Yoga for weight loss

Published On: July 6, 2018 08:59 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Not getting the required results even after spending hours at the gym? Maybe you should give yoga a try. Apart from improving flexibility, reducing stress, and strengthening your muscles, yoga can also be an extremely effective way to shed some kilos. 

According to Dr Ramesh Gautam, naturopathic practitioner at Arogya Ashram in Ratopul, Kathmandu, unlike other exercises, yoga gives you additional energy to burn some extra fat. These exercises are so relaxing that it will also provide you with a renewed sense of purpose. So what are you waiting for? This week try out a few yoga poses that will help you lose weight while invigorating you from within. 

Boat pose (Navasana) 
Navasana is said to be a very effective exercise for strengthening the abdominal region and the hip flexors that attach the inner thigh bone to the front of your spine. Apart from toning the abdominal region, this pose is also great for relieving stress and improving digestion. 

To do this exercise, slowly raise your legs till they are at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Once your legs are balanced, raise your arms up to your knees. Inhale as you lift your feet off the ground. Try holding it for 30 minutes in the beginning and gradually work towards holding it for a full minute. 

Plank pose (Phalakasana) 
This pose helps in strengthening your arms, ribs, and spine and toning the abdominal region as well. Press your fingers forward and make a firm base with your fingers on the floor. Your shoulders should be directly above your wrist and torso should be parallel to the floor. Make sure your hips are in line with the rest of the body. It should not be too high or too low. And, most importantly, do not let your body sag.  Hold this position for 30 seconds and work up to holding it for two minutes. It might seem difficult when you are just starting out but it will get easier with practice. 

Bridge variation (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Fist lie flat on the ground, facing the ceiling. Bend your knees and let the heels touch your hips. Then slowly lift the middle portion of your body up while your feet, shoulders, and hands are still in contact with the yoga mat. Then, slowly lift up the right leg, bend it and hold for about 30 seconds. Make sure your left leg is perpendicular to the ground. Perform this exercise on both the sides. 

Apart from weight loss, there are numerous other benefits of this pose. It calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression. The pose is also beneficial for abdominal organs, lungs, and the thyroid. It also helps in rejuvenating tired legs, improves digestion and reduces fatigue, insomnia, depression, and headache. 

Superman pose (Viparita Shalabhasana) 
Lie down on the mat facing the floor. Then raise your hands, legs, chest, and head at the same time. Your lower belly and hips should remain on the ground. Raise your arms, head, chest and legs as high as you can. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. This exercise stretches and strengthens chest, shoulders, arms, and legs. It also makes the back more flexible, improves blood circulation, and energizes your body.  

Half moon pose (Ardha Candrasana) 
This pose helps you get in shape by strengthening your abdomens, ankles, thighs, buttocks and spine. It also improves coordination and sense of balance. This exercise also helps in reducing stress and is great for digestion. 

For this exercise, exhale as you press your right hand and right heel firmly on the floor. Make sure the right leg is straight. Then, lift the left leg till it is parallel to the ground. The next step is to raise your left arm so that it’s pointing towards the ceiling. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and perform on both the sides. 

Side angle pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) 
This pose is similar to the lunge position. First, bend the right knee forward at 90 degrees angle and then your right leg should be straight at the back with toes pointed forward. After that, bend the left elbow and let it rest near the right knees. The next step is to stretch the right arms behind you so that it is in line with the left leg. 

This exercise strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles. It also stretches groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders, and it is also the perfect exercise for increasing your stamina. 

Four limbed staff pose (Chaturanga Dandasana) 
This pose is also known as the yogi pushup. To do this exercise, first get into the plank position. Then lower your entire body until your torso is parallel to your upper arms and triceps. Make sure your hips are lifted slightly higher than the torso and keep your stomach firm. 

In the beginning, try holding this position for 10 seconds. Then work up to 30 seconds. As you get better, try to hold this position for one minute. This exercise is great for toning and strengthening your hands, ribs, and abdomen. 

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