How does Yoga help in Weight Loss?
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise and way of living that focuses on your mind, body and soul. It's a holistic practice for all ages. The word 'Yoga' has been derived from the Sanskrit word 'Yug' which refers to the union of our individual consciousness and the universal consciousness. Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul. I see yoga as a holistic package, which unlike other physical activities aims at cleansing and rejuvenating the human body from outside as well as within. If one adopts the practice as a part of everyday routine, one can actually feel the difference - mentally, physically as well spiritually. And as an added bonus, it can bring about weight loss too. Let’s discuss about it further in our topic.
Yoga is a known stress buster, but it's also one of the most effective workouts for fighting stubborn fat stores, especially the ones that crop up after age 40. Yes, definitely a person can use yoga for weight loss. The reason: Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity—a signal to the body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as a fat. Well to get a kick start, some of the asanas could be very helpful in toning the body and lose weight. To name few of them are Surya Namaskar, Veerabhadrasana, Trikonasana, Purvottanasana, Naavasana and Pulasana. Let’s discuss these in detail below.
- Surya Namaskar: One of the basic, most well-known and widely practiced asanas, surya namaskar is literally meant like to submit yourself in front of the sun or in general if we translate it, it means sun salutation. It comprises a series of twelve different yoga poses that focus on various parts of body. What makes surya namaskar great for the entire body is the fact that it involves twelve different poses encompassed in one - for example, basic prayer pose, forward bend and the bhujangasana (cobra pose). According to various experts surya namaskar is a great way to keep the body active as it helps in exercising all possible areas of the body. It helps in strengthening the skeletal system including the ligaments and also aids in easing stress and anxiety from the human body.
- Veerabhadrasana: It is also called as the warrior pose. It involves going into the mountain pose, followed by stretching one of the legs back and with the other leg going into a lunge like position with the knee at a ninety degree positioning and the hands stretched right above the head. A person can take this further by practicing this pose in another manner wherein a person brings the hands in front of the chest and straighten the stretched leg, pointing it outwards while the other leg is still at ninety degrees and the person’s both arms are stretched out wide apart.
- Trikonasana: It is also called as the Triangular pose. This pose is started with a wide legged stance by turning the right foot out. Post that stretch the arms out, wide open pushing the right side of the waistline over the right leg and slowly go down, facing downwards with a flat back. By keeping the right palm on the ground (A person can choose to keep it in front of their right foot or behind it) or on a block with the left arm stretched upwards. Once this is performed, then repeat it from the other side. This asana works on the sides of the body, arms and thighs, thus giving a feeling of rejuvenating and burning of fat from these three parts.
- Purvottanasana: It is also called as the upward plank exercise or pose. This may seem a bit difficult to crack towards the start but the results that this asana yield will leave a person much grateful. This works extensively on the back, shoulders, arms, spine, and wrists and fortifies muscles. This kind of asana is also great for the respiratory system. It is great for the core strength of the body as it works on the legs, inner thigh muscles as wells as hips. Under this kind of pose, a person needs to sit with their legs stretched in front of them. Then post that put their hands behind their hips pointing towards their feet. After that now, point the feet and then prepare the body to rise up. Raise the body from the tailbone and try pulling the head back as well. It is the exact opposite of the position which a person gets in just before preparing for a conventional push up.
- Naavasana: It is also called as the Boat pose. In this pose a person lies down on their back and as the name suggests goes in to a V shaped position resembling a boat. A person in such position should try holding the position for 10 seconds to begin with and increase the time with every passing day. Once performed this on daily basis, this will help a person in feeling their stomach muscles going for a toss and will help in killing that stubborn belly fat.
- Pulasana: It is also called as the Bridge pose. Under this pose a person needs to lie down on their back with their hands stretched sideways and then need to fold their knees, spread them out and then raise the body up from the pelvis area. If a person require, then they can take support from their hands to hold the position. This pose works wonderfully on the hips, thighs, stomach as well as back. Physical exercise has always been held important for the overall well-being as well as to keep health related troubles at end but it should always be kept in mind that any form of physical activity will remain futile and unproductive if not teamed with proper diet.
Apart from these there are many asanas which can be penned down to reduce weight, but if you practice the aforementioned poses diligently , then I can bet you all that the result would definitely surprise you. The result will always vary from person to person, but in reality it would make some kind of difference.
About the Author