Yoga – a perfect blend of physical exercise and mental rejuvenation. With a focus on building strength, flexibility and balance, yoga offers a holistic approach to weight loss and overall wellness.
Learn the secrets of this ancient art and witness increased muscle tone, improved heart health and increased metabolism. Embrace the harmony of body and mind as stress melts away, paving the way for mindful food choices and living a stress-free life.
Step onto the mat, and experience the magic of yoga – the path to a healthy, happy life. Let the journey begin!
7 yoga asanas to reduce obesity
Yoga requires perseverance, patience and perseverance. It takes time to get results.
These yoga asanas mainly focus on building body flexibility and muscle tone. Both of these are contributing to the sustained weight loss journey as they enhance the body’s ability to lose fat.
Muscle mass is essential for many reasons. For example, it ensures healthy weight, reduces the risk of injuries, and builds bone mass density.
1. Downward Dog Pose
Downward Dog Pose, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a popular yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings and calf muscles while building shoulder strength. It is commonly practiced as part of yoga sequences such as Surya Namaskar (Salutation to the Sun).
How to do Downward Dog Pose:
- Start in a tabletop position with your hands at shoulder width and knees at hip width apart.
- Press your toes down and lift your knees off the mat, straightening your legs without locking your knees.
- Press through your palms and fingers to lift your hips, forming an inverted V shape with your body.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and press your heels toward the mat (they shouldn’t touch).
- Engage your core muscles to maintain stability and support your back.
- Relax your neck and let your head hang between your arms and look toward your thighs or navel.
- Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling the stretch in your hamstrings and calves and the strength in your shoulders and arms.
- To release, gently bend your knees and lower them back to the mat, returning to tabletop position.
Benefits of Downward Facing Dog Pose:
- The hamstrings and calf muscles of the legs get stretched.
- Shoulders and arms become stronger.
- Improves blood circulation and oxygen supply to the brain, enhancing memory and cognitive skills.
- Reduces anxiety and depression. Reduces anxiety and depression
- Known as inversion, this can help calm the mind and bring a feeling of relaxation.
Variations of Downward Facing Dog Pose:
- Bend the knees slightly to make the pose more accessible.
- Support your heels with a prop such as a rolled-up yoga mat.
- Rest one arm on the floor while extending the other arm forward.
- Avoid doing the exercises if you have a wrist, shoulder or back injury.
- Pregnant women or individuals with certain medical conditions should consult a yoga instructor or health care professional before performing this asana.
Note: Always practice yoga asanas carefully and listen to your body. If you have any medical concerns or conditions, seek guidance from a yoga instructor or health care professional before attempting new asanas.
2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana):
Cobra pose, or Bhujangasana, is a backward bending posture in yoga. It is called Bhujangasana because this asana looks like a snake with its head raised. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words “bhujanga” meaning “snake” and “asana” meaning “posture” or “posture”. This asana is usually done in sequence to Surya Namaskar (Salutation to the Sun) and can be an alternative to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.
How to do Cobra Pose:
- Start by lying on your stomach with your palms beneath your shoulders.
- Keep your legs straight and press the tops of your feet into the mat.
- Inhale and using your back muscles, gently lift your head, chest and upper body off the mat. Keep your elbows slightly bent.
- Press your pubic bones into the mat to engage your lower back muscles and lift.
- Maintain a slight bend in your neck and look forward or slightly upward.
- Keeping your breathing steady, remain in this posture for a few breaths.
- Exhale and slowly lower your upper body back to the mat.
Benefits of Cobra Pose:
- There is a stretch in the chest, shoulders and abdomen.
- Strengthens the spine, back muscles and buttocks.
- Flexibility in the spine improves.
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and aids digestion.
- Provides relief from stress and fatigue.
- Opens the heart and promotes feelings of openness and vulnerability.
- Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana): A gentle variation of Cobra Pose where the forearms rest on the ground, giving a slight backbend.
- Advanced Variation: For experienced practitioners, the legs can be folded into Padmasana (Lotus) while remaining in Cobra Pose.
- If you have a back injury or herniated disc then avoid practicing Cobra Asana.
- Pregnant women should avoid deep backbends and can modify the posture with a blanket under the pelvis.
Note: Always listen to your body when practicing yoga, and if you have any medical concerns or conditions, consult a yoga instructor or health care professional before attempting new poses.
3. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
Dhanurasana Dhanurasana, also known as the bow pose, is a backward leaning pose in yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit words “dhanura”, meaning “bow” and “asana”, meaning “seat” or “sitting”. This pose is often practiced as an exercise in Hatha yoga and modern yoga.
How to do Dhanurasana:
- Lie on your stomach, keep your legs together and arms along your body.
- Bend your knees and reach your arms back to hold your ankles or feet.
- Inhale and lift your chest, head and thighs off the mat, using your arms to pull your legs up.
- Your body should be in the shape of a bow and your arms should be like the string of a bow.
- Keep your eyes forward and remain in this posture for a few breaths.
- Exhale and slowly release the pose, bringing your chest, head and thighs back to the mat.
Benefits of Dhanurasana:
- Stretches the entire front part of the body, including the abdomen, chest and thighs.
- Strengthens back muscles and improves posture.
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion.
- Helps in relieving stress and fatigue.
- Opens the shoulders and chest, allowing for better breathing.
- Tones leg muscles and improves flexibility.
- Parsva Dhanurasana: A variant in which the body is rotated to one side by holding the ankles or feet.
- Purna Dhanurasana Purna Dhanurasana: A more advanced variation where the legs are brought closer to the head for a deeper backbend.
- Avoid practicing Dhanurasana if you have recently suffered an abdominal or back injury.
- If you have neck problems, keep your gaze forward or slightly downwards to avoid neck strain.
Note: Like any yoga pose, it is important to practice Dhanurasana with awareness and listening to your body. If you have any medical concerns or conditions, consult a yoga instructor or health care professional before attempting new asanas.
Utkatasana, also known as Chair Pose, is a standing yoga pose that involves sitting with knees bent and arms raised above the head. It helps strengthen the legs, improve balance and activate the core muscles.
How to do Utkatasana (Chair Pose):
- Start standing with your feet together or hip-width apart.
- Inhale and raise your arms straight above your head, keeping them shoulder-width apart and palms facing each other.
- Exhale and bend your knees, as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Keep your knees and thighs parallel to the floor.
- Engage your core and lengthen your spine, lift your chest and relax the shoulders.
- Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your heels and toes.
- Hold the pose for a few breaths, aiming to keep your thighs parallel to the ground.
Benefits of Utkatasana (Chair Pose):
- Strengthens thighs, hips and ankles.
- Tones core muscles and improves balance.
- There is a stretch in the shoulders and chest.
- Stimulates the heart and diaphragm.
- Produces heat and energy in the body.
- Ardha Utkatasana: A form of bending the knees close to right angles and bending the body forward.
- Parivritta Utkatasana: Twisting posture with hands pressed together, lower elbow on the opposite knee and eyes upward.
- Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose) Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose): In this variation, the legs are wide, the feet are turned out and the knees are bent. The arms can be raised or placed in a prayer position in front of the chest.
Starting postures for Utkatasana:
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)
- Malasana (Garland Pose)
Note: Avoid doing Utkatasana if you have a knee or lower back injury. As with any yoga pose, listen to your body, and don’t push yourself into discomfort. Always consult a yoga instructor or health care professional if you have any concerns or medical conditions.
5. Chaturanga Dandasana:
Chaturanga Dandasana, or Four-Limbed Staff Pose, is a yoga pose that involves lowering the body into a low plank position by bending the elbows at right angles. It builds arm and core strength and is commonly used in configuration flow sequences.
How to do Chaturanga Dandasana:
- Start in plank position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Bend your elbows, keeping them close to your sides, and lower your body halfway toward the floor.
- Your body should be parallel to the ground and your elbows should be at right angles.
- Keep your core engaged and maintain a straight line from your head to heels throughout the entire pose.
- Remain in this posture for a few breaths.
Benefits of Chaturanga Dandasana:
- Strengthens arms, shoulders and wrists.
- Tones abdominal muscles and improves core stability.
- Builds the upper body strength needed for more advanced yoga postures.
- Develops mental focus and concentration.
- Kumbhakasana or High Plank: In this variation, the arms are straight, which supports the body in a plank position.
- Modified Chaturanga: Beginners can practice with knees on the floor to reduce the intensity.
- Purvottanasana or Reverse Plank: In this asana, the body is upward, the arms support the weight and the fingers are towards the feet.
Starting postures for Chaturanga Dandasana:
- Plank Pose
- High Plank (Kumbhakasana) High Plank (Kumbhakasana)
- Downward Dog Pose
Note: Chaturanga Dandasana requires proper alignment and strength, so it is important to practice it carefully. If you’re new to this pose or have any wrist or shoulder problems, consider practicing modified versions or seek guidance from a yoga instructor to avoid strain or injury.
6. Trikonasana Triangle Pose:
Trikonasana, or triangle pose, is a standing yoga pose that involves extending one leg out to the side and reaching one arm toward the floor while the other arm is overhead. It stretches the legs, hips and lateral body, promoting balance and flexibility.
How to do Trikonasana (Triangle Pose):
- Stand with your feet a foot-length apart, toes pointing forward.
- Turn your right foot completely out and your left foot slightly inward (about 45 degrees).
- Keep your heels in line with your hips.
- Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground, palms facing down.
- Keeping your arms parallel to the floor, extend your trunk to the right as far as is comfortable.
- Lower your right hand to reach your shin (or the block or the floor) in front of your right foot, palm facing down.
- Extend your left arm vertically upward, creating a slight curve in your spine.
- Look at your left thumb, slightly sharpening the curve of the spine.
- Remain in this posture for a few breaths.
- Return to standing position and repeat on the left side.
Benefits of Trikonasana (Trikona Mudra):
- Stretches and strengthens the legs, hips and spine.
- Tones the abdominal muscles and improves digestion.
- Flexibility in spine and torso increases.
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and helps in detoxification.
- Improves balance and concentration.
- Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose): In this variation, the torso is strongly rotated, and the opposite hand reaches the opposite leg.
- Baddha Trikonasana (Bound Triangle Pose): In this advanced variation, the arms are tied, with one hand placed in front of the thigh and the other hand behind the back.
- Baddha Parivrtta Trikonasana (Bound Revolved Triangle Pose) Baddha Parivrtta Trikonasana (Bound Revolved Triangle Pose): Similar to Parivrtta Trikonasana, but with the hands joined together.
Starting postures for Trikonasana:
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
- Dandasana (Staff Pose)
Note: Practice Trikonasana thoughtfully and avoid forcing your body into this posture. Listen to your body and modify poses as needed, especially if you have any existing injuries or medical conditions. If unsure, seek guidance from a yoga instructor or health care professional before attempting the asana.
7. Navasana (Boat Pose) Navasana (Boat Pose):
Navasana, also known as boat pose, is a seated asana performed as an exercise in modern yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit words “paripurna,” meaning “complete,” “nava,” meaning “boat,” and “asana,” meaning “seat” or “seat.”
How to do Navasana:
- Sit on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your sit bones.
- Extend your legs straight out in front of you, forming a V shape with your body.
- Keep your spine long, chest lifted and shoulders loose.
- You can extend your arms forward parallel to the ground, or hold the backs of your thighs for support.
- Engage your core muscles to maintain balance and stability in the pose.
- Hold this pose for a few breaths, gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable.
Benefits of Navasana:
- Strengthens core muscles including abdominal muscles.
- Tones the hip flexors, thighs and lower back.
- Improves balance and stability.
- Stretches the hamstrings and stimulates the digestive organs.
- Helps develop focus and concentration.
- Tones and strengthens the spinal muscles.
- Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose): A variation where only the legs and body are half raised, making it easier than the full boat pose.
- Ubhaya Padangusthasana Ubhaya Padangusthasana: A more challenging variation where both hands hold the toes or feet.
- Preparatory Poses: Before attempting Navasana, it is beneficial to warm up with standing poses such as Utkatasana (chair pose) and Uttanasana (standing forward bend), as well as seated Dandasana (staff pose).
Note: Like any yoga pose, practice Navasana carefully and avoid straining yourself. If you have any medical concerns or conditions, consult a yoga instructor or health care professional before attempting new asanas.
Yoga works more on the internal organs, muscles and glands and flushes out toxins. Therefore it is more effective for detoxification of the body. Gym training is more about toning muscles and improving cardiovascular performance. However, proper gym training brings satisfaction to the body.