Yoga for weight loss - Healthocrat: Your ultimate fitness partner

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Yoga for weight loss

Yoga is an ancient martial art that was originated in India. It is a part of Rigveda, which is one of the oldest books about human history. Rigveda is approximately 8000-10,000 years old. There are many types of yoga such as Dhyan yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Hatha yoga, Raj yoga, Mantra yoga, Shiva yoga and many others.


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Yoga was propounded by Maharishi Patanjali, about 5,000 years ago. And from then, it has successfully changed the life of many people. Many famous saints have stated the importance of Yoga. In Shrimad Bhagavatgita, a holy book of the Hindu, Lord Krishna has laid emphasis on the importance of yoga. In simple words, we can define yoga as an art which unites the body, mind and soul together. It empowers us with the ability to stay centered during extreme conditions.
Earlier, yoga was confined to the aristocratic class and to learn it, they had to qualify rigorous tests. People of backward classes were not allowed to practice yoga. But today, the situation has completely changed. People throughout the globe have adopted yoga in their regular lives and also have gained several benefits from it.

According to Maharishi Patanjali, there are eight limbs of yoga, namely:

  • Yama (Social ethics)
  • Niyama (Personal ethics)
  • Asana (Postures)
  • Pranayama (Directing the life force)
  • Pratyahara (Turning the senses in words)
  • Dharana (One-pointed focus)
  • Dhyana (Meditation)
  • Samadhi (Merging with the self)

Asanas are an important part of yoga. They help in maintaining body posture and fitness. They also help in curing many problems such as high and low blood pressure, body deformities, torn muscles, blood circulation problems and the most important- weight loss. It helps in boosting the metabolism and if you start performing yoga daily, alongwith eating organic food, you can lose your extra weight in just a couple of days. There are many asanas which are proven to be a boon for obese and over-weighted people. Five most important of them, along with their other benefits and steps to perform them are stated below:

1). Paschimottanasana (Seated forward fold)

Steps to do Paschimottanasana:

  • First of all, sit on the floor and stretch your legs forward.
  • Now, leave the back muscles loose. 
  • Raise your arms up while breathing in. Take deep breaths.
  • Then, bend and bow forward. 
  • Try to hold your toe with the fingers of your hand and exert pressure on your body to touch your nose to your knees.
  • Breathe slowly, then slowly release your breath. 
  • Perform this exercise according to your body endurance.
  • Perform 3-5 cycles daily.

An image showing a man practising paschimottanasana

Other benefits of Paschimottanasana: 

It will help in reducing your abdomen fat and improve your digestive system. It also helps in curing spinal deformity. Furthermore, it is beneficial for the liver, kidneys, ovaries and uterus.

2). Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining hand-to-big toe pose) 

Steps to do Supta Pandangusthasana:

  • Lie down straight on the ground.
  • Keep your breathing normal. 
  • Now lift your right leg up and hold the foot with your right hand and stretch gently and slowly.
  • Release your breath during this time.
  • Stay in this position for some time.
  • Then slowly, put your leg down and come back to initial position.
  • Perform the same procedure with your left leg using left hand. 


Other benefits of Supta Padangusthasana: 

By regular practice of this posture, you can get rid of many stomach-related problems. This posture is quite beneficial to cure abdominal pain, gastric problems, constipation, diarrhea, weakness and laziness.


3). Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Steps to do Bhujangasana:

  • First of all, select a clean and airy place for performing Bhujangasana. After that, lie down on stomach.
  • Now, stretch both legs wide and keep the chin on the ground. Keep both hand on the ground, keeping both the elbows touching the ribs on both sides. (Remember to keep your palm straight and they should touch the ground)
  • Now, place your head on the floor after closing your eyes. Breath in and slowly raise the chin, then, slowly raise the neck towards the sky. Try to lift your chest up and lift your stomach portion slowly.
  • Try to bend your back while raising your neck. Do not exert much pressure on your hands. Pressure should be exerted on the body. 
  • When you have completely raised your neck, open your eyes and release your breath. Start taking deep breaths. 
  • After remaining in the same position, slowly come back to the normal position.
An image showing a girl performing bhujangasana

Other benefits of Bhujangasana: 

It is beneficial for women who encounter the problem of irregular periods. It gives relief to stomach pain and it also help in broadening the chest. Moreover, it helps in making the pancreas active which balances the secretion of insulin, thus, providing relief to diabetes patients.

4). Balasana (Child's Pose)

Steps to do Balasana:

  • Sit on your ankles, place the heals below the hips, lean forward and touch the forehead to the ground.
  • Bow your both hands forward and keep them firmly on the ground. Keep the palm facing towards the sky. 
  • Put pressure on your thighs gently using your chest. Maintain the same posture for some time.
  • Rise gently and sit on the heels and then, gently straighten the spinal cord.
An image showing a girl practising balasana

Other Benefits of Balasana: 


It relaxes the spinal cord. It also removes body fatigue and improves the blood circulation.


5). Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Steps to do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana:

  • Lie down on your back
  • Bend your knees and spread both the legs about 10-12 inches away from each other.
  • Keep your hands adjacent to your body with palm facing the ground.
  • While breathing, gently raise your lower back, middle and then upper part from the ground. Slowly move your shoulders inwards. 
  • Without moving your chin, move your chest towards it and support your weight witth your shoulders, hands and feet. Keep the lower body stationary during this time. Remember to keep your thighs together.
  • During this time, you can lift your upper body part by pressing your hands on the ground. You can also provide support to your waist using your hands.
  • Maintain the same posture for 1-2 minutes and come back to the normal position while releasing your breath.

Other benefits of Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: 

It makes the muscles flexible. It is also very beneficial in getting rid of depression. For people suffering from thyroid, regular practice of this exercise can alleviate their suffering.

Note:

 If you are a beginner, practice these exercises only under the supervision of an expert. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before exercising. Do not exert too much pressure on your body as it can tear your muscles.

These asanas are very beneficial for health and by performing them daily for some time, you can get the best results in a couple of days.

We hope that the article on the topic 'Yoga for weight loss', that we have provided above has served its sole purpose.

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