Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines, which originated in ancient India. Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation, that helps to improve health and happiness.
Does yoga help in weight loss?
Typically, weight loss occurs when a person’s calorie intake (food and drink consumed) is less than their calorie expenditure (energy is expended all day). Yoga may not be a quick fix to weight loss, but it creates fundamental shifts that lead to lasting change. Regular yoga practice can increase your ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and tone up your body.
Yoga also builds mindfulness which enables you to know when you’re full and prevents you from overeating. It helps you recognize anxiety and stress for what they are. So, instead of trying to mask them with food, you can rather incorporate yoga in your daily schedule.
Stress increases the levels of the hormone cortisol and elevated cortisol levels not only stimulate eating but they also ensure that any additional calories are efficiently converted to fat. Big bellies are linked to insulin resistance, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. By combating stress, yoga helps normalize cortisol levels.
What are the yoga postures for weight-loss?
Sun Salutation or ‘Surya Namaskar’
The stretching and toning help in trimming your waist, toning your arms, balancing your metabolism and also stimulates your digestive system.
Downward Dog or ‘Adho Mukha Svanasana’
It emphasizes on the core and total-body mobility, lengthens the spine, and strengthens the muscles of the chest increasing lung capacity.
Warrior or ‘Virabhadrasana’
This asana has two versions, warrior 2 and 3, which are tough to practice but keep reminding yourself that you are a warrior! It helps strengthen your back, legs, arms and also, tones your thigh and shoulder muscles.
Triangle or ‘Trikonasana’
This asana involves twisting motions, which help to improve digestion and reduce fat deposits in the belly. Try it and your abs will thank you later!
Plank or ‘Phalakasana’
This asana works extensively on your back, shoulders, arms, spine, wrists and fortifies your muscles. It is also great for the respiratory system and the core strength of the body. You can combine upward, downward, and side planks for faster body-toning.
Boat or ‘Navasana’
This asana will kill that stubborn belly fat! It tones and strengthens your abdominal muscles, improves balance and digestion, stretches your hamstrings, and stimulates the kidneys.
Bridge or ‘Setu Bandha Sarvangasana’
This asana is great for the thyroid gland, glutes, and weight loss. It also helps in toning your back and thigh muscles and stimulates the abdominal organs to keep your digestive system happy.
Shoulder Stand or ‘Sarvangasana’
This asana increases strength, improves the respiratory system, strengthens the upper body, legs and abs, and enhances better sleep. It is also good for eyesight and the thyroid gland.
Bow or ‘Dhanurasana’
This asana helps to strengthen the leg muscles, especially the upper thighs, relieves stiff shoulders and reduces excess weight around the abdominal area.
Twisted Chair or ‘Parivrtta Utkatasana’
This asana is a yoga-version of a squat! It works the quads, the glutes, and the abs. And that’s just the muscles! It also improves the digestive and the lymph system.
That being said, the best way to achieve your desired healthy weight is still through a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, in which yoga may just be one aspect. This form of exercise facilitates weight loss in several ways and when combined with evidence-based nutritional guidance, can be highly effective.
It is advised to practise yoga at least three times a week for best results. You must also monitor the amount of food consumed in one sitting. Portion-controlled eating is encouraged, keeping a strict check on binge-eating. It is advised to speak to an expert before opting for any new exercise or diet.
Good luck fighting fat on your mat!