The science of obesity is complex and ever-evolving. We might not know enough about weight gain – the underlying physiological causes and effects. Without that complete understanding, it’s difficult to suggest definitive treatment plans. Even so, the current studies, coupled with overwhelming evidence, strongly suggest that Yoga can facilitate weight loss. In Asanas to Get Back in Shape – Part 1, we talked about 5 such Yoga poses that work wonders for your overall health. In Part 2, we are introducing 4 more Asanas that can help you get back in shape.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Lie down on your belly and straighten your body by stretching in both directions. Place your palms below your shoulders and your elbows close to your body. Press your palms, legs and feet down, inhale and slide forward and lift your head, chest and back up. Arch your back and turn your head up. Straighten your elbows as far as possible without straining too much. Hold this posture for about ten seconds, gently lower your body and take a deep breath in and out. Repeat this posture about three times in one minute.
- Strengthens the lungs and alleviates breathing related disorders by assisting the lungs to detox.
- Helps to keep the spine supple and healthy, preventing and aiding in removing existing back pain.
- Helps remove gynecological disorders and restore hormonal balance.
- Improves digestion, liver and kidney function.
- Aids in removing flatulence, indigestion and constipation.
Plough Pose (Halasana)
Lie on your back and straighten your body by stretching in both directions. Place your arms on the sides, close to your body with palms pressed down. Keep both the legs together and straight. Lift your legs up till they are perpendicular to your body using your abdominal strength. Lift the buttocks away from the floor (support your lower back with your hands), roll your back further up and move your legs behind your head gently. Finally, place your feet on the floor behind your head. Hold this posture for about 10 seconds. To return, place your hands behind your lower back, lift the legs up and bring them into the perpendicular position. Now gently lower your legs, again using your abdominal strength. Perform this twice, in one minute.
- Activates digestion, relieves constipation and dyspepsia.
- Strengthens abdominal and back muscles.
- Helps regulate metabolism, aiding directly in weight control.
- Revitalizes the spleen and improves liver and kidney function.
- Helps to restore hormonal balance and improving immunity.
- Benefits those with diabetes.
Lying Spinal Twist (Vakrasana)
Sit with your legs straight in front and together. Place your palms on the sides and straighten your back by pushing your palms down. Fold your right leg, gradually twist from your back, raise your left arm up and place it around the outside of your right knee. Twist further to the right and place your right arm behind you, keeping your shoulders in a straight line. If possible place your right palm flat outside your right foot. Look behind and maintain a straight back and shoulders. Breathe deeply and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the left side.
- Builds elasticity in the spine, strengthens it and helps alleviate back and neck pain.
- Tones the obliques and entire waistline.
- Useful to strengthen kidney function and liver function.
- Removes flatulence, constipation and indigestion.
- Removes stiffness from hips.
- Helps with nervous weakness.
Inverted Pose (Vipareeta Karni)
Lie down on your back and straighten your body by stretching both ways. Place your palms facing down on the floor or mat with your arms on the sides and close to your body. Keep your legs straight and lift them up till they are perpendicular to the floor using your abdominal strength. Lift your buttocks off the floor, support your lower back with your hands and roll your back further off the floor till it is at about a forty five degree angle from the floor. Your legs will be at about a seventy degree angle from your torso. Close your eyes gently, breathe deeply and stay in this deeply relaxing posture for about a minute to conclude your Asana practice. You can practice this posture against the wall for more benefits
- Improves digestion.
- Relieves swollen ankles and varicose veins.
- Helps testicular, semen and ovarian problems in men and women.
- Helps relieve back ache.
- Calms anxiety, relieves headaches and tiredness.
- Relieves symptoms of mild depression and insomnia.
- Alleviates menstrual cramps.