Yoga for weight management: 11 exercises to keep obesity at bay | Health - Hindustan Times

Yoga for weight management: 11 exercises to keep obesity at bay

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Feb 23, 2024 01:08 PM IST

Add these 11 Yoga asanas, with mindful breathing and meditation, to your daily fitness routine for comprehensive approach to weight management and obesity.

Yoga offers effective tools for weight management and addressing obesity, as claimed by the experts who also insist that regular practice of Yoga asanas, combined with mindful breathing, contributes to a holistic approach to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. A consistent Yoga practice focused on specific asanas, combined with mindful breathing and meditation, is said to provide a comprehensive approach to weight management and addressing obesity.

Yoga for weight management: 11 exercises to keep obesity at bay (Image by Christian Northe from Pixabay)
Yoga for weight management: 11 exercises to keep obesity at bay (Image by Christian Northe from Pixabay)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, revealed that this straightforward, practical approach to Yoga can be integrated into daily life, promoting not just physical well-being but also mental and emotional balance. He suggested the following Yoga exercises for weight management and obesity -

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  1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): Start your yoga routine with Surya Namaskar, a sequence of asanas that engages multiple muscle groups. This dynamic practice improves metabolism, promoting calorie burn and aiding weight loss.
  2. Healing walk: Lift your arms up keeping them at shoulder width distance. Now, start walking with your arms raised in this position and your hands can be up in the air for 1-3 minutes. Initially this may not be possible as you will have to train the muscles of your arms and shoulders and strengthen them. Build up to 1-3 minutes gradually by starting of with a minute increase and so on until you are physically capable enough with the strength required to hold your arms up for 1-3 minutes straight. One round practice will require you to perform a minimum of three sets of these walks of minimum 1-3 minutes each.
  3. Mountain Pose (Tadasana): To perform this pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart and distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Engage your leg muscles and lift your kneecaps up towards your hips while keeping them soft.
  4. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This pose not only stretches the entire body but also engages the core and builds strength in the arms and shoulders. It can help improve digestion and boost metabolism. From table top pose or Marjariasana, straighten out your knees and push your heels down. Head between the hands and body like an inverted V.
  5. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): Stand with your feet apart and extending your arms out to the sides while bending one kneeTo perform Warrior II, start by standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Step one foot back about 3-4 feet and turn it so that it's parallel to the back edge of the mat. Your front foot should be pointing forward. Next, bend your front knee until it's directly over your ankle. Make sure you keep your hips facing forward and don't let them twist or turn. Extend both arms out to shoulder height, keeping them parallel to the floor. Hold this position for several breaths before switching sides and repeating on the other side.
  6. Plank Pose (Santolasana): The Plank Pose is a yoga position that involves holding your body in a straight line while balancing on your forearms and toes. It's similar to the top of a push-up, but instead of lowering yourself down, you hold the position for an extended period of time. The Plank Pose is great for building core strength and stability, as well as improving posture. To perform this pose, start by lying face down on the ground with your elbows directly under your shoulders and forearms flat on the floor. Lift up onto your toes and engage your abdominal muscles to lift your hips off the floor until you are in a straight line from head to heels. Hold this position for several seconds or longer if possible before releasing back down to the ground.
  7. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana): To perform Tree Pose, start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight onto your left foot and place your right foot on your left thigh. Your toes should be pointing down towards the floor. Next, bring your hands together in front of your chest in prayer position or extend them above your head like branches of a tree. Focus on a fixed point in front of you to help maintain balance. Hold this pose for several breaths before switching sides and repeating the sequence with the opposite leg. Enhancing balance and focus, the tree pose also engages the muscles of the legs and core. It's a great way to build strength and burn calories.
  8. Chair Pose (Utkatasana): Stand with your feet together and bending your knees as if you were sitting on an imaginary chair. This pose strengthens the lower body muscles such as the quadriceps, glutes, and calves while also improving balance. To perform Chair Pose, start by standing straight with your feet together. Inhale deeply and raise both arms above your head until they are perpendicular to the ground. As you exhale, bend your knees and lower yourself into a seated position while keeping your arms raised above your head.
  9. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Bridge Pose, also known as Setu Bandhasana in Sanskrit, is a yoga posture that involves lying on your back and lifting your hips off the ground. To perform Bridge Pose, you start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be resting at your sides with palms facing down. As you inhale deeply, press into your feet and lift up through your hips until they are in line with your knees.
  10. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): The Seated Forward Bend, also known as Paschimottanasana in Sanskrit, is a yoga pose that involves sitting on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you and then folding forward at the hips to reach for your toes or ankles.
  11. Pranayama (Breathing Exercises): Incorporate Pranayama techniques such as Kapal Bhati into your routine for mindful breathing. Deep, conscious breaths reduce stress and emotional eating, contributing to better weight control.

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