Yoga has a number of incredible benefits, from decreasing stress and calming the mind to improving circulation and respiratory function. Many people think this ancient practice is all about meditation and flexibility, but it can actually be an extremely effective exercise for weight loss, and unlike a number of other fitness and slimming fads, it is extremely enjoyable and easy to stick to, which means you can keep the weight off!
Fights Stubborn Fat
The reason yoga is such an effective workout for weight loss is because it fights stubborn fat stores, especially as you age. There are a number of reasons for that, including strength and muscle development, lower stress levels, connection of the mind with the body, and overall happiness. By changing your mood and attitude and making you more aware of your body, yoga naturally encourages you to eat what you need to nourish your body, rather than for a sugar fix or pleasure. And because you are using your own body as weight, you will build strong, lean muscles all over, from your arms and core to your back and legs, increasing your metabolism and burning calories. And it’s not just Vinyasa or power yoga that has been proven to aid weight loss; a study out of the University of California found that even restorative yoga can be the perfect option for some people, especially those who are starting out particularly unhealthy, weak or overweight.
The traditional sun salutation (surya namaskar) is one of the best flow sequences to get your heart rate up, your whole body working and your circulation, metabolism and digestion kick started. It’s a great way to start the morning before breakfast and is the perfect warm up to begin a weight loss sequence. Follow this easy video to make sure you practice your sun salutations correctly and safely.
And either after your sun salutation or later on in the day, these 6 poses create the perfect sequence for rapid and permanent weight loss. It is best to use them in a flow, but if you are short on time, you can pick some of your favorites out to get your daily dose…
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
This strengthening posture works your thighs and buttocks (which is where you’ll feel it!), but, without realizing it, you will also be working your core, back, arms and calf muscles, so it’s a great pose for overall strength.
Start by standing up tall and straight with your feet and legs together, exhale and then inhale as you raise your arms above your head, palms facing in. As you breathe out again, sit back as if you’re going for a chair, making sure you can always see your toes in front of your knees. Once you’re in position, take note of where your shoulders are – if they’re somewhere up near your ears, relax and let them drop to their usual position while ensuring your arms remain strong.