.
It improves your physical & mental health and also improves your digestion.
People suffering from back pain and sciatica can perform this technique to recover smoothly.
This asana helps in stress management and anxiety.
Precautions and Beginners tips
If you are suffering from neck pain, then do not look up while performing the asana. Instead, you should look forward.
If you are suffering from high blood pressure, then look downwards during the yoga.
A person with a heart condition should practice this asana against a wall.
People suffering from low blood pressure, diarrhoea, or headache is not advisable to do this exercise.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Dog Pose
The Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana is a three-letter word in Sanskrit. Adho means down, Mukha means face Svana means dog and asana mean posture. The position of the asana looks similar to the dog when it bends forward and stands.
With little attention during this asana, one can tone the whole body. It can strengthen your arms, thighs, legs, hamstring and back. Holding this position for a few seconds can improve concentration and blood circulation.
How to do Adho Mukha Svanasana?
Stand straight and then bend forward, like a dog position.
Exhale and gently lift your hip, keeping your heel upwards. Keep your elbows and knees straight such that your body forms an inverted V-shape.
Your hand should be in one line with your shoulder and feet in one line with your hip, keeping your toes outward.
Press your hands firmly on the grounds and lengthen your neck such that your ears can touch your inner arms.
Hold this position for a few seconds and return to your standing position.
This asana strengthens your abdominal muscles and also help your spine.
It improves your blood circulation. As this asana is a reversal in the pull of gravity, so fresh blood circulates in your whole system.
It improves digestion and tones your hands and feet.
It helps to relax and calm your mind & body.
Precautions and Beginners tips
Avoid doing this asana if you are suffering from high blood pressure or diarrhoea.
Consult your trainer or a yoga teacher before practising this asana if you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and weak eye capillaries.
Pregnant women should practise this exercise with caution.
Sarvangasana or the Shoulder stand
Sarvangasana is the mother of all the asana, and in Sanskrit, Salamba means support, Sarva means all, Anga means limbs and asana means pose.
This asana has multiple benefits, which not only increases your strength but also improves your digestion. It boosts your metabolism and helps to balance thyroid in your body. The shoulder stand exercise also helps to loos weight.
How to do Sarvangasana?
Lie down flat on your back in a yoga mat, keeping your legs together and arms by your side.
Lift your leg slowly upward direction such that your elbow should support your legs, buttocks and back to lift them. You should stand high on your shoulders with the support of your back.
Straighten your spine and legs in that position towards the sky. Your bodyweight should lie on your shoulders and upper arms.
Hold this position comfortable for a few seconds. Breath deeply while in Sarvangasana.
Slowly come back to your original posture and lie straight.
Repeat this yoga asana for three to four times.
This fantastic exercise helps you to calm your brain and releases stress. It also helps in mild depression.
It is a good stretch exercise for your neck and shoulders.
It stimulates your prostate glands, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs.
Your legs and buttocks get toned and also cures indigestion.
Women get during menopause doing this asana.
People suffering from fatigue and insomnia gets relieved.
It also helps in infertility.
Precautions and Beginners tips
Avoid doing this asana if you are suffering from Diarrhea, headache, menstruation, high blood pressure and neck injury.
Practise this asana with care during pregnancy.
This asana should be done under guidance.
Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana or the Bridge Pose
The Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana is also known as the Bridge pose, and it is three letters word in Sanskrit. Setu means bridge, Bandhan means to lock, and asana means posture.
The yoga asana resembles the structure of a bridge which has multiple benefits. It is excellent for your glutes as well as for your weight loss. This exercise tones your muscles and regulates hormones and digestion. It also stretches your neck, shoulder and chest.
How to do Sethu Bandhan Sarvangasan?
Lie flat on a yoga mat and bend your knees.
Place your feet on the floor with your hips little apart. The ankles and knees should be in a straight line.
Your arms should be at the side of your body with your palms facing down.
Now inhale and lift the lower part of your body from the floor. Your chin should touch your chest, and the shoulders, arms, and feet should support your weight.
Tighten your buttocks and make sure your thighs are parallel to each other. Push the ground hard as you lift your torso high.
Hold this position for a few seconds and breath slowly.
Exhale and release from this position. Repeat it two to three times during yoga asana.
This asana strengthens your back muscles and relieves stress trapped in the back.
It tones your neck, spine and chest.
With regular practice of this asana can help in depression, anxiety, and it calms your brain.
It opens up your lungs and helps in the thyroid problem.
It improves digestion and also helps in menstrual pain.
It helps in high blood pressure, asthma, insomnia, and osteoporosis.
Precautions and Beginners tips
This asana is not suitable for people suffering from a neck injury.
Pregnant women should do this asana under supervision.
If you have a back problem, then avoid doing this exercise.
These are a few fat-burning yoga you can lose weight. Regular practise of these asanas for weight loss can help you maintain your weight throughout your life.
Importance of Diet for Weight Management
Losing weight purely through workouts be it Yoga or any other is debatable. The fitness experts attribute 70% to our diet and 30% to exercise. Having said that, when you combine healthy food habits along with yoga, it has proven beneficial in losing weight and keeping our body healthy.
You should look for healthy food habits which keep your body fit rather than the food that can increase your fat accumulation.
Weight Loss depends on two aspects- eating healthy and exercise. The techniques in yoga are not just about a few poses that strengthen you, but it also has more benefits to offer. Yoga increases flexibility &respiratory, balances metabolism, tones your muscles, improves your cardio health, weight loss and stress management.
Our life has become so busy that stress management plays a vital role in it. Stress can disastrously affect our body and mind. The stress can be in the form of pain, anxiety, insomnia etc. Most of the time, the pressure is the leading cause of your weight gain, and thus yoga can help you cope with it.
Yoga is an age-old Vedic practice that holds extremely profound connotations. It’s not only a form of exercise but also a way of life. The regular practice of Yoga helps you heal your mind, body, and soul simultaneously.
Do you practice Yoga? Or, are you looking forward to practising it? Let us know in the comments section below of your journey and views on it.
Healing vibes to you,