Yoga has been a subject of debate since one can remember. It is not surprising to find people who swear by it saying that it is the best thing to have ever happened to them. On the other end of the spectrum, some people opine that yoga is nothing but hokum.
Yoga is generally associated with mindfulness and awareness. However, the idea of using yoga for weight loss has come to the forefront only in recent times.
This is because an increasing number of people are struggling with weight loss for a variety of reasons. More often than not, this struggle with weight loss stems from a combination of work stress, anxiety, and poor eating habits.
Yoga has been around for centuries but has been gaining worldwide attention and popularity in recent times, primarily because of the success stories that yoga practitioners share. They are known to defend yoga vehemently. However, experts also agree that yoga can combat weight loss. Let us take a look at some yoga postures that are effective for weight loss.
Surya Namaskar is one of the most well known and practiced yoga asanas in the world. Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive exercise that comprises of twelve different poses to exercise every part of the body. It helps strengthen your skeletal system and ligaments and also eases your stress and anxiety levels. Regular practice of Surya Namaskar can reduce overall body fat and aid in weight loss. It also improves digestive health and brings down blood sugar levels.
The Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)
You start by assuming the mountain pose and then stretching one leg back while putting the other leg forward, just as you would if you were doing lunges. As you put your leg forward, your knee should be positioned at ninety-degrees. Then stretch your hands right above your head. It has the following benefits:
- It strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles, and back.
- It improves your focus, balance, stamina, and stability.
- It enables good circulation and respiration.
- It stretches your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, belly, groin, and ankles.
- It energizes your body.
The Warrior II (Virabhadrasana B)
This yoga pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, feet, ankles, and stretches the ankles, chest, shoulders, and groin. Proper practice of The Warrior II can aid digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs. It also relieves backache.
Given that it is a difficult position to maintain, it improves stamina and endurance. It is similar to the Warrior Pose, but in this case, you have to lift your arms alongside your body with your palms facing down. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths.
Triangular Pose (Trikonasana)
This pose requires a little more flexibility as compared to the previous poses. You start with a wide-legged stance and turn your right foot out. Then, stretch your arms out, pushing your waistline over your right leg and face downwards with a flat back. Place your right palm on the ground or next to your right foot and stretch out your left arm.
The Boat Pose
You start by lying down on your back and then lifting your upper body to get into a V shape position that resembles a boat. Hold this position for at least ten seconds before you relax your muscles and go back to your original position.
The boat pose is meant to target your abdominal muscles, and it boasts a wide array of benefits:
- It tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles.
- It improves balance and digestion.
- It stretches your hamstrings.
- It strengthens your spine and hip flexors.
- It stimulates the kidneys, thyroid, prostate glands, and intestines.
The Bridge Pose
Lie down on your back and stretch your hands out sideways. Fold your knees, spread them, and raise your body from your pelvis. You can use your hands as support to hold this position.
The bridge pose is known to stimulate the abdominal organs and thyroid glands, which improves digestion and helps regulate metabolism.
It revitalizes the legs and stretches the shoulders, and it can be particularly helpful for those who spend the entire day sitting in front of a computer.
The Upward Plank (Purvottanasana)
While this may seem a bit difficult to do at first, the results are well worth the trouble. The upward plank is known to work on your back, shoulders, arms, spine, and wrists. This pose also helps fortify your muscles.
It is excellent for your body’s core strength since it works on your legs, inner thigh muscles, and the hips. It also does wonders for the respiratory system.
To perform this asana properly, start by sitting with your legs stretched in front of you. Place your hands behind you on the ground, stretch them out, and use them as support.
Stretch out your feet as you prepare your body to rise. Raise your body and pull your head back. If you are finding it challenging to visualize this pose, think of it as the exact opposite of the position you would have to get into before doing a conventional pushup.
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
This pose helps balance thyroid levels, which boosts metabolism, improves the respiratory system, and strengthens the upper body.
The pose also stimulates the abdominal organs and aids digestion.
If you have any neck injuries, make sure you practice this pose with caution. Use folded blankets or towels for support beneath the shoulders.
If you are still apprehensive about doing yoga for weight loss, consider giving it a shot for a short period before you take a call. You have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain.