Yoga for Weight Loss

If you are overweight, engage in binge-eating, or have poor eating habits, yoga may help you make healthy lifestyle changes. The physical, mental and spiritual practices of yoga can help you gain control of poor eating habits and live a healthier life. Yoga is not to be seen as cure but it can help some health conditions when combined with other methods (aerobic exercise, reduced calorie diet) and therapies. Yoga is generally considered safe for all people of all abilities. Those who are in a wheelchair or severely overweight can even practice by modifying poses and being careful to pay attention and respect limitations. If there are any conditionss or concerns, a doctor should be consulted before beginning any physical practice.

Yoga helps me with my weight and health. I have had weight issues for as long as I can remember. Practicing yoga is a wonderful journey toward understanding and self awareness. There are so many aspects, habits, reactions, etc. which can cause overeating and lack of exercise. Join me on my journey towards self-awareness health happiness and personal growth.

8 Ways Yoga Helps With Weight Loss (Postures at bottom of this page)

  1. Builds overall strength
    By working your muscles and balancing metabolism is increased as well as overall muscular strength without lifting weights such as Plank Pose and Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
  2.  Increases core strength
    By building the abdominal muscles, we gain strength and overall balance. There are balancing poses that work several muscles at once such as Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III), Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana), and Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana).
  3.  Stimulates the gastrointestinal tract
    When the GI tract that is damaged or weak, it results poor digestion and weight gain. An active liver also aids in digestion. Back bending poses and twists massage and stimulate the abdominal area.
  4.  Stimulates the thyroid gland
    The thyroid helps to regulate metabolism. Many who suffer from weight gain have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), which should be confirmed by your physician. Certain postures may help to stimulate the thyroid gland including Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana) and Fish Pose (Matsyasana).
  5.  Relaxation response
    Excess stress can contribute to weight gain. Yoga practice can enhance the your ability to deeply relax the mind and body, easing stress.
  6.  Burns calories
    Heart rate is increased, creating heat in the body with a more vigorous routine , like the sun salutation series which includes 12 different positions. When done fairly quickly, it becomes an aerobic exercise.
  7.  Mindful eating
    Consistent yoga practice is strongly associated with mindful eating. Eating mindfully means eating more slowly and paying attention to when you are feeling full.
  8.  Motivation
    When you start your weight loss journey with yoga, you may find the energy and motivation to make other healthy lifestyle changes as your practice progresses.

8 Postures for Weight loss & Sun Salute Series...

1) Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana)
Half Boat Pose (Ardha Navasana)Benefits: Strengthens the abdomen and core, hips, and lower back.

Contraindications: Recent abdominal surgery, heart problems, back injury, menstruation, pregnancy.


 2) Full Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)

Boat Pose

Benefits: Strengthens the abdomen and core, hips, and lower back. 

Contraindications: Recent abdominal surgery, heart problems, back injury, menstruation, pregnancy.


3) Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Benefits: Develops awareness, balance, concentration, and poise. Strengthens legs, ankles and feet, and hips.

Contraindications: headache, vertigo. knee, foot or hip injury


4) Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair Pose or Awkward Pose (Utkatasana)

Benefits: Strengthens legs, ankles, feet and spine. Stretches shoulders and chest. Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart.

Contraindications: headache, low blood pressure, vertigo. knee, foot or hip injury

5) Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose

Benefits: Stretches ankles, thighs and groins, abdomen and chest, throat, and hips. Strengthens back muscles. Stimulates abdominal organs

Contraindications: High or low blood pressure, migraine headaches, low back or neck injury

6) Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Benefits: stretches the back body, strengthens arms, wrists, and spine, tones core muscles. 

Contraindications: Carpal tunnel syndrome, weakness in the wrists or arms, late term pregnancy, high blood pressure.


7) Extented Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
 Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)Benefits: Stretches and strengthens leg muscles from ankles to hips, knees, abdominals, obliques, shoulders, chest spine. shoulders, chest and back. Stimulates abdominal organs (improving digestion and elimination)


8) Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Half Moon PoseBenefits: increases balance. strengthens and stretches arms, legs, chest, spine, shoulders, abdominals, spine, and glutes. 

Contraindications: neck problems, headaches, low blood pressure, insomnia



Basic Sun Salutation Series

When done quickly and repeatedly, this series burns calories and builds muscle.

surya-namaskar, sun salutations

1) Mountain, Prayer Pose
2) Reach/Arch Back
3) Standing Forward Fold
4) Lunge Pose
5) Plank Pose
6) Four Limbed Staff Pose
7) Cobra
8) Downward Facing Dog
9) Lunge Pose
10) Standing Forward Bend
11) Reach/Arch back
12) Mountain, Prayer Pose

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