Yoga Exercises To Lose Weight
Yoga is an ancient Indian system that started as a means to spirituality. It is based on the principle of ‘a sound mind in a sound body’.
As a result of this, yoga consists of practices that benefit the body, the mind, as well as the spirit. Recently, the health benefits of yoga have caught on in the West, with many people practicing yoga for the sake of the physical and mental benefits it brings, even if they do not agree to the spirituality behind it.
Yoga is considered good because it can be practiced by anybody at any age. It is equally good for children, adults, and older people. It is even recommended for pregnant women and top-class athletes. Specifically with regards to obesity, yoga is considered good because the asanas or postures are done slowly and yet go through a whole range of motion, gently stretching as well as contracting different muscles. Yoga is also never strenuous and can be done as slowly as desired. In fact, in most asanas or poses, the benefits are determined on the amount of time a person holds that asana.
When compared to other weight loss exercises such as aerobics or strength training, which are considered the best exercises for weight loss, yoga may not seem to be up there at the top of the list. Yet, recent research has shown that when it comes to effectiveness, yoga is by far more effective than any other exercise at reducing weight. Studies have shown that people have lost an average of 5.8 kilograms or 12.7 pounds at the end of 3 months of yoga. Cholesterol levels started decreasing at the end of four weeks and showed a steady decrease even at the end of two years of yoga. Other studies have showed that mild aerobic training does not show much benefit in either reducing weight or blood pressure (BP), while even mild yoga showed a decrease in BP as well as small reductions in weight. Further, studies conducted on children over a 12-week period showed an average loss of 2 kilograms or 4.5 pounds, and was also coupled with an increase in overall health and self-esteem.
Some of the top poses (asanas) for weight loss are
Yoga is also one of the few exercises that can be performed even by those suffering from coronary artery disease or CAD. Even those who had very high cholesterol levels of more than 200 mg per dl were able to reduce their total cholesterol levels to manageable limits within a matter of weeks. Most people who continued one hour yoga sessions every day for at least a year managed to bring their weights down to normal levels within this time. However, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before beginning any yoga regime, especially if you have an underlying illness or disease.
All this data are the results of scientific experiments and not only compare favorably with other methods of weight loss, but show yoga to be better. Considering that most people who diet to lose weight, regain lost weight within a year, and even those who do strength training or aerobics never manage to reach normal weight levels within a year’s time.
There are not many yoga tips to reduce weight apart from practicing the poses correctly and doing them regularly. Yoga should always be performed on an empty stomach, and although the simple postures can be self-taught, it is always better to learn the more complex ones under the guidance of an instructor.
One of the good things about yoga is that diet comes as a part of it. Although there are no restrictions as such, many serious yogis recommend diet control to maintain a healthy body. When done properly a yogic diet gives everything to the body that it needs, while still keeping a strict control on excess calories. However, following a yogic diet is optional, and an excessive reduction in calories is usually not recommended. A healthy body requires a certain amount of food and what yoga does is help us to consume only as much as our bodies need and nothing more.
Mind rejuvenation exercise
The reason why yoga is considered good for weight loss is that most yoga asanas are combined with pranayama or yogic breathing exercises. When asanas are combined with pranayama, it increases metabolic rate and burns calories much faster than the mild increase in heart rate does. It also heats up the body, providing warmth to limber up the joints, reducing pain and inflammation, while increasing blood circulation.
Most yoga sessions invariably end with a mind rejuvenation exercise. This can be simple meditation or more complex yogic practices. One of the simplest methods is to try and keep the mind empty, thereby calming the mind and also helping it focus better.