There’s no magic bullet for fat loss. If it was out there, we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity epidemic. We wouldn’t have so many people struggling with serious health issues that are often comorbid with obesity. With the right approach, yoga can be an intense exercise. That approach includes intense intervals (dynamic, explosive movements) that will get your heart rate up and generate a sweat.
Can Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?
Any exercise generates an expenditure of energy. Hence, you can burn calories by practicing yoga. This is achieved by doing yoga (Asanas -different poses and pranayama- breathing exercises and meditation). Yoga exercises might not be as vigorous as strength and cardio training but bring strength, flexibility, and overall organ health while also focusing on the nervous system (as supported by studies by United States National Library of Medicine). Yoga, if included as part of a routine for taking control of Body Mass Index (BMI) along with regular exercise, can do wonders.
Yoga is a mind-body practice
Yoga is a combination of yoga poses, breathing, and meditation practices. Each discipline of Yoga supplements and complements each other. These disciplines promote self-awareness, relaxation of mind, muscles and the nervous system which help in making the right choices and self-control.
The fact that yoga is a mind-body practice makes it, in some cases, even more optimal for weight loss than other forms of physical activity. This is because losing weight is just as much of a mental process, as it is a physical one.
Here’s your Yoga Program for weight loss
Yoga with its Physical and Meditation aspects brings balance to one’s body and mind. While we agree that Aasanas primarily attack obesity, including some breathing exercises (Pranayama) into your Yoga practice can add a lot to your regime. The idea is to increase metabolic rate by keeping muscle engaged.
Asanas or yoga postures bring strength, flexibility, endurance and balance metabolism that helps with weight management. Asanas that can help with obesity include:
- Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar)
- Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Low Plank (Chaturanga)
- Head to Knee Pose (Janushirasana)
- Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
Pranayama or breathing exercises help manage obesity and normalize metabolism which helps burn excess fat. At the same time breathing supports proper oxygen supply to our organs. Pranayama that can help with obesity, include:
- Dirga Pranayama
- Skull Shining Breathing (Kapalbhati)
- Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anulom Vilom)
- Humming Bee Breath (Bhramari)
We will reiterate the importance of Pranayama here. The practice helps bring awareness, self-control and strengthen one’s commitment to managing obesity and better lifestyle choices. It helps you deal with certain diseases like stress and depression which might have weight gain as an after effect.
A word of caution
If you have any medical disorder, consult your physician before starting with the above mentioned program. As a general precaution, maintain a gap of about three hours between a meal and your yoga practice. The above mentioned regime is best practiced in a natural, open environment, early in the morning.
This Blog is contributed by Dr. Deepak Kr. Nain. He is a certified therapist who specializes in the field of rehabilitation. Deepak possesses a clinical expertise in prescribing the best solutions to help people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).