You look at the mirror and wonder; have I gained weight? If yes, numerous suggestions pour in form of dieting, exercise, and yoga. It is easier said than done, right. Let’s first understand the cause of unwanted weight gain before dwelling on how to lose weight.
Why do we gain weight?
We mainly gain weight because of following reasons-
- Sedentary work life
- Lack of physical exercise
- Eating disorder
All these factors are interconnected with each other. Sitting in front of the desk for long hours leads to a lack of physical activity. Bones and muscles lose their elasticity and plasticity leading to rigid body posture. Excessive stress at work puts the mind and heart under extreme pressure. Because of stress and lack of time, we tend to ready to eat junk food at irregular timings which imbalances the hormones big time, the result being dullness of mind, lethargy, and abnormal weight fluctuations. This is a vicious cycle that takes a toll on our health.
How to lose weight?
This cycle can be broken only by eating healthy food and exercising at proper times.
How does yoga help?
If you ask me whether yoga helps in reducing weight then the direct answer would be NO. Yoga is an ancient practice of balancing the mind and body handed over to us by ancient rishis. It is a tradition about 5000 yrs old and the primary aim of doing yoga is to integrate mind and body and to tune the same towards spiritual growth. Over the ages, yoga asanas have undergone certain changes to suit it for present generation requirements. But the basic purpose remains the same.
So how is yoga and weight loss related with each other?
Well, they are related to each other indirectly. As mentioned earlier yoga balances the mind and body. Yoga indirectly helps weight loss by eliminating the reasons for weight gain. It has mainly 5 features namely-
Exercising keeps the body fit, provides dynamic strength to different parts of the body thereby increasing flexibility over time. With proper body metabolism and diet, control mind can be relaxed by meditation relieving stress. When the very reasons for weight-related disorders are eliminated then where is the question of gaining or losing weight occurs. Simple breathing exercises like pranayama or work out like Surya namaskar when done regularly puts the system in tune with nature. The result is a perfect body frame and a confident mind. One should understand that weight gain is a symptom of some underlying issue. The problem can be removed completely only by practicing yoga asanas continuously.
Yoga asanas addressing weight disorders
Some of the yoga asanas addressing weight issues can be practiced regularly. These asanas are simple and relaxing. They are namely
- Chaturangadandasana- plank pose for toning intestinal and abdominal muscles
- Virabhadra asana- warrior pose tones shoulder muscles and helps in flattening the tummy
- Trikonasana- triangle pose improves digestion and mobilizes fat
- Dhanurasana- tones abdominal muscles
- Surya namaskar-it tones the major muscles of the body regulates cardiovascular system thereby providing all-round workout
Nowadays Power yoga is being practiced which is a variant of ashtanga yoga. It is a power-building exercise regimen that regulates the cardiovascular system and enhances stamina, flexibility, and mental focus to a great extent. Practicing power yoga prevents obesity.
In summary Yoga helps in losing weight indirectly when practiced regularly along with diet restrictions.