Yoga is an age-old practice which is known for its holistic approach to bring about the mental and physical well being. In its traditional form, it is a slow paced program which focuses on meditation, poses and breathing techniques and is looked upon for achieving mental relaxation, flexibility and strength in the body.
Because of its slow nature and emphasis on breathing technique, most do not associate it as a powerful tool to lose weight. However, the myth is slowly getting busted and a growing awareness is getting spread about the yoga’s potential to aid in your weight loss efforts.
How does yoga help in weight loss?
Many fitness experts advise that before you start on your weight loss journey, you must understand the underlying causes that lead to weight gain.
Not only are the faulty dietary habits, the culprit but inefficient functioning of various body systems also contributes to it. Yoga with its natural breathing techniques cleanses balances and rejuvenates our internal body organs and systems.
They pump up the metabolic rate and stabilize the heartbeat. This causes your inner body to heal. Post it; yoga starts acting on the outer body. While increasing flexibility of the body, it also opens up all rusted muscles of the body and facilitates weight loss. In contrast to other workout programs, it also reduces stress to leave you fresh, focused and energized.
It has already been established that gentle and restorative yoga is as effective as a cardio routine. You are always advised to start with gentle yoga and get your body adapted to it.
Once you are well adapted to it, you can boost your efforts by opting for some of the modern interpretations of yoga like power yoga. We list out some starter yoga poses that could help you get the balls rolling.
- Surya Namaskar
Despite being the most basic of poses, it is hailed as the king of asanas. It comprises of a series of twelve yoga poses done in forward and then the reverse sequence. It works on your entire system and tones down tough areas like neck, shoulder, writs, arms, spine, etc.
People of all age group can easily do this set. The extent of the result lies in the manner in which it is done. Once you have gone the knack of the series, you must try to do it with your navel tucked in. It gives you maximum results.
- The warrior pose or Virabhadrasana
This is actually a series of three related postures. These poses are so intense that they cause real burn in the thighs, arms, chest, and back. They help you build your stamina and can equate to a strenuous workout. For maximum results, you are advised to breathe in the ujjayi breath. It goes a long way in giving a proper stretch to your entire body.
- Triangular pose or Trikonasana
The triangular pose is again a powerful pose that brings stability, strength, and stamina to your body and mind. Practicing this pose helps you shed flab from your stomach, waist, hips, and thighs. It is also good for strengthening your core and legs.
The exercise should be done slowly. A warm-up exercise before this pose is a must. One big advantage of this exercise is that it reduces anxiety, stress, back pain and sciatica.
- Upward plank or Purvottanasana
The name implies an intense eastward facing stretch. This pose draws strength from the core, leg muscles and plenty of shoulder support beneath the heart. This is one of the difficult poses to assume.
To start with, a chair can be used for support and then its real posture can be assumed. With this pose, your ankles, chest, and shoulder receive a good stretch and your back, legs, wrists, and triceps gain strength. It is also a terrific exercise to relax your mind and fill yourself with fresh positivity.
- The bow pose or Dhanurasana
In this exercise, you assume the pose of a bow. The pose seriously challenges your abdominal region and helps you lose the stubborn fat from the area. Initially, you might find it difficult to lift your thigh. In that case, you can give yourself an added boost by supporting your thighs on a rolled-up blanket.
This pose is excellent to provide a robust stretch to the entire front of the body, chest, neck, shoulders, abdomen, throat and even the deep hip flexors. It also strengthens your back muscles and improves your posture. It is also an excellent pose for relieving menstrual discomfort, constipation, and even renal disorders.
- The bridge pose or Setu Bandhasana
It is a rejuvenating backbend pose that opens up your chest and increases the flexibility of your spine. An exhilarating and straightforward posture, it helps you prepare for more intense backbends.
There are plenty of therapeutic benefits of this pose like for asthma, hypertension, osteoporosis, sinusitis, etc. It is wonderful for rejuvenating tired legs and works wonders to melt away fat from your entire body. It can take care of various mental diseases like anxiety, depression, headache, insomnia, fatigue, etc.
Yoga can be an excellent medium for losing weight provided you follow some ground rules. Foremost it must be done daily. Irregular yoga session will not yield a fruitful result. The second thing that you need to keep in mind is that yoga does not give instant results.
It works in a slow manner but a comprehensive manner. With other exercises, you might gain back the weight, but yoga can keep off the flab permanently. You can also boost up your weight loss efforts by doing some outdoor activities like walking, running, sports, etc. along with yoga.
Finally, properly balanced food is the key to getting optimal results. You must never go hungry though you should pay attention to avoid overeating. The task is made much easier with yoga as it also teaches awareness of the self. This high level of awareness helps you make wiser choices in your life and eating habits which help you develop a fit mind and body.