Yoga is not merely contorting your body to various positions but it is a way of life. The famous musician Sting quotes, “Yoga is almost like music in a way; there is no end to it.” Yes, the physical benefits notwithstanding, yoga is also food for the soul. Before I go on and on about the benefits of yoga, let’s answer one pertinent question, does yoga help in weight loss? Most people may look at yoga as a way of minimizing stress in one’s life but can it replace your 30 minutes on the treadmill? Or 40 minutes of HIIT?
We just know so little about yoga, as a layman I shared similar misapprehensions on yoga until the time I started doing it and delved deep to know more about this amazing practice. Believe me, I always spent hours on the treadmill on other days I went out for a run and ended up exercising 6 days a week, but my weight refused to budge. Yes, I know what you are thinking, I tweaked my diet too, mostly ate healthily, the good carbs, the good fats, the protein et al, yes I tried every small thing I heard from friends or read in books and browsed on the net, but nothing worked.
With my frustration hitting the roof, I turned to my mother (my best friend) who always had the best advice for me,” why don’t you try yoga?” Still skeptical, I started my yoga journey and never looked back ever since. No, I did not drop an insane number of pounds in a month, but I felt a deep sense of calm and I was not in a constant flight or fight mode as before. Miraculously after a good few months, the weight started dropping and before I knew it was almost close to my weight loss goals. How do you think yoga helps in weight loss? Find out here,
- Yoga helps beat stress – Do you know stress is a major contributor to weight gain and the major reason that you are unable to knock off the extra kilos? Yoga helps you to switch off from the constant stress you endure in your everyday life.
- Yoga helps in the detoxification process – When you are unable to lose weight, there is a clear indication that your body is unable to detoxify, especially the organs such as liver and kidneys. Different techniques of yoga such as deep breathing and self-massaging enable the body to detoxify optimally.
- Yoga helps unlock deeper emotions – In the frenetic pace of life, we so often address emotional issues with food. Depression leads to bingeing, in fact, any pent-up feelings can lead to making us find solace in food. Yoga helps us address this deep emotional turbulence and help us lose weight.
Now, that you have experienced the effective benefits of yoga, let us find out some of the best yoga poses for weight loss which can help you lose weight holistically. Here are a few asanas to help you lose the excess pounds.
- Triangular pose or Trikonasana
This asana helps lose the extra fat in your arms and body.
Get into a wide-legged position and bring your right foot out. Stretch your arms in a wide-opened stance out. Now push the right torso over your right leg and move downwards, all the while maintaining a flat back. Rest your right palm flat on the ground. Place your right foot either in front of it or behind it or rest it on a block with your left arm pushed upwards. Perform this exercise on the other side too.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
This is one of the best yoga for weight loss poses. It strengthens your abdominal walls and improves digestion. It also helps in toning your hands and feet.
Let your body form a table-like pose. Breathe out and raise your hips all the while straightening your elbows and knees. This will enable your body to form an inverted “V” pose. Align your hands and shoulders into a straight line, while pointing your toes outwards. Press your hands on the floor and pushing your hands towards the floor, elongate your neck. Ensure your ears touches the inner side of your arms. Direct your gaze to your navel. Hold this pose for a good few seconds and gradually with an ever so slight, bent of your knees resume your first position, the table-top.
- The Chaturanga Dandasana
This is a great exercise to make you more strong and flexible, all the while working your core, back shoulders and arms. This asana is similar to the plank pose.
Ease yourself into the plank pose maintaining the outer side of your shoulders aligned to the middle fingers on the floor. Spread your fingers wide and grip the floor with it. Breathe in and feel a deep stretch from the heels to the head. Breathe out and bring your body into a push-up stance. Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor. Touch the elbow tips to your side ribs and maintain a 90- degree angle to your elbow crook. Hold the pose and suck in your belly-button throughout the exercise. Breathe out and release the pose.
- The warrior pose or Veerabhadrasana
The warrior pose is an extremely effective exercise and tones and strengthens your legs, thighs, arms, and back. It also improves the blood circulation.
Breathe in and start with the mountain pose and stretch one of your legs back coerce your other leg into a lunge position all the while your knee at a ninety-degree position and your hands outstretched over your head. Breathe normally while you maintain this position. Gradually release the position and gently move back and stand straight.
Weight loss may be one of the reasons for you to start a yoga routine, but there are myriad of other ways which yoga rejuvenates you and reboots you. Yoga is certainly an integral part of my life, hope it becomes a part of your life too.