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Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga provides for a series of poses that can help with weight loss. In the following story, we will focus on the specific techniques of yoga used for weight loss and explain the steps to do the same.
Rujuta Borkar
The ancient Indian art of yoga has been a part of the American culture for years, and the benefits that it offers are no longer a mystery. Though yoga is known primarily as a meditation technique, recent findings suggest that yoga for weight loss is also a viable option.
Yoga focuses on a more basic technique of getting to the core problems rather than correcting them at the surface. It corrects the varied functioning and workings of the body through a series of breathing exercises and stretching postures such that the body becomes more flexible and a person becomes healthier and stronger.

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And while yoga focuses more on the poses that are relaxing than those forms that lead to an increase in the heart rate, there are certain poses that help achieve weight loss.
It is only recently that the benefits of yoga practiced for weight loss have come to the fore. But it is very important to note that one cannot focus on yoga alone for the same. It is a long process that does not promise immediate results.
In fact, yoga should form the base of any workout because it calms the body and corrects the imbalances and other problems at the core. One will find greater benefits if they use yoga poses in combination with other cardiovascular exercises. But there are certain yoga poses that do increase the heart rate and lead to weight loss.

Surya Namaskar

This literally means 'saluting the sun'. Here is how you do it

1. Stand straight with your feet joined together and the raised part of the soles pressing into the ground (these are high energy points). Fold your hands in front of your chest.
2. Raise your joined palms straight above your head and at the same time bend your back backwards.
3. Exhale and bend your waist to bring your hands to the sides and your palms touching the ground. Do not bend your knees. Try to touch your forehead to your knees.
4. Begin to rise slowly while touching your fingertips to the ground and starting to straighten your back a little.
5. Without coming up extend your left foot to the back (in a lunge) and support yourself with your fingertips.
6. Now, take the right foot at the back to join the left foot and extend your palms to the ground. Keep the soles of the feet flat against the ground. Bend your head and leave the head hanging (see above picture)
7. Come into a slanting plank position with the entire weight on the arms and the toes.
8. Now, touch your chest, knees, and chin to the ground but keep your butt in the air.
9. Come into a semi plank position with your weight resting on bent elbows and toes.
10. Next, bring your entire body downwards of the chest to touch the ground. Support yourself with palms flat on the ground.
11. Lift yourself up by placing your weight on the arms and lifting the hip and the thighs off the ground. Lift your chin into the air and look up.
12. Repeat step number 6
13. Repeat the lunge position, except this time alternate the leg that was at the back to the front.
14. Raise yourself and repeat step number 3
15. Raise your hands in a salutation above the head and raise the head to the sky.
16. End with joined palms in front of the chest.

This yoga exercise works the entire body and raises the heart rate tremendously. Try to get in at least 10 rounds of this in the first week and then increase the cycles with each week.

Crescent Pose

This is another pose that allows for weight loss with yoga. Here's how you do it:
1. Stand with your feet together and arms at the sides.
2. Inhale and extend your arms above your head in a straight line. Keep the fingertips extended up.
3. Exhale and come forward to touch the palms flat against the ground. Try to keep the knees straight without bending.
4. Then inhale and exhale and take the left leg back in a lunge on the toes. Let the right leg be bent at the knees in a 90 degree angle such that it does not extend beyond the toes.
5. Inhale and raise arms upwards and look forward.
6. Maintain this position for 5 seconds then come back to the original position and repeat. Alternate the legs.

Other Poses

There are several other poses that you can carry forth for weight loss with yoga. Here are some of them:
  • Ashtanga yoga is a form of yoga for weigh loss that has shown tremendous results.
  • Bikram yoga is another way in which you can make this happen. The benefits of Bikram yoga are several and worth looking into.
You can make a routine with the help of these poses and go on to lose some weight. But remember, using these in combination with other cardiovascular exercises will lead to better results and do good, both, to your body and mind.