Who would have thought that a 5000-year-old palm leaves script could be a guide to weight loss? Yoga has even been in Rigveda and has been documented to tone your body for a lean and strong fit. You should also take care of your diet along with yoga for weight loss. What yoga does to your body is induce mindfulness and keep control over emotional eating. The asanas also increase your body’s flexibility and burn calories.
If you are a corporate employee you have a ton of stiff muscles and poor metabolism. Yoga turns you into a healthy human which in turn means losing unwanted weight. Follow the poses described below with a step by step instructions to begin your yoga for weight loss journey:
Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana)
Focus body area: Core (abdominal muscles)
Benefits: Improves stability, posture, and strength
- Get to a plank position.
- Make sure your hips are level and not protruding outwards.
- Do a pushup while making sure that your elbows are beside your chest.
If you are unable to be in a plank position, you could touch your knees to the ground and repeat the above steps. Inhale when you are up and exhale when you go down.
Focus body area: Shoulder and thighs
Benefits: Improves quads and concentration
- Bring your arms above your head.
- Press your palms together into a namaskar.
- Keep your legs wide and turned towards your left or right.
- Bend your one knee and hold for 3 breaths.
Remember tailbone must be downwards and if you have shoulder injuries you can keep your hands on your hips. Inhale to come up from the pose and exhale when you bring down your hands.
Focus body area: Belly and waist
Benefits: Improves digestion, balance, and concentration
- Stand with your legs wide apart.
- Keep your left heel aligned toward your right foot.
- Touch your left ankle with your left hand.
- Keep your right hand straight above your left tilted head.
- Hold the pose with your elbows and knees straight.
Trikonasana is not for people with migraine, high blood pressure, diarrhea, or neck, back, and knee injuries. Practice other yoga asanas that do not aggravate these conditions.
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Focus body area: Back, hamstring, thighs, arms
Benefits: Improves blood circulation and concentration
- Lay your stomach down on the ground.
- Place your palms flat on the ground near your shoulder.
- Now, bring your torso up by keeping your palms still on the ground.
- Lift your waist with your knees on the ground.
- Next, lift your knees above the ground too.
All this while your palms must be flat on the ground. Again, people with high blood pressure or migraine should refrain from doing this yoga for weight loss.
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
Focus body area: Arms, shoulder, middle nack, knees, ankles
Benefits: Builds strength, boosts metabolism, balances thyroid levels, and improves digestion
- Lie flat on the ground.
- Inhale and exhale before you lift both your legs above in the air.
- Support your hips with your hands.
Your legs must be 90 degrees to the ground and you may hold the pose for like 1 or 2 minutes if you are a beginner. You can hold the pose for as long as 20 minutes.do not turn your head sideways to look around as you could injure your neck.
Bridge (Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Focus body area: Back muscles
Benefits: Reduces back pain, improves thyroid, regulates hormones, improves digestion
- Lie flat on the ground.
- Bend both your knees and place your feet hip-width apart.
- Press the floor with your feet and lift your hips.
- Press down your arms and lift your chest.
- Hold your ankles with your hands and keep your head on the ground.
This yoga for weight loss requires your shoulder, neck, knees, and back to function correctly. Get professional trainers if you want to do this asana with injuries to these areas.
Twisted Chair (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
Focus body area: Glutes, quads, core
Benefits: Improves digestion and the lymph system
- Join your hands in a namaskar.
- Turn your shoulder towards your right without moving your knees or hips.
- Do a squat by touching your left elbow to your right knee.
People with injuries or who have undergone surgeries should avoid doing this asana. Since it prompts stimulations in various regions of the body, it could trigger headaches and migraine in people who are already experiencing it.
Focus body area: Abdominal organs, whole body
Benefits: Improves digestion, tones muscles, improves blood circulation
- Lie flat on the ground on your stomach.
- Lift your ankles up.
- Hold them with your arms stretched backward.
- Keep your head above the ground.
This asana stimulates high blood pressure so avoid doing it it is an ailment to you. Again, people with migraine can worsen their condition if they do it. You could do preparatory poses before you do this yoga for weight loss to loosen your hip flexors and quads.
Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara)
Focus body area: Arms, waist, core, whole body (basically)
Benefits: Balances metabolism, stimulates digestion, improves circulation
Surya Namaskar is a combination of 10 poses:
- Mountain (Tadasana)
- Upward salute (Urdhva Hastasana)
- Standing forward bend (Ultanasana)
- Half-standing forward bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
- High lunge (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
- Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanansan)
- High plank (Phalakasana)
Yoga is a stimulant for the entire body and it involves high participation of your knees, shoulder, neck, and arms. If you have sustained injuries to any of these parts, yoga is not for you unless under trained supervision. The yoga asanas listed above increase metabolism, digestion, and circulation. This in turn brings in mindfulness and you get control of your emotional appetite. All these combine to help you lose weight.
Here are some don’ts of yoga:
- Do not do yoga during your menses.
- Wait 2 or 3 hours after a meal for yoga.
- Do not drink water, eat food, or shower 30 mins after a yoga session.
- Do not do strenuous exercises after yoga.
- Can you lose weight by doing yoga?
Yoga has been shown to have several health benefits that ultimately help you lose weight and maintain it for a long time. Yoga burns calories and increases your muscle tone and mass by
- Managing stress
- Improving your mood
- Curbing emotional eating
- Creating a community of support
- Is 30 minutes of yoga enough to lose weight?
A Harvard study researched how yoga can induce mindful eating and help burn calories in people with different weights. They found that hatha yoga for weight loss must be done for 30 minutes. The data says
- 168 calories were burnt in a 185-pound person
- 144 calories were burnt in a 155-pound person
- 120 calories were burnt in a 125-pound person
- How long should I hold each yoga pose?
The time for each yoga pose varies from 6 to 60 seconds. A minute hold is sufficient to build flexibility and strength. Repeat the hold 5 times a week and while you are at it breathe for 10 second3 to 6 times.