- Why yoga is best for weight loss for all age groups?
- Best Yoga poses for weight loss
- Other Benefits of yoga
Do you think yoga is all about gentle stretching and calm meditation? Think again. While it is true that yoga does involve a great deal of flexibility and is a favoured exercise for calmness and relaxation, it is, at the end of the day, an exercise form too. The graceful yoga poses require effort, energy, and concentration, and help in weight loss and building muscles too. Indeed, yoga may be considered a better form of exercise than many other options because its varying levels of intensity allow nearly everybody to participate and challenge themselves, it works out both the mind and the body and the relationship between them, and both cultural and scientific sources have detailed the benefits of yoga.
Yoga poses for weight loss
While all yoga poses burn calories, if you are looking for something that challenges you further and accelerate your weight loss, here are some yoga asanas that you should definitely integrate into your daily work out –
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) – A series of gracefully linked asanas, not only is the Surya Namaskar a great way to begin your exercise, but it is in itself also a great fat burner as it increases body heat and engages all the major muscles of the body. Thus, practising it regularly means that you start off your workout with a great fat burner.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) – A great way to stretch the body and challenge your flexibility and strength, this asana helps in honing your concentration and sense of balance, and engages the abdominal and hip region while stretching the shoulders. With total body engagement, you will get the best results as you hold the pose for longer durations.
Navasana (Boat Pose) – Yet another all-body engager, this asana challenges your mind-body link as you hold the position which tones your stomach and stretches your hips and thighs. For a greater challenge, you can rock gently while holding the pose to give your shoulders and abdomen that extra burn.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) – This raise helps in using your own body weight to challenge your hips and thighs while opening up your abdomen and chest. Repeatedly striking this pose can help in engaging and toning the glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles while giving your shoulders a break.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose) – A killer workout for the thighs and hips, this asana will challenge and tone your legs. Stay in this position as long as you can, and you will surely feel the burn from this asana. Keeping your hands raised also gives your shoulders a good stretch and helps in keeping your back in the right position.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) – Deceptively simple-looking, this asana is a great way to tone the entire body with the engagement of the right muscles. Firstly, use your arms to push your weight back towards your legs, and make sure that your core is engaged by keeping your body in line. Rotate your thighs inwards and hold for as long as you can.
Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) – A great remedy for thyroid and digestive issues, the shoulder stand also challenges your balance and strength – indeed, being able to pull this asana off without any support is considered a major benchmark of fitness. Working both the upper and lower body, this asana is also a great way to tone the waistline.
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limb Staff Pose) – Yoga’s answer to the plank will have you sweating in no time with exertion. The chaturanga helps in toning the arms and abdominal muscles and also strengthens the lower back. Regular practice of this asana can not only help in shedding weight but also improve your posture and prepare your upper body for more challenging exercises.
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior Pose) – All variants of the Vira Bhadra asana have their own calorie-burning features, but this third variant takes things up a notch by challenging your balance and putting all your weight on one leg. This pose is sure to target your hips and legs, and you can contact your abdomen (with care) so that your core gets a workout too.
Paschimottasana (Seated Forward Bend) – Primarily a stretcher for the back and legs and a hamstring opener, this asana nevertheless requires a great deal of strength to both strike the pose and hold it in position. Breathing evenly through this asana also helps in engaging the pressurized core, and re-extending your elbows will give you an extra stretch and burn.
Utthita Parva Konasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) – Challenge your thighs and hips and work out your obliques with this great asana, which also helps in opening the chest and shoulders. Hold the pose up to a minute to really feel its impact, and do not forget to repeat on the other side.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose) – As important it is to engage in a rigorous and challenging workout, it is equally important to rest and recover well. Just like the Surya Namaskar is a great way to begin your workout, the corpse pose is an excellent way to end your workout. This pose is considered an ‘active rest’, where your muscles are not limp, but not working out either. A perfect time for meditation too, this asana can help in healing the body post an energetic workout.
So be sure to integrate these asanas into your daily workout and see the pounds shed off. Remember however that weight loss has to be approached holistically – alongside asanas, Yoga also provides a number of other important tools such as meditation, breathing exercises, eating patterns etc., all of which can help you target your weight from multiple angles and get the toned body you always wanted. So be sure to go beyond exercising.