A five-thousand-year-old transcription by the Indus valley civilisation on fragile palm leaves has paved way to an innovative weight loss therapy. Yoga was mentioned in the Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns, the Rigveda. Researchers have traced yoga to over a thousand years ago, and its rich history is divided into periods of innovation, practice, and development.
Yoga was refined and developed by the Rishis and Brahmans who documented their training in the Upanishads. This practice was later developed over several years to what now is practised as Yoga. The discipline has 5 basic principles:
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Is Yoga good for Weight Loss?
The development of yoga has benefited many people in losing weight in a healthy way. Yoga for weight loss is a debatable topic. Many people believe that Yoga alone does not promote weight loss. Yoga, when combined with healthy eating, has proven beneficial as it helps to lose weight along with keeping your mind and body healthy. Yoga increases your mindfulness and how you relate to your body. You will start seeking out to food that is healthy instead of binging on food that can increase your fat accumulation.
Losing weight has two important aspects, healthy eating, and exercise. Yoga poses for weight loss demand these aspects. Yoga is not just about a few poses that strengthen you. It has more benefits to offer such as
- Increased flexibility
- Improved respiration
- Improved energy and vitality
- Balanced metabolism
- Improved athletic health
- Increased muscle tone
- Improved cardio health
- Weight reduction
- Stress management
Stress can have a devastating effect on your body and mind. Stress can reveal itself in the form of pain, anxiety, insomnia, and the inability to concentrate. Most times, stress is the main cause of weight gain. Yoga can help you cope with stress. Physical benefits of Yoga, combined with stress management, helps a person to lose weight and maintain good physical and mental health.
Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss
Yoga does not always result in weight loss immediately as these poses are simple. This Yoga poses for focus mostly on building body flexibility, improving concentration and building your muscle tone. Once your body gets used to these asanas, you will begin to practice Yoga asanas for weight loss.
Some of the Yoga asanas and yoga tips for weight loss are as given below.
1. Chaturangadandasana – Plank pose
Chaturangadandasana is the best way to strengthen your core. As simple as it looks, its benefits are immense. It is only when you are in the pose that you start to feel its intensity on your abdominal muscles.
2. Virabhadrasana – Warrior pose
Toning your thighs and shoulders, as well as improving your concentration has become more accessible and interesting with the Warrior II pose. The more you hold that pose, the better the results you gain. With just a few minutes of Virabhadrasana, you will get tighter quads.
Warrior III pose is made to improve your balance along with toning your back end, legs, and arms. It also helps to tone your tummy and give you a flat belly if you contract your abdominal muscles while you hold the position.
3. Trikonasana – Triangle pose
The trikonasana helps to improve digestion as well as reduce the fat deposited in the belly & waist. It stimulates and improves blood circulation in the entire body. The lateral motion of this asana helps you burn more fat from the waist and build more muscles in the thighs and hamstrings. Though this pose does not make your muscles shake as others do, it does give you the benefit that other asanas do. It also improves balance & concentration.
4. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana tones your whole body with a little extra attention to specific muscles. It helps to strengthen your arms, thighs, hamstring and back. Holding this pose and concentrating on your breathing engages your muscles and tones them, as well as improves your concentration and blood circulation.
5. Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand
Sarvangasana comes with multiple benefits, from increasing your strength, to improving digestion. But it is known for boosting metabolism and balancing thyroid levels. Sarvangasana or the shoulder stand strengthens the upper body, abdominal muscles and legs, improves the respiratory system and improves sleep.
6. Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge pose
Yet another asana with multiple benefits is the Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge pose. It is excellent for glutes, thyroid as well as weight loss. It improves muscle tone, digestion, regulates the hormones and improves the thyroid levels. It also strengthens your back muscles and reduces back pain.
7. Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted Chair pose
The Parivrtta Utkatasana is also called the Yoga’s version of the squat. But you must know that it is a little more intense and tones the abdominal muscles, works the quads and glutes. The asana also improves the lymph system and the digestive system. It is a great way to lose weight.
8. Dhanurasana – Bow pose
Are you looking for the best way to lose that belly fat? Dhanurasana helps massage the abdominal organs, improves digestion, and strengthens the thighs, chest and back. It stretches your whole body, strengthens and tones your muscles with improved blood circulation.
9. Surya Namaskara – Sun Salutation
The Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation does more than warm up the muscles and get the blood flowing. It stretches and tones most of the major muscles, trims the waist, tones the arms, stimulates the digestive system, and balances the metabolism. Surya Namaskar is a whole package of good health and the best way to lose weight.
Power Yoga for Weight Loss
There is always a debate whether yoga is ideal for weight loss. Yoga tones your body and helps you lose that extra fat. But the story is different for Power Yoga. It is a vigorous form of yoga that rejuvenates your mind and body. It is more like a cardiovascular workout. Power Yoga helps promote weight loss and maintain a healthy body and a stress-free life. It also enhances stamina, flexibility and mental focus.
Power Yoga is a modern form of Yoga that has its roots in Ashtanga Yoga. The asanas build internal heat and increase your stamina, making you strong, flexible and free of stress. It is a strength-building form of exercise that provides a workout for your whole body. Power Yoga gives you the benefit of Yoga and more, including:
- It helps to burn calories, a little more than yoga for beginners
- It boosts your metabolism
- It boosts your general well-being
- It helps increase your concentration
- It is very useful to build strength, stamina, flexibility, and it tones your body.
- It helps you relax as tension and stress are considerably reduced.
The most reliable form of Power Yoga begins with Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation. You can perform the Surya Namaskara as a warm-up before you start your Power Yoga workout session, or Surya Namaskara in itself can be done as Power Yoga. Surya Namaskara has immense benefits as it concentrates on all the core muscles of your body.
The best Power Yoga poses for weight loss include the following.
- Pawanmuktasana or the Wind releasing pose help you drop those extra fat from the stomach and the stomach region.
- Trikonasana or the Intense side stretch pose helps to reduce the fat from the sides. It raises your heartbeat and burns calories.
- Dhanurasana or the Bow pose helps you drop the excess fat from the arms and legs. It is very helpful to tone your body.
- Garudasana or the Eagle pose is a perfect weight loss choice for those who want thinner thighs, legs, arms and hands.
- Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana or the One-legged downward facing dog- when combined with breathing, helps you tone your arms, hands, legs, thighs and your abdominal muscles.
- Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose is a great choice if you want to solidify your buttocks and to tone your abdominal muscles.
- Navasana or the boat pose is the simplest Power Yoga pose for weight loss. It concentrates all the major muscles of your body.
- Savasana or Corpse pose is the most important pose to end your Power Yoga workout session. Savasana helps your muscles relax and prevents muscle damage.
There are several other Power Yoga asanas that are very important for weight loss such as the Uttanpadasana or the Raised feet pose, Veerbhadrasana, the warrior pose, Ardha Chandrasana or the Half-moon pose, Paschimottasana or the Seated forward bend among others. Power Yoga is considered an appropriate intervention for weight loss and to prevent obesity.
Yoga, an Indian form of mind and body rejuvenation has significant benefit for all, from people who are obese and want to shed weight, to people who want to relax. Yoga is an age-old treatment for a well-toned and healthy body and a stress-free mind. It not only aids in weight loss but also promotes a balanced physical and mental wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
The amount of weight one loses by doing Yoga varies from person-to-person and depends on their a number of factors including their flexibility.
Yes, you can lose belly fat with the help of yoga. Basic stretches and different asanas (like Surya Namaskar) can help you lose belly fat. That said, it is not recommended that you aim for spot reduction in any case.
Both yoga and fitness have their own advantages. Yoga involves more stretching and relaxation, whereas fitness deals with the contraction of muscles. There is no way of saying one works better than the other for weight loss. It depends on each individual’s own body type and their choices.
Yes, it is effective for weight loss. However, Hatha yoga is recommended since it is better in the long term. People with medical conditions should not prefer doing power yoga, unless under supervision