Yoga is the union of mind and body. It is a practise that was established to control the senses of our body and connect with the spiritual supreme through Karma, Bhakti and Jnana.
A lesson in history
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices which originated in ancient India, and can be dated back to Indus valley civilisation around 3000 BCE. Yoga is one of the six Āstika (orthodox) schools of Indian philosophical traditions.
There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term “Yoga” in the Western world often denotes a modern form of hatha yoga and Yoga as exercise, consisting largely of the postures or asanas. Hatha Yoga texts began to emerge sometime between the 9th and 11th century with origins in tantra.
Yoga has been going through multiple levels of change and modification. It has been described and refined by rishis and brahmans through the passage of time. What we see today is a highly glamorous version, created for commercial use.
With what we have, does Yoga help in weight loss?
Yoga as a practise is meant to gain more control over your body and mind. It wasn’t created for a task specific to cultivating a body shape. However research has found few weeks of regular Yoga practice can lead to health benefits and weight loss. For example, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed a 10-day Yoga program resulted in weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease in overweight men.
Another 2013 study examined the effects of Yoga on overweight women and found those who participated in a 48-week yoga program lost more weight over a six month period than those who participated in a stretching program but not Yoga.
Stress can have a devastating effect on your body and mind. Stress can reveal itself in the form of pain, anxiety, insomnia, and the inability to concentrate. Most times, stress is the main cause of weight gain. Yoga can help you cope with stress. Physical benefits of Yoga, combined with stress management, helps a person to lose weight and maintain good physical and mental health.
Merging Yoga in your workout regime which may consist of Cardiovascular activities and Strength training, can have brilliant effects on your body for losing weight. As always maintaining a balance in life comes into play. Another important aspect about adopting Yoga is that it is perfect for all ages. It has the least possibility of causing injury, it improves joint mobility and function and can be practised literally anywhere on the planet, it doesn’t need any equipment or any special gear.
10 Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss
Surya Namaskara – Sun salutation
It is an intensive physical exercise that works on every part of the body. It can be done as a warm up, before you get into other poses. It has immense benefits and it concentrates on all core muscles of your body. It stimulates digestive system, regulates metabolism, trim the waist and tones your arms and legs.
Virabhadrasana – Warrior pose
It is one of the exercises that helps you create better balance, while toning your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back. Hatha Yoga is synonymous to stubbornness, hence the more stubborn you are, higher will be the benefits. Hold Virabhadrasana for 15 secs or more for stronger quad muscles.
Navasana – Boat pose
Everyone who has been waiting for an abdominal workout, here you are. Hold Navasana for 15 secs or more for better digestion, strong spine and hip flexors, better balance and stimulation of kidneys, thyroid glands and intestine.
Chatrunga Dandasana – Plank pose
One of the best exercise to strengthen your core, abdomen, spine, and stability. Hold this position for 30 secs for beginners and scale it up to 4 minutes or more. Benefits of Chatrunga Dandasana are immense and you’ll see the results on your abdomen (Ab) muscles quickly.
Trikonasana – Triangle pose
It helps relieve stress, stimulates digestion, aids in blood circulation and helps in reducing waist and belly fat. This asana stretches and strengthens thighs, knees and ankles.
Dhanurasana – Bow pose
This is one of the best exercises for strengthening back muscles. It stretches your whole body, improves body posture and blood circulation.
Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted chair pose
It strengthens the mid- and low back and increases flexibility throughout the spine. It is the Yoga version of a squat, but much more intense. It also tones the internal organs, including the kidneys and digestive organs. This helps with detoxification, which improves your overall health. This pose also tones your thighs and hips.
Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge pose
One of the best exercises for people suffering from neck or back pain. This asana helps in building strong shoulders and glute muscles, also aiding in weight loss. It is practised extensively by athletes as it strengthens calves and thigh muscles.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward dog pose
This is another asana that works on your whole body and has multiple benefits. It helps in increasing blood flow to the brain, strengthens bones, arms and legs. It also improves your body posture while strengthening your core. Hold for 20 secs or more for maximum results.
- Sarvangasana – Shoulder stand
It helps in digestion, boosting metabolism and balancing thyroid levels in your body. This asana also calms your brain, helps in relieving stress and improves sleep.
Yoga should be considered as a lifestyle rather than an exercising form. It’s benefits cuts across all ages and provides an overall wellbeing. It is a practise that should be followed for a balanced body and mind, which will lead to an ultimate state of bliss. Start Yoga today if you want to shed weight, de-stress or just tone your body.