Best Yoga Exercise Poses to Reduce Weight Quickly and Fast
The ancient practice of yoga which originated in India is today, one of the most popular forms of exercise all across the world. Suitable for the young and old alike, yoga addresses physical, emotional and various wellness issues. The benefits are yoga are countless; it is little wonder that people from various walks of life swear by yoga. We list out a few asanas (as the exercises in yoga are called) which can be practiced on a regular basis which will aid in what’s top of most people’s mind – weight loss. So, pull out your sweat pants from under your piled-up closet and get ready to reap the benefits of yoga.
- Vajrasana – Known as the ‘diamond pose’, this form derives its name from Vajra, meaning thunderbolt. Bending the legs backwards, sit with the aid of your knees. Stretch out the legs at the back inwards with both the big toes slightly touching each other. Keep the waist, neck and spine in a straight line and rest your hands on your knees, keeping the elbows straight. Focusing on a spot in front of you, inhale and exhale slowly. This asana is highly recommended for diabetics and is the only form of asana which can be practiced even after a meal, helping in better digestion. Image credits: cc licensed by flickr photos
- Dhanarasuna – This asana is known as the ‘bow pose’ as the body here is bent to resemble an archer’s stringed bow. First, stretch yourself down on a comfortable mat, belly down. Place your hands next to your torso with the palms facing upward. Exhale; bend your knees slowly bringing your heels close to your buttocks and hold. Reach out and hold your ankles. Take a deep breath and slowly lift your heels upwards. At the same time, raise your thighs slowly away from the floor. Keep your chin up and focus on a point in front of you. Hold for about 15-20 seconds, release and slowly get back to the starting position. Relax for a while and repeat 2-3 times. Image credits: cc licensed by flickr photos
- Salabhasana – Also known as the locust pose, this asana is an interesting and equally challenging one. Lie down on your belly with hands alongside the torso with palms facing up. Keep the forehead down touching the floor. Take a deep breath and slowly raise your legs and thighs. Hold your legs up and raise your hands parallel to the floor keeping the fingers stretched out. At the same time, raise your neck slightly upward, without jutting out the chin. Hold for 30-40 seconds and slowly come back to the starting position while exhaling.
- Mandhukasana – Mandhukasana or the ‘frog pose’ is so called because this resembles a frog. Sit in the Vajrasana pose with your back, neck and head in a straight line. Cover your navel with the left palm and this, with the right palm and slightly press against your abdomen. Exhale while bending your head forward, the forehead touching the floor. Continue to press in your abdomen with your palms. Hold for 10-15 seconds and slowing raise your body and inhale. This asana improves the flexibility off the legs and also strengthens the thigh muscles.
- Sethu Bandhasana – Also known as the Sethu Bandh Sarvangasana or the ‘bridge pose’, this asana adds flexibility to the entire body. Lie down on your back. Bend in your knees and set your feet flat down on the floor, with the toes facing outward. Ensure that there is ample distance between your feet and buttocks. Exhale; raise your buttocks off the floor. Keep them firm. At the same time, the thighs and inner part of the feet should be kept parallel. Lift the chin slightly away from the sternum and firm up the shoulder blades. Hold for 30-40 seconds and slowly lower your buttocks and thighs while exhaling. Image credits: cc licensed by flickr photos
- Nauka Chalan – This form is also called Paripurna Navasana or the ‘boat pose’. Sit on your mat or on the floor with your legs straight in front. Press your hands slightly on the floor (with fingers pointing outward towards the feet) to strengthen your arms. Lean back slowly. Lengthen your torso in front without bending the knees. While lifting the chest, stretch out your arms in front of you. You can feel the tension in the naval area as the abdominal muscles contract. Breathe regularly while holding this pose. Exhale as you slowly lower your body to the floor. Relax for half a minute and repeat. Naukasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles and tones the arm and leg muscles too. Image by © Michael Reh/Corbis
- Chakki Chalanasana – This ‘grinding pose’ or ‘churning the mill pose’ is an excellent form of exercise to get rid of the unnecessary fat around the belly. Sit comfortably on the floor/mat and splay apart your legs, toes pointing upward. Clasp both your hands together and outstretch the arms at the height of your shoulders. Do not bend your elbows and keep your face and neck straight. Take a deep breath and move your clasped hands in a wide circular movement. Inhale as you move out and exhale as you bring your arms to the inside part of the circle. Stretch the lower part of the back while keeping your legs stretched out. After 10 rounds, take a short pause before repeating the same in the opposite direction (anti-clockwise). Image credits: jkyog-wellness
- Ardha Matsyendrasana – The Half Lord of Fish Pose. Sit firmly on the floor/mat with your legs in front and bend your knees. Place both feet flat on the floor and slide your left foot slowly under the outer portion of your right hip with the outside part on the floor. Bring your right foot over the left leg and place it standing outside the left foot, with the right knee pointing straight to the roof. Exhale. Slowly twist your upper torso towards the right thigh. Breathe in and out slowly and hold the position steady for 30 seconds. Relax and turn and hold towards the left thigh for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat 2-3 times. Image by © B. Boissonnet/BSIP/Corbis
- Vakrasana – This twisted pose asana not only helps you to get fitter but is an excellent exercise for back-related problems. Sit on the floor/mat in a comfortable cross-legged position. Slowly stretch out your legs straight and joined together. Raise the right leg by bending the knee (avoid jerky movement) and pull the foot towards the chest until it rests down flat by the side of your left knee. Keep your back erect and place your right hand behind the back and bring the left arm over the right knee to hold the right ankle. Try to push your bended right knee as much as possible to the left with equal resistance to the left arm. Exhale and slowly twist the mid-torso to the right side using support from your left arm while looking over your right shoulder. This asana not only helps in making the spine more flexible but also brings relief to hypertension.
Whether it is weight loss, a much fitter and flexible body, glowing skin, peaceful state of mind or overall well-being, yoga has the answer to it all!