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Five yoga poses to shed those extra kilos

Last updated on: October 2, 2011 15:36 IST

Five yoga poses to shed those extra kilos

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Shameem Akhtar

Shameem Akthar, Sivananda yoga devotee, shows you five fat-burning poses to help you shed those extra kilos.

Losing weight with yoga may be long-term but sustained. It also lasts because it deals with the root causes of weight gain: emotional upheavals, stress, psychosomatic triggers, binge eating, hormonal yo-yos, sedentary lifestyle and habits.

However, for effective fat burn through yoga you need to remember some key points. Pranayama or breathing practices must form a very important aspect of daily practice. The practice must be done regularly and daily. The practice must also be slowly intensified, either by increasing the repetitions of poses which are done dynamically, or holding the static poses for longer and longer. It would be ideal to do it meditatively to rebuild and retrieve the lost relationship between the mind and body.

Importantly, certain yogic eating and lifestyle habits must be introduced to ensure the results are dramatic. This would mean doing your practice early in the morning, since that would be a greater challenge for the muscles. Doing the practice in the morning will also ensure that you do not miss it, as might happen if something crops up in the evening or even if you have had a bad day.

Eating a power breakfast but eating a light dinner is also effective with weight loss.

Ensuring that you do not eat after 8.30 pm would be another easy but dramatic way towards weight loss.

For more of Shameem's yoga writings visit http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com. Shameem's second book Yoga in the workplace, with photographs by ace photographer Fawzan Husain, is now available at online shops and bookshops across the country. It is also available as e-book, with Kindle, Amazon.

Disclaimer: This column just shares the columnist's passion for yoga which is ideally learned under the guidance of an expert.


Image: A collage of yoga poses to fight obesity
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Dwipada supta pawan muktasana (Double legged lying energy release pose):

Lie on your back. Fold both legs at your knees. Inhale. Exhaling, hug knees to the chest as shown. Then rock forward and backward, inhaling as you draw yourself up and exhaling as you lower your back to the ground. It must be a rolling motion.

The knees must remain close to the hips. Initially do ten times. With regular practice increase it to 30 rounds.
 
Benefits: It is a cure-all pose, controlling and preventing chronic ailments. It gently squeezes the fat-storing liver to release fat. It hits on psychosomatic trigger points, including your adrenals at the back to relieve stress or other emotional triggers in binge eating.


Image: Dwipada supta pawan muktasana
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Five yoga poses to shed those extra kilos

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Chakrasana (Wheel pose)

This is an advanced pose and may only be attempted by those who have some yoga practice already in place. Lie on your back. Place palms under your shoulders while bending legs at the knees. Inhale, hoist your body off the ground shifting weight to hands and feet. Hold as long as is comfortable, breathing normally.

Release and lower crown gently down, then roll shoulders and back on to the mat, exhaling. Increase duration with regular practice in the final pose.

Avoid: If having weak wrists, spinal problems or heart problems.

Benefits: Ups mood. Stimulates metabolism, encourage fat burn all over body. Tones the entire body marvelously.


Image: Chakrasana
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Five yoga poses to shed those extra kilos

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Padahastasana (Hand to feet pose)

Also called uttanasana (Full stretch pose), it is a superb pose for fat burn. Stand up straight, feet close to each other. Inhale, raising both hands into air. Exhaling, lower them to the ground or to hold ankles.

Draw head to thighs, continuing normal breathing. Hold for a few seconds initially, but with regular practice increase duration to a minute or more in the final pose. Release. Repeat a few times.

Avoid: If having lower backache, or vertigo.

Benefits: Squeezes the liver, to encourage fat release. Tones entire body. Makes the skin shine due to improved blood circulation.


Image: Padahastasana
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Merudandasana (Spinal column pose)

Sit with legs out straight. Bend legs at knees to hold big toes. Straighten legs, to hold them up as shown, spreading them apart.

Beginners can use a wall for support initially till balance is learnt. Hold for as long as is possible, breathing normally. Over time, duration in final pose must be increased to a minute or more.

Avoid: If having lower back problem.

Benefits: Helps control blood sugar problems due to pressure at the abdomen and pancreas. Helps release fat. Tones limbs and the core.


Image: Merudandasana
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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Agnisara kriya (Metabolic fire syndrome)

This must be done early morning, before having eaten anything. Sit as shown, cross-legged (May also be done standing). Place palms on the thighs or knees. Inhale, exhaling, cave your stomach in, flapping it as many times as you can.

Everytime you draw your stomach in exhale with mild force. Do ten to 15 times.
 
Avoid: If having respiratory or circulatory problems, including heart or high blood pressure. Also to be avoided if having inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract. Avoid in all inflammatory conditions, including fever or ulcers, etc.
 
Benefits: Tones the digestive tract, affecting digestion. Improves metabolism, helps spike it towards fat burn. It is a cleansing practice, used as a preparatory one for the rest of the practice, specially pranayama.


Image: Agnisara kriya
Photographs: Shameem Akhtar
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