Is yoga good for weight loss? Yoga exercises for weight loss are the fitness trend at present. Weight loss is one of the most common reasons why people take up yoga. But are you aware that Yoga for weight loss can be practiced even when you are not actually on a diet? In fact, what’s more, important is to practice yoga every day.
Yoga for weight loss is all about losing inches from your waistline and not pounds from your body weight. You can shed off extra fats that have been making the most of your beautiful physique. All you need to master the best yoga poses for weight loss.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a science for healthy living. Yoga enables us to gain control over our bodies and mind. It gives us the power to face the challenges of life with equanimity. The purpose of yoga is the same as that of life itself (Bhagavad Gita 4:1).
It is a perfect blending of action, knowledge, and devotion. It helps us get rid of our ignorance, corrects our attitude towards life, people, and nature around us, and deepens our understanding of the meaning and purpose of our existence.
Yoga is an exercise, which helps to keep your body fit and healthy. It is also known as a way to reduce weight. All you need to do is learn yoga postures that are best for burning fat from the body and do them regularly. Not only can you lose weight, but also manage diabetes and hypertension.
How Does Yoga Work Out?
Yoga has various physical as well as mental advantages. It enables people to stay fit even in old age because it teaches one how to remain calm and patient under stressful conditions. The breathing pattern adopted during this exercise, along with meditation, trains the mind and senses to work in concert to maintain control over anger, frustration, fear, and other negative emotions. As a result, the body cells tend to rejuvenate themselves better.
Yogic exercises help eliminate diseases related to nerve disorders and strengthen the muscles and bones of the body. They also encourage the proper circulation of blood throughout your entire body system, thereby keeping your heart healthy for a more extended period.
Yoga helps one feel light, energized, and refreshed even after performing it for quite some time! Therefore, it is suggested that you try yoga at least once. It will help you experience its numerous benefits on your health.
Many people are seen working out regularly or going to a gym to reduce weight. But, they fail miserably because so many factors can affect your weight. You can lose some, but you might gain it back even more. Especially, once you stop working out in the gym.
Yoga Poses for Weight Loss – Best Yoga Poses
Yoga poses have proven to be the best balance between theory and practice. If you do the best yoga for weight loss along with a proper diet regime, then results are guaranteed. These postures are not hard to do, nor will they take up much of your time. Focus on a nutritious diet and regular practice of these yoga postures for weight loss:
Hatha yoga for weight loss
Stand straight with your feet together but slightly apart from each other. Keep your eyes fixed on a particular point straight in front of you; inhale deeply and when exhaling, try to touch the ground with both hands. Try this asana three times daily.
This asana is relatively easy to perform but needs the strength of the abdominal muscles to remain in balance. Lie down on the floor with bent knees, put one leg at a 90 ° angle over the other and let it rest on the surface. Inhale and exhale deeply via mouth; keep your eyes shut firmly. Hold this posture for eight breaths along with inhaling and exhaling. This is a simple method to reduce weight if followed consistently twice a day without fail!
According to the Yoga Journal, Hatha yoga is one of the most popular and well-studied forms of yoga. It incorporates physical poses called asanas, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques that nurture both body and mind. This form of yoga is great for beginners. Regular practice of various asanas can help you lose weight safely while toning your muscles at the same time.
Lotus pose or padmasana yoga for weight loss
This is the most revered form of seated asana in yoga, taken with the help of both hands and feet. To practice it, sit on the floor with legs stretched together and arms straight beside you. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly then move your right leg over your left leg. Make sure that both knees touch each other while performing this asana; tighten up the stomach muscles so that the back remains erect during this pose; place both hands on your knees while inhaling and exhaling steadily.
Feels very comfortable going over a large belly. The effect of this pose will be no different from what happens during the normal digestion process, where the food is broken into particles, absorbed by the blood, and finally converted to energy.
Seated twist yoga for weight loss
This is an effective asana for weight loss when practiced regularly. It allows the digestive system to perform its normal functions efficiently, thereby giving you a slim body. To do this asana, keep your left leg on your right knee and rest your other foot near the buttock; hold both legs with both hands while inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Hold this pose for eight breaths, then change sides by placing the right leg over the left one. This prevents constipation and helps in the digestion of food healthily, and adequately reducing weight. This yoga pose is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. It builds up core strength and gives you a leaner figure in no time. This pose is easy to do. Place both palms at the backside while inhaling deeply through your mouth.
Fish pose or Matsyasana yoga for weight loss
This is another easy yoga asana to lose weight, which you must include in your daily routine. It prevents flatulence and constipation. To practice it, all you need to do is sit on the floor with legs stretched together; place both palms on the thighs while taking deep breaths through the nose along with exhaling through the mouth. Take a few long inhalations and exhalations slowly without disturbing the position of hands placed on thighs; if comfortable, then continue the breathing process holding this posture for eight breaths along with inhaling profoundly and exhaling through the mouth. Consistent practice of this asana will help you lose weight in a short time by improving your digestion system while calming the nerves.
The wind-relieving pose or Pavanamuktasana yoga for weight loss
This is a classic form of yoga that includes different asanas or yoga postures. These are very easy to learn and can be done both indoors and outdoors in the sunlight. All you need to follow these simple steps. This asana helps you lose weight by improving digestion and eliminating waste products from the body in an effective way. This yoga asana involves lying on your back while raising both feet above the floor with knees bent and hands below feet on the ground. Drag the top of your body to the left and keep your face close to the right thigh.
Seated forward bend or Paschimottanasana yoga for weight loss
This yoga asana involves sitting straight up and touching one’s toes by bending forward with legs stretched apart. It is normally done after a long period of standing while practicing sun salutations.
The tree pose or Vrikshasana yoga for weight loss
This asana involves standing straight up with palms placed on thighs and then bending down slowly, putting arms out sideways till you feel pressure on the inner part of your leg. The process takes its name from a tree that keeps its head high up while its roots spread far and wide.
The fish pose II or Matsyasana 2 yoga for weight loss
This asana involves lying on your back while drawing both feet near the chest and then crossing one ankle over the other knee. Finally, lift both hands over the head while keeping the legs straight to complete the movement. Then bend your elbows, and place them on your ears.
Wind-relieving pose II or Pavanamuktasana 2 yoga for weight loss
This pose is similar to its preceding one, only that here you will have to tilt your upper torso backward while keeping your hips on the floor. In addition to reducing weight, this posture has many more benefits, such as relieving stress, asthma, acidity, and cramps.
The corpse pose or Savasana yoga for weight loss
It is the final pose of yoga practice. In this pose, you lie flat on your back with legs stretched out straight, arms to sides, and eyes closed for a few minutes before waking up. Those who have difficulty sleeping due to stress can benefit from this asana as it helps relieve tensions accumulated throughout the day.
There are many benefits of practicing these postures regularly, such as the reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, improved functioning of the thyroid gland, better body metabolism, enhanced blood circulation, resulting from which muscles get stronger. At the same time, fat loss occurs at an accelerated pace.
For maximum results, experts advise that you should practice these postures in combination with diet and exercise.
I recommend doing all of these poses before bedtime. These postures help you sleep better through the night and get a healthier body that will provide energy for your day ahead! Yoga helps you to lose weight steadily while avoiding the pitfalls of dieting and calorie restriction.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare…
The way we breathe is directly linked with our emotional state. Therefore it becomes imperative to get ourselves into the right mindset. It would allow us to stay focused throughout the session without getting distracted by emotions. This should ideally take around 20-30 minutes, depending on the individual. During this time, we would want to prepare ourselves mentally for what is about to come.
Light up a scented candle, essential oil, or incense stick of your choice. Bring your awareness inside yourself. Take three deep breaths while concentrating on your breath in and out of the nostrils. This will allow us to focus one level more profoundly than just being aware of our breathing pattern. It will help disconnect us from the external world around us. Also, it brings us into our own internal space where we can continue to meditate without being distracted by thoughts and emotions. This may not be conducive for yoga practice.
Next, if you are doing yoga at home, we would want to create a peaceful environment. An excellent and sunny room where nothing will distract us from the task at hand is ideal. If you have neighbors or loved ones around you, talk to them beforehand. So, they don’t disturb you while you’re trying to get in your zone. Light up some incense sticks of your choice or a candle that has a soothing aroma. One can even play some songs during this time which help put them into their little world without any distraction whatsoever.
Once we secure this short alone time for ourselves, it’s important not to let our minds wander off into places where it isn’t supposed to be. This might sound easy, but with all the distractions happening today (smartphones, television, video games, etc.), it becomes tough to stay relaxed. Try not to think about the problems at work, family issues, or anything that might cause you to stress in daily life. It helps deal with negative emotionality by channelizing them into a positive direction.
We want to focus on our breathing, how we can keep ourselves calm and peaceful, and also intensify the feeling of relaxation through simple yet effective exercises which bring great results for beginners as well as experienced practitioners alike.
Once you’re ready to start practicing yoga, I would recommend trying out Surya Namaskara A (Sun Salutation A) as your first exercise. It involves both physical movement (which helps us channel our energy) and breath awareness (which helps us maintain a steady pace throughout the exercise). The activity involved in this pose helps clear out negative feelings, whereas breathing deeply brings positive energy into our body, mind, and soul.
Let’s start… sit on the floor with your legs straight and feet together. Both palms should be placed. While you inhale, try to reach forward with both hands keeping them close to each other without letting them touch. Don’t strain too much as it will cause stiffness in your back, which may harm you in the long run. Take three deep breaths before going any further.
The next thing we need to do is to exhale while sitting upright with both hands placed on the knees.
Now comes the important part. In this stage, we need to bring our hands together at heart level and take three deep breaths before going any further. This helps us concentrate more on ourselves as opposed to keeping an eye out for what’s around us, which can easily distract you from the process.
The next step is doing the same pose again, except this time inhaling while we reach forward and exhaling by bringing our palms together at heart level once more. Inhale deeply while reaching forward, then when you bring your palms together, try taking another deep breath if possible. We are breathing here because a lot of people think that yoga only involves physical postures, but it’s essentially a way of life where breathing is also involved.
As you’re breathing, try to connect your mind with your inner self, which is the most important part of this entire process. This helps us concentrate on our thoughts and emotions as well as deal with them more effectively. Now when you exhale and bring your palms together at heart level, take three deep breaths again before moving onto the next step.
Now while inhaling, lift one leg up towards the ceiling, preferably with a pause at knee-level for 3 seconds. This helps eliminate tension from that particular muscle. Now after bringing the leg back down, exhale once more by bringing both palms at heart level again. Once done, we can repeat this cycle for another leg as well, which will help us balance the energy in our body.
Do you want to make it more challenging and intense? Try doing this exercise with your eyes closed or looking straight forward (Drishti). This is a little harder for some people but beginners should focus on it. It allows them to concentrate more on breathing rather than what’s around them. Overtime when they become confident enough, they can start using Drishti again, which will make them feel better when the posture is correct and gives great results too.
This entire cycle forms one round. So, keep on doing this and ensure you are comfortable enough with pace. Then take a break by resting your hands over your knees. This will help bring back the lost energy during this exercise.
No doubt, practice makes a man perfect. And there is no doubt that practice in yoga makes us perfect and helps us live our lives the way we want to. It releases all our stress and tension from the body and makes us more focused on our goals in life.
It is believed that yoga not only focuses on physical exercise but also deals with our mind and emotions which is the most important part of yoga. Even though many people prefer doing this alone, it’s always good to take help from another experienced person. This is to make sure that you’re doing the posture correctly without getting injured or feeling any pain.
Let us try out some yoga exercises to stay fit and healthy which will prove easy enough for everyone including beginners as well!
The Last Thought
In conclusion, the ten yoga asanas for weight loss mentioned above can be of great help to you. If you’re looking to lose weight after the festive season or gain motivation to shed pounds after marriage, then it is suggested that you try this yoga poses.
If you’re unsure of how much weight you should lose, take a look at your own body and decide on a percentage for yourself. A general rule says that one loses about 1 -2 lbs. per week as long as they are healthy and eat right. You’ll know when you’ve reached your ideal weight because everything will start to fit better! Good luck with toning and trimming those extra inches off!
There are several yoga asanas that help in maintaining a healthy body while losing weight and various health benefits associated with every single one of these. Hence, one needs to incorporate as many poses and even variations in their daily routine for a healthy body that lasts long. However, a dedicated and disciplined approach to yoga is required in order to achieve tangible results.
However, it is essential to consider that no exercise routine or education program will work unless and until you incorporate at least a little bit of weight loss dieting. On top of doing yoga poses, I recommend that you include eating superfoods in your daily diet.
Remember, the most effective method to reduce weight is to have a well-balanced diet combined with regular exercise, yoga being among the latter. Make sure not to overdo things with the weight loss dieting as you might be harming your body.
Also, read about other effective ways to lose weight.
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Credits: Sadhana Singh for writing this article and sharing with you all at w…@anubhavsagar.com