Table of Contents
Yoga for weight loss (part 1)
The use of yoga for weight loss may not seem effective for most people. I bet they will go, “No, it’s just stretching… what can it do to burn calories?”
Well, a lot, my friend. Yoga can work to lose weight if you use it well and I’ll tell you what to do in due course.
Boy, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that remark.
Well, for interested parties, yoga as an option for weight loss is sensible, safe, and effective.
Remember, it’s the oldest physical culture known to man and this exercise works not only the body but the mind and soul as well. Hey, have you seen Madonna, Sting, or Russell Simmons lately? (I can just see you go, “Foras… they were never too fat so don’t go there! Well, uh… they’ve never arrived either and they all still look good for their ages, don’t they?
Okay, here are the postures I recommend you use when using yoga to lose weight.
Now, my friend, I will discuss what I think is the essence of yoga postures.
Believe me, there have been times when I did this on my own and still got the benefits that yoga brings from daily practice.
Let’s take notes:
The sun salutation when using yoga for weight loss:
These exercises are a combination of yoga postures, breathing exercises, sunbathing, and prayer. They have been practiced for centuries by yoga practitioners in India, martial artists, and African wrestlers, and as a system to rejuvenate the body and soul, they cannot be compared. In the circles of Drugless Healing, it has been said that one round of sun salutation is much better than a week’s workout at the gym!
They are very easy to learn and virtually anyone, regardless of their fitness or flexibility levels, can learn these simple exercises. If you’re familiar with “burpees” (the gymnastics exercise), they derive their origins from the Sun salutation.
A few advantages:
-They alleviate skin and waist disorders.
-Flexibility increases and breathing is corrected, also, they exercise the legs and arms slightly, increasing blood circulation.
-They are the best way to burn calories and reduce weight and are often recommended for overweight and depression.
-They are an effective way to loosen, stretch, and massage all joints and internal organs of the body.
-They stimulate and balance all systems of the body, including the endocrine, circulatory, reproductive and digestive systems.
1. Stand up straight with the palms of your hands against each other, like in a prayer posture.
2. Breathe in and extend the arms above the head.
3. Exhale and bend forward while touching the toes.
4. Inhale and stretch the right leg away from the body in a large step backward, keeping the hands and left foot firmly on the ground. Bend the head back, the left knee should be between the hands.
5. Breathe in and hold the breath. Move the left leg of the body, leaving both feet together and the knees of the floor resting on the hands (arms extended), keeping the body in a straight line from head to foot.
6. Exhale and lower the body to the ground. In this position, only 8 parts of the body are in contact with the floor: the two feet, two knees, two hands, chest, and forehead.
7. Breathe in and bend back as much as possible by bending the spine as much as possible.
8. Exhale and lift the body from the floor. Keep the feet and heels on the floor.
9. Breathe in and bring the right foot with the level of the hands; left foot and knee should touch the floor. Look up and bend the back slightly (same position as # 4).
10. Exhale and bring the left leg forward. Keep the knees straight and bring the head to the knees as in the third position.
11. Raise the arms above your head and bend backward as you inhale. As in position 2.
12. Exhale and drop the arms and relax.
You have now completed one round.
Perform as many rounds as possible in multiples of 3. Ideally, aim for a minimum of 6 rounds and a maximum of 30 rounds. It will only take about 5-10 minutes, depending on your speed and intensity, and it is best to practice with as few clothes as possible in front of an open-air window early in the morning.
Okay, we have discussed the core posture or combination when using yoga for weight loss in this part of the series of this article. I will discuss SPECIFIC postures (asanas) that address the problem areas and some breathing exercises that would speed up calorie burning. But my friends, note that I use yoga to lose weight; I mean ALL limbs: the postures, the prescribed diet for practice and mind-set. If you were doing conventional exercise for weight loss, you’d know to eat a healthier diet right…?
Well, the same applies to yoga for weight loss.
Read more: Morning yoga for beginners
Continue reading in part 2 of this article. (below)
Yoga for weight loss (part 2)
Welcome back, folks.
Okay, let’s continue the hunt for how yoga for weight loss works.
We’ve been going over the sun salutations and if you look like me, you’ve probably tried them and you’ve been sold to yoga ‘the stretching’ exercise to burn calories.
Now let’s target the problem areas.
Forms for problem areas when using yoga for weight loss:
1. Abdominal area: the forward bending posture, the bowing posture, the peacock posture, the spinal rotation, and the triangle posture.
2. The Arms: The Peacock Pose! The Wheel Pose, the Crow Pose, the Side Plank Pose, and the Staff-Pose with 4 limbs.
3. The thighs: the bow position, the shoulder position, the hero position, the triangle, and wheel positions.
4. Love Handles: The spinal twist, the triangular pose, (with practice) the Side Crow Poses, (for convenience) The Side Plank Pose.
I realize that the above places seem to be most of us when they are trying to lose weight, so I made sure to discuss them first.
I have the impression that if you’d searched in Google or done some research on yoga to lose weight, you must have gotten some more information about the poses above, or signed up for a class, bought a yoga DVD, something to learn more about, that’s why I didn’t discuss every pose in detail. But believe me, they are indeed very easy. However, I will emphasize that performing the sun salutation (more than 24 laps) should be your main focus when using yoga for a weight loss regime, even before the other poses take place.
This will also help:
one posture that some yogis and yoginis consider to be a versatile posture for the whole body, is the shoulder posture. It is best practiced with its counter posts because these postures have effects on the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of our lives, it is safe to say that you should never perform a yoga pose without counteracting it. You can throw some things out of normality.
Here is a brief overview of the shoulder position as a yoga pose for weight loss:
Put a thick blanket on the floor and put your yoga mat on top. Lie on your back. Slowly bring the legs up. Lift the torso, hips, and legs in a vertical position. Let the elbows rest firmly on the ground and support the back with both hands. (See the picture for a good execution). Raise the legs until they become vertical. Press the chin against the chest. This is the chin lock. While performing this pose, the back of the neck, the back part of the head, and the shoulders should touch the floor. Breathe in counts of 5-5-5 (inhalation, retention, and exhalation). Do not vibrate the body. The opposites are the bridge and fish posture that will be directed towards your forearms/thighs and chest/neck respectively.
As I promised; here is the Breath of Fire breathing exercise that you can add to your yoga practice to speed up the burning of calories. (Doesn’t the name just say something…?)
Breath of Fire exercise (also known as Kapalabathi or Bellows Breath)
– Take a few breaths and see that the diaphragm moves properly. Now, with your eyes closed (as they should be in all breathing exercises), make a sudden contraction of the abdomen with backward pressure. This leads to a sudden but firm removal of stagnant air from the lungs.
-Follow this up with sudden relaxation (through which, of course, the new air flows in). Now perform the exercise in this way: passive inhalation and active exertions at a rate of sudden abdominal pressure per second in succession. One round should have 15-20 expulsions. Maximum 3 laps
-You may gradually increase to 120 expulsions per lap and then perform only 2 laps. (As soon as you carry out 50 expulsions per lap, you may not carry out more than 2 laps!) Between each lap, you will pause normal breathing for about 30 seconds.
Now, there you have it, the information needed to get you started using yoga for weight loss: the poses for the problem areas, the bellow breathing, the shoulder position, and the almighty sun salutation.
Remember that for the same reasons Hippocrates, the father of medicine, declared: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food”, you should follow a proper diet when trying to lose weight with yoga. Keep in mind that this is an all too important part of this exercise, so there is no way to avoid it, friends. (But I’m sure you already know that)
So take a pose and discover for yourself how yoga for weight loss can be an effective and safe choice.
Related Article: Yoga for back pain
Thank you for reading please don’t forget to share this article with your friends