Yoga (means union with Self or God) for weight loss involves practice of certain asanas that burn extra calories and fat in the body. We will discuss those asanas in this page.
According to research, you burn on average between three and six calories per minute – which adds up to 180 calories in an hour’s class – not that many when compared to a brisk walk, which burns 300 calories per hour.
However, an extensive American study in 2005 of more than 15 000 middle-aged men and women found that those who regularly practised yoga for at least four years were less likely to gain weight.
Even more interestingly, those who were overweight but doing yoga lost an average of 5lb (about 2.2kg) during this four-year period, whereas the overweight non-practitioners gained more than a stone (6.3kg).
“Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity – a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat,” says Jonathan.
Yoga practitioner Angelka Cavana adds: “Clearly, there is some burning of calories, but bear in mind that whatever type of yoga you practise, your posture will be improved. Just tucking in your bottom, drawing in your stomach, pulling up your chest and relaxing shoulders will instantly make you look taller and more slender.”
Once you start to use your body correctly, your internal organs are able to function correctly, so you’re increasingly likely to crave healthy foods, rather than quick sugary fixes.
- Lie down on your front.
- bend your arms at elbows to bring your hands next to your chest on both sides.
- keep your legs joint / close together.
- now apply pressure on your hands so that the whole body weight rests on them. Raise your upper body on this support.
- this rising up should happen with your back arching up from your waist.
- the legs remain planted firmly on the ground.
- stay fixed in this position and (breathe in + count up to 5 + breathe out) for 20 to 25 times, depending on your stamina.
- when you are done, gently lie down and straighten your arms out.
- take a few deep breaths. Get up once your body calms down
- Benefits: Reduce hip fat
BIDALASANA or CAT BACK POSE
- Get down on your hands and knees (um… wait, that came out wrong!).
- Lift your face. Try to look upwards. Your back arches up from the waist.
- Take a deep breath. ( in pose 1 of the picture below ).
- While exhaling, bring your face down, your chin inwards towards your chest.
- Puff your back up, you look like an angry kitten. Hence the name.
- By the time you complete exhaling, you look like pose 2 of the picture below.
- Repeat for 10 to 20 times, depending on your stamina.
- Benefits: Reduces tummy fat
- Sit down with knees close to your chest, feet on the floor.
- Keeping your body close to vertical,
- hold behind your knees and lift your feet to bring shins parallel to the ground.
- Release your hands and stretch arms straight forward.
- Lean back slightly as you stretch your legs toward straight.
- Keep your chest open and shoulders back rather than rounded forward.
- Practice keeping your body and thighs closer to vertical by keeping knees bent.
- If your tailbone gets in the way when straightening legs, sit on a towel or blanket.
- Benefits: Builds strength in the abdomen and tops of upper thighs.