Can Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?

by Ahmed Zayed, MD on June 20, 2019
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It is time to get rid of all that unwanted weight! But instead of trying some expensive products that are filled with chemicals and promise you fast results, it is time to do this the right way – with the help of your favorite type of exercising and a proper diet. But there are many of us that are not quite ready to leave our warm homes and go to the gym. So we thought what we can do that is inexpensive and can be performed at home? And we instantly thought of yoga!

Luckily, yoga can be performed anywhere, really with the right type of help! This is why we wanted to dedicate an article on practicing yoga at home, specifically for weight loss. But first, let’s review why practicing yoga is so beneficial (1)!

Why practice yoga?

You may wonder why we specifically chose yoga and not some other type of exercising. Well, there is the fact that yoga can be performed by anyone and anywhere. That means that you, even if a beginner, can perform yoga without even leaving your home! You can even practice yoga as you catch up with all of your favorite TV shows! But the biggest reason that made us think of yoga is the fact that yoga has a number of beneficial effects among which is the benefit of losing weight! Yoga will help relax both your body and mind, especially after a long day spends at work. It will also increase your flexibility, balance, muscle strength, and it will improve your metabolism and digestion.

As a result of all of these and many other benefits, you will start noticing as the numbers on your weight scale decrease! A study (2) published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine investigated the effects of yoga for weight loss since obesity (3) plays a big role in the development of diabetes, hypertension, and other crucial medical conditions. The research confirmed that yoga could successfully help in reducing the extra body weight with time.

The yoga poses for weight reduction

The Lion pose

This is one of the basic pose perfect for all of you beginners out there! This pose is especially important for your facial muscles and the muscles of your neck, and it will help you get rid of any double chin that you might have! Plus, this pose provides great stress (4) relief!

The warrior pose

This well-known pose is great for improving your blood circulation as well as for straightening your legs and the muscles on your abdomen.

The triangular pose

This is one of the best yoga poses that helps by improving your digestion by stimulating your abdominal organs. Not to mention all the muscles that are involved in the process of strengthening such as the abdominal muscles, the muscles in the hands and legs, especially the hamstrings as well as the muscles on your back and neck!

The upward plank pose

The upward plank pose will help you improve your balance as this pose builds a core. It will also help increase your energy levels, strengthen your muscles, and it will help you get rid of any fatigue after a long day at work.

The bridge pose

This is yet another pose that will stimulate your abdominal organs and with that improve your metabolism. It will also strengthen the muscles in your butt, back, legs, and abdomen. By properly performing this pose, you will eventually feel as the stress is leaving your body and relaxation takes over.

The boat pose

Performing the boat pose will help you increase your balance as it will strengthen the hip muscles, your spine, and your muscles. It will not only stimulate your digestive organs, but it will also stimulate your kidneys and thyroid.

The tree pose

This yoga pose is especially known because of its ability to lower the blood pressure. A well-performed tree pose results in better posture as a result of the improved core and muscle strength and a relaxed body and mind.

The chair pose

The chair pose is especially recommended for those of you who are suffering from flat feet. This pose will strengthen your thighs and ankles while toning your shoulders, butt, hips, and back at the same time. By holding your breath for a couple of seconds while performing this pose, your heart rate will increase, which means that more blood will start circulating through the body, stimulating the digestive organs!

We thought of these yoga poses to be the most efficient for weight loss (5) when performed properly. There are much other yoga poses that you can try also. In general, all of the yoga poses have the same beneficial effects, but certain yoga poses are meant to strengthen certain muscle groups. By strengthening your muscles, improving your balance, energy levels, and metabolism, you will start noticing as the extra body weight is leaving your body. All that you need to practice yoga is a quiet place, a yoga mat, and your laptop so that you can follow your favorite yoga trainer online!

Yoga Helps With Food Digestion and Reduces Weight Gain

Often people get this weird sensation in the stomach after dinner. It might be due to bloating or stomach burn. Many people experience it, especially if they have a heavy dinner or generally do not involve in any physical activities. This will, in turn, affect their sleep cycle as well causing stomach pain and acid reflux at night.

Going to the gym or going for a jogging/walking may not always be a feasible option. Sometimes you don’t have the time, or the weather is preventing you from running outside. So what is the appropriate option? Well, yoga is the best option to deal with this situation.

On a serious note, these problems can hinder with a person’s physical health and result in obesity (6) and could even be symptoms of low testosterone. If you have frequent bloating and gastrointestinal issues, it is always safe to consult a medical practitioner.

There are a few yoga poses that can be performed at any time, including post-dinner. These yoga poses are proven to provide relief from digestive issues such as stomach burn, bloating, and even more serious issues like acid reflux. In this article, we will discuss nine of those yoga poses and how to perform them for effective results.

Uttanasana or the standing forward bend pose

This asana should be performed in the following way. Try to touch the back of your knees by reaching over your stomach by keeping your knees bent. Remain at this position for 15-20 seconds and relax. Then repeat. Make sure that you feel the tension in your hamstring. This pose is especially good for gastrointestinal issues and helps to prevent constipation and bloating.

Dhanurasana or the bow pose

Another asana that offers respite from bloating and constipation is the bow pose. As the name implies, your body literally formed into the shape of a bow. The way to do it properly is as follows. Lay on your stomach, lift your lower body, bend the knee, and try to hold the feet with your hands. This is not one of the easy position and would take time to master. But go easy on it and once you get hold of the final position, hold it for 15 -20 seconds. Then repeat! The bow pose also helps to increase flexibility and tone your back.

Ustrasana or the camel pose

The camel pose is a great exercise to do post-dinner but also helps to reduce back pain. The way to do it is as follows. Stand on your knees, bend to your back, while keeping your hands on your sides and trying to touch the feet. Keep your neck along with your head straight. Be in the position for five to ten seconds and repeat. This might seem difficult in the beginning but over time it gets easier. Also, ensure to not put too much pressure on your back straight away. Take all the time you want and allow your back to become flexible slowly. This pose not only helps with digestion and stomach problems but also strengthen the back muscles.

Pawanmuktasana or the wind-releasing pose

This exercise is done by laying down on your back, hold with your hand one of your knees up to your chest. Push your knee against your stomach and hold it for a few seconds. Then allow your body to relax and then repeat the same process with the other knee. This pose is called wind releasing pose for a reason, this pose helps to release all the bloating feeling by releasing the “wind” or the gases built up inside your stomach from the digestion process so you get of the bloating and indigestion. So you might want to be in a private space while doing this yoga asana.

Shavasana or the corpse pose

You can do it in your bed and straight away fall asleep into a deep sleep immediately after that. Shavasana is done by completely relaxing your body. How to do this? Quite simple! Lie on your back by keeping your hands on the sides. Close your eyes and simple inhale and exhale. Feel your breathing pattern and concentrate only on that. This is usually the last pose of any yoga session as it helps to relax muscles and help to recover the energy.

Other Benefits of Yoga

Beyond gastrointestinal issues and digestive problems, yoga is an excellent remedy for many other mental and physical troubles (7). Yoga combats autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc. It also combats against mental troubles such as stress, depression, anxiety, and many other mental disorders. Yoga can be helpful in resisting many sexual issues as well. Yoga can be leveraged as a natural treatment (8) for erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues. It can also help men and women maintain sexual desirability and stamina.

So try these nine different poses after dinner regularly to avoid bloating and indigestion. Some of them are easy to master, while some others take time and practice. Keep at it on your own pace and flexibility and progress slowly and steadily. You don’t have to perform all of these poses daily. Either perform a few of them that are comfortable for you or perform different poses on different days so you can master all of them eventually.

Conclusion

Do not hesitate to make the change and improve your lifestyle. And you can achieve all of that with the simple help of yoga! Yoga is fun to do, very beneficial, and most importantly, you do not have even to leave your home. Sure you can join a yoga group if you want, but the good news is that nowadays with the help of the internet you can practice yoga alone! Use the beneficial effect of losing weight (9) in addition to the many other benefits of yoga as well. Start practicing yoga every day and improve your diet if you want to get rid of those extra pounds and start getting ready for the beginning of spring!

References

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415184/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23709458
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6107686/
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573546/
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198375/
(6) www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2010/10/low-testosterone-promotes-abdominal-obesity-aging-men/page-01
(7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995338/
(8) https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/alternative-to-viagra
(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898945/


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