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Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Yoga has proved beneficial in many, many afflictions of the human body – both mental and physical. It is universally accepted that yoga is highly beneficial in controlling and reversing many diseases and it can help you get rid of excessive fat that causes obesity.

How Does Yoga Help With Weight Loss?

If you asked will yoga help me lose weight, the answer is ‘yes’. Yoga is a combination of a set of physical and breathing exercises coupled with meditation. Each set of exercises are meant to address certain problems in the body and most people practice only those which they need. This could be controlling of blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, depression, arthritis, asthma, digestion, obesity and so on. You name it, and yoga has a remedy for it.

What is weight gain? The body gains weight when the metabolic rate is unable to use the calorie intake and hence the excess is turned into fat deposits in the body. The excess calories are usually consumed by strenuous exercises or eliminated altogether through dieting.

Yoga is not strenuous; however, it can increase the rate of metabolism so the body burns more calories than it normally does. In this manner yoga can regulate the fat deposits and induce weight loss without sweating through hours of strenuous aerobics or weight-training in the gym

The plus point of using yoga for weight loss is that besides the fact that you control weight gain and burn more calories than you would normally do (and hence lose weight), it also provides you with an opportunity to meditate. Meditation along with the yoga asanas for weight loss brings about not only the required reduction in your weight but also reduction of in the levels of stress.

Yoga can help you reduce hunger and control those uncontrollable urges that most overweight people fall prey to in between diet programs. Hence, yoga impacts the body through many ways – (i) increases the metabolic rate so more calories are burnt, (ii) reduces appetite and controls hunger, (iii) checks compulsive overeating habits and lastly (iv) relieves stress which many times is one of the main reasons for gaining weight in the first place.

Looking at the above, one can deduce that indeed yoga can help in reducing weight. Yoga is very different from other physical fitness exercises and according to millions across the globe who diligently practice this system, it works. Done correctly, yoga is known to be able to tackle the worst of afflictions.

Yoga for Fat People – Lose Weight with Yoga

Given below are the best yoga poses for weight loss:

1.) Pranayama Yoga for weight loss:

Pranayama is a set of breathing exercises that have been shown to
have a positive impact on reducing weight. The following Pranayama techniques are extremely useful in stimulating the abdominal muscles thereby helping in the fat burning process:

  • Bhastrika Pranayama
  • Kapalabhati Pranayama
  • Agnisar Kriya
  • Ujjayi Pranayama

The best pranayama for reducing weight is the ‘Kapalabhati Pranayama’
which involves exhaling air forcefully so your belly is drawn in and
then inhaling passively. Performing kapalabhati pranayama for 5
minutes (at the rate of around 55 to 60 inhales/exhales per minute) every morning in empty
stomach can be extremely beneficial in reducing obesity.

Note: Kapalabhati Pranayama also helps normalize TSH levels and hence this yoga technique can also be helpful for people suffering from obesity because of a thyroid problem.

Other Pranayama techniques that you can do are Bhastrika Pranayama, Bahya Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Agnisar Kriya and Viloma-Anuloma Pranayama.

To benefit the most assume the ‘Prithvi Mudra’ when doing Pranayama. You can sit in Siddhasan, Sukhasan or Padmasan.

2.) Yoga Asanas for weight loss

The following Yoga Asanas are extremely useful in burning body fat. You need not do all of them. Just select the ones that you enjoy doing and stick with them. You can slowly include more asanas as you advance and your body becomes more flexible. Performing 3 to 4 Asanas from the list below (everyday) after doing the Pranayama exercises should be hugely benefitial. To know further about each pose, please click the instructions link:

  • Chakra padasana – Leg Rotation
  • Paschimottanasana – Seated forward bend
  • Trikonasana or Tringle Pose
  • Uddiyana – Abdominal Lock
  • Dhunurasana or Bow pose
  • Sarpasana or Snake pose
  • Ardha Halasana – Half Plough Pose
  • Dwichakrikasan – Leg Rolling
  • chakki chalan or Grinding
  • Sarvangasana (for people with thyroid)
  • Halasana (for people with thyroid)
  • Grivasana (Neck pose for people with thyroid)

Important Note: To bring more flexibility to your body, do some simple warm up exercises before doing these asanas. Your body will automatically become more flexibile with time.

Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga for weight reduction:

The second type of yoga for weight reduction is the Bikram yoga otherwise known as hot yoga. The 26 different poses of Bikram Yoga can help you loose weight with ease.

If you think you are very obese or fat then the best way to beign is by going for some simple yoga poses and then moving on to the more advanced poses.

There are a few things that you need to take care about when you do yoga – the first and foremost is that you need to learn the asanas or postures from a qualified and certified yoga practitioner. The postures should be done correctly or your health would be harmed rather than helped. Then, you would have to do it everyday even if it is for just 15-20 minutes or it would loose its efficacy. As long as you do yoga in the right way, you would definitely profit from it – in whatever way you want – not only for weight loss.

Reducing Stress

Stress caused because of worries and redundant though can contribute to obesity. So if you think you are constantly under stress then it’s high time you change your outlook towards life and try to relax. Stop worrying about the future or constantly thinking about the past and practice dwelling in the present moment. You can try alternatives like self hypnosis to help your mind get out of the fear mode.

Eating The Right Diet

The only way yoga will help you reduce obesity is when you follow a proper diet. The first and most important factor is to reduce the intake of salty and spice food items. The best way to achieve this is to include a lot of fruits and green vegetables in your diet as opposed to meat, alcohol, fizzy drinks, oily food, starch rich food (like bread, rice) and other junk food items that can increase the level of toxins in your body.

The body needs time to detoxify and you can help the body in this process by consuming a raw food diet (raw carrots, cucumbers, beetroot, dates, sprouts) for breakfast. This is because the body actively detoxifies in the mornings and fruits/raw veggies aid in the detoxification process. Constantly stuffing your stomach with food will not allow the body to detoxify which results in formation of fat. The body simply starts storing toxins as fat. The less you eat the more time the body gets to detoxify. So consider eating a raw food diet (either fruits or raw veggies) in the mornings. You can even take fruit juices as long as they are made at your home and do not contain added sugar or sugar-free tablets. The right diet coupled with yoga will certainly help you lose weight really fast.