Yoga has been around centuries. It is an ancient practice to stay healthy, fit and keep diseases at bay. Although yoga was born in India today its benefits are realised all over the world. For those who are struggling to lose weight, it is recommended to add yoga to your fitness routine to get the desired result. But yes the most important is to have knowledge of the right yoga poses. You need to opt yoga poses that promote the blood flow and get your heart pumping.
Learn How Yoga for Weight Loss Helps
Yoga is known to support mental, spiritual and physical health. But is it an effective tool to lose weight. Experts say that yoga works in varied ways and helps a person to get back to a healthy weight.
Let us acknowledge how?
- Burning Calories – The equation behind calorie burning and shedding pound is very clear. The calorie expenditure should be more than the calorie intake. Thus, we need to eat healthily and do exercises that raise the heartbeat. Yoga traditionally isn’t an aerobic exercise but there are vigorous, intense and active yoga poses such as power yoga, Ashtanga etc that provide better workout in comparison to gentle yoga and burn most of the calories. In addition even in gentle yoga, your body moves through a series of poses for an extended period thus it is considered a form of aerobic fitness training. It taxes the cardiac and respiratory system and makes you expend energy more than is needed to just keep the body going. However, in more intense yoga session you expend calories at a faster rate.
- Yoga Improves Metabolism – Better the metabolism more is the energy expenditure. Certain yoga poses improves the circulation of blood and improves digestion to firm up body fat.
- Strengthens muscles and tones abs – Yoga aids the development of muscle tone. It improves flexibility and muscle strength. This, in turn, enhances the workout efforts. Your muscles open up to work to their fullest potential and you get more and more of each workout. In addition, there are certain yoga poses that focus on core and creates abdominal strength and tones the muscles of abs and when you stretch, both the side the belly is focused.
- Balances Hormones – One of the common cause behind weight gain is hormonal imbalances. Yoga has a positive effect on the endocrine system and it balances hormones. Many overweight females have reported losing weight through restorative yoga for women.
- Lowers The Stress Level – Next thing yoga does is to decrease the stress levels by reducing the level of stress hormones (cortisol). Cortisol is the biggest culprit behind being overweight as it sends false signal to your brain and makes it crave for sugar in order to combat the low level of sugar in the blood. This leads to weight gain and obesity due to overeating. But yoga improves the sense of well-being and self-image. It makes you start loving yourself. Thus, it reduces stress eating. Also lowering the level of cortisol hormone prevents retaining belly fat.
- Encourages mindful eating – Yoga emphasis you to listen to your body. It increases body awareness especially related to hunger and satiety and encourages mindful-eating. Besides yoga trains the mind and body to follow a healthy lifestyle and make better food choices.
Best Yoga For Weight Loss You Can Do At Home
Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar
Sun Salutation is a complete body workout. When the postures are done in a slow pace they help tone up the muscles. In addition, it is meditative and relaxing. Your body enjoys each stretch and gets more flexible.
Start your morning workout with warm-up stretches. This will ease the stiffness of the body. Then do a few rounds of sun salutation. You may then switch to more intense yoga.
Regular practice of sun salutation has a great impact on intestine, stomach, liver, heart, legs, chest and throat. It removes toxins, purifies the blood, and improves the circulation. Thus, sun salutation ensures the proper functioning of bowel, stomach and nerve centres.
One round of sun salutation has 12 poses and it burns about 13.90 calories on an average 30 minutes sun salutation burns on average 417 calories. Beginners can begin with 10 rounds and increase the number of rounds eventually. To get leaner increase the number of rounds to 108.
1. Stand on Mattress with feet together. Expand your chest and relax shoulders. Breath and lift your arms from sides. Bring your palms together as in praying position while you exhale.
2. Next breath in and raise your arms up and then back. Keep biceps close to your ears. Stretch your body up from heels to fingertips.
3. Breath out and bend forward. Keep your spine erect. while you exhale bring your hand to the ground completely beside your feet. Make an effort to straighten your knees while you do this pose.
4. Now breath in and push your right leg back as much far as you can and bring right knee to touch the ground and then look up to complete the pose. Make sure your left foot is between your palms.
5. Breath in and take the left leg back. Bringing the entire body in a straight line.
6. Next, bring your knees down to touch the ground and exhale. Take hips slightly back and slide forward to rest your chin and chest on the ground. Little bit raise the posterior portion. In this pose both your palms, your knees, chin and chest touches the ground.
7. Slide forward, raise your chest up and look up. Keep your elbows bent and shoulders away from your ears.
8. Breath out and lift your hip to form an inverted V pose.
9. Breath in. Bring your right foot forward between your palms and to touch the ground. Left knee will go down. The hip is pressed down. Look up at the ceiling.
10. Now breath out and bring your left foot forward. You have to attain standing forward bend position with palms on the floor.
11. Next pose is just like pose 2. Breathe in and roll your spine up raising both your hands up and back and push your hips slightly out.
12. It is the last pose that completes 1 set of Surya Namaskar. In this pose, you have to exhale, straighten your body, bring both your arms down and relax.
To complete one round of Surya Namaskar repeat the steps except that in step no. 4 take left foot back and in step no. 10 bring the right foot forward.
Other yoga postures for weight loss are Plank pose, Boat pose, Warrior ll, Triangle, Shoulder stand, Bow, Bridge etc. We recommend you to learn and practice these postures under guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
How Often You Need To Practice Yoga for Weight Loss
Beginners should start slowly to build flexibility and strength. Also this is important to prevent injuries. The aim should be to practice yoga 6 times a week for one hour and practice intense yoga at least 3-5 times in a week for an hour to lose weight. Give yourself a rest of a day in a week.
Yoga for weight loss is a holistic approach to make you healthy and fit. However, if your primary aim is to shed extra pounds you may supplement yoga with aerobic exercises, walking, cycling, running or swimming.