Saturday, April 6, 2013

Yoga for Weight Loss

Practicing yoga regularly offers various health benefits by building strength & improving the mental and physical well being. Yogic exercises tend to tone up the muscles, help balance our body and improve body posture. Yoga can also help lose weight by bringing you to a better in tune with your body, improving sense of well-being and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Some yoga poses, when performed correctly, massage the endocrine glands and the digestive system which improves digestion. Yogic asanas are believed to regulate the desire to eat. Regular practice can give you a valuable body consciousness that would help you eat less and the right kind of food. Listed here are some of the benefits of yogic exercises for weight loss-
  • Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) is an intelligent yoga practice that without stressing the nervous system or causing fatigue helps lose weight. This cycle of asanas gets the heart rate up for a very short burst and then drops it right down, then getting it up and then dropping it down.
  • Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Dhanurasana (bow pose), Chakrasana (wheel pose) and Matsyendrasana (spinal twist) are certain backbend yoga postures that strengthen the liver and help it carry out all the essentials body functions as detoxifier, purifier and cleanser.
  • Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) followed by the Matsyasana (fish pose) keep a check on the functioning of the thyroid gland which is known to regulate our metabolism. Many people who suffer from weight gain have hypothyroidism. These postures help to correct this dysfunction.
  • Yogic asanas such as Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) and Janushirasana (head to knee pose) maintain the pH balance of the body. If the body pH is low (i.e., acidic), then the body tends to protect itself from the acid by storing fat and using it as a buffer. This is dangerous as accumulation of fats within the veins and arteries would lead to a condition known as arteriosclerosis.
  • Asanas such as Savasana (corpse pose) and Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) relax the nervous system as these help cope up with day to day stress and anxiety. This further, helps those who indulge in ‘stress-eating’ habits which lead to weight gain.
  • Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) and the Anjaneyasana (lunge) asanas create warmth in the body through generating internal heat by creating nerve tension. This heat burns up the visceral fat as well as the subcutaneous fat which helps lose weight.
  • Bakasana (crane), Pincha Mayurasana (feathered peacock), Tolasana (scale pose) and Chaturanga (plank) postures engage every muscle of the body into work and help burn fat.