Yoga came to us from Eastern culture. It has been practiced all over the world since ancient times, it is used as a means of cleansing the mind, strengthening the body. But is it possible to lose weight with it? Consider yoga from this point of view: are there any contraindications, how to do it properly to lose weight, basic yoga poses.
Now yoga is extremely popular - it is taught in many fitness centers, you can find many yoga lessons and courses on the Internet. In addition, special applications for smartphones in pictures have appeared relatively recently. Let's see what yoga can offer us for weight loss? But we warn you immediately - the article is for informational purposes only, it does not contain calls for action. Only an expert can tell you how to lose weight properly and which methods to use at the same time.
What is yoga?
Yoga classes are a combination of spiritual and physical exercises aimed at improving the overall condition. In this system in the first place is not the body, but spiritual development, the path to the sublime and the union of the soul with the physical shell. The practices used in yoga are based on the postulates of Eastern religious trends. They teach a person to understand themselves, their thoughts, their feelings. So far, there are several currents of yoga, and the main ones are:
Each direction has its own characteristics. The only similarities are the combination of special positions called asanas, as well as the emphasis on breathing.
What is an asana?
Asanas are special exercises, postures combined with breathing. They are conventionally divided into two large groups:
- Static, when a person takes a certain position, he holds it for a while.
- Dynamically, it requires movement - these are lifting the arms or legs, circular rotations of the neck and the like.
During the pose, different muscles begin to work. Especially responsible for movement coordination, balance, stability. It is important to stand in the asana at the same time, perform breathing exercises and maintain peace of mind. This can take many months.
One of the key points of yoga is awareness. This is an independent monitoring of changes in body condition and psycho-emotional changes. During the exercise, the person learns to perceive problems, worries, fears in a new way and release them all.
Awareness means the following:
- Acceptance of one's own body. The person begins to feel it differently, noticing every new state, change, feeling.
- Visualization of emotions, moods. Practitioners teach how to eliminate bad, easy problem solving.
- The ability to follow your thoughts, develop them, transform them.
Yoga is ready to offer different techniques for awareness. They are usually part of a breathing asana complex.
Some psychological methods are based on common concepts. A person learns to apply the concept of positive thinking, to change the emotional background by meditation, by immersion in oneself.
Yoga exercises promote peace. Exercise complexes aim to create peace of mind. It is important to be able to look inside yourself, work with your own thoughts, cleanse your mind and body.
Yoga before bed is a good idea for everyone. The only caveat is that the training should take place in a soft, simplified way. Otherwise, instead of pleasure, you will have to deal with overload, increased irritability. Evening practice can be combined with aromatherapy, candles, light music.
Yoga and calorie burning
Practitioners consume a very small amount of calories - about 2-3 every minute. For a complete workout that lasts 45-50 minutes, a person loses about 100 calories. It’s the equivalent of a light, easy walk, doing simple household chores like cleaning.
It is not worth hoping that regular exercise will get rid of extra pounds in a month. To burn one pound of fat (7000 calories), you will need to exercise continuously for more than 50 hours.
At what time of day is it best to work and what is the optimal duration of classes
When to study - each person decides for himself. The morning feels better in the morning, owls in the evening, after the end of the work day. The main thing is to choose the intensity, duration.
- After waking up the body is not ready for serious stress. Therefore, the morning yoga exercise should be smooth, slow, short - about 30 minutes.
- In the evening, you can exercise more intensely by adding static strength exercises. The duration should be increased to 60-90 minutes.
It is advisable for yoga to begin and end with breathing exercises. It can be any 5-7 minute meditation that brings pleasure. In this way it will be possible to achieve greater harmony of body and mind.
Contraindications and warnings
It is better to start practicing under the guidance of an experienced instructor. It will tell you about the subtleties, the characteristics of each pose, it will help to avoid injuries, sprains, sprains. Self-study without prior preparation at home can turn into an ambulance trip. To reduce this likelihood, you need to pay attention to the contraindications. This includes:
- gastrointestinal tract disorder;
- displacement of intervertebral discs, hernia;
- traumatic brain injury;
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
These contraindications are classified as chronic or acute diseases. Apart from them, there are a number of temporary conditions in which yoga is not recommended. To:
- pregnancy starting from the third month;
- rehabilitation period after surgery (3 to 6 months);
- recent heart attack or stroke;
- increase or decrease in blood pressure.
There are restrictions for girls during menstruation. The work of "reverse" positions involving the abdominal muscles is not recommended. It can cause discomfort, cause a manifestation of pain.
How to do yoga to lose weight?
People with excess weight want to get rid of the hated pounds as soon as possible. So they are looking for effective yoga classes for weight loss, flat stomach, waist, various home exercises and more. This is not the main goal of the practice. They teach a person to deal with internal problems. Often they are the ones that lead to stress, seizures, overeating.
Sometimes weight control experts may suggest using different breathing techniques or asanas to control the condition. But such programs usually come in addition to the serious complex of psychologists' work.
Where to start?
The hardest part of any job is getting started. Especially when it comes to such a difficult, philosophical practice. You must first go through the preparation phase:
- Talk to an expert. Should I add yoga to my weight loss course? Can it be used for certain health problems, for example, for pain in the joints, back, neck? Are there any contraindications? Only a doctor can answer. Fitness instructors are not qualified for this.
- Decide on the time: take 10-20 minutes in the morning or 30-40 in the evening.
- Find a comfortable shape. It should be comfortable for the body, comfortable and not restrict movement.
- Study the relevant literature. Basic positions, principles, definitions, breathing exercises.
- Watch educational videos, breathing lessons, analysis of typical mistakes when performing asanas, etc.
- Seek the support of like-minded people.
The situation plays an important role. If the classes are held at home, you can perform them with candles, incense, quiet, melodic music.
Only consistent, systematic training will bring good results. Don’t expect colossal changes after the first lesson. Optimal - perform the complex about three times a week. Duration, number of repetitions are not so important. The main thing is to strictly adhere to the technique of performance.
Focus on muscle strengthening poses
Yoga has many different directions, branches and offers its own system of exercises. Some techniques are more focused on the psychological component, others on the physical.
People who want to strengthen their body are better off choosing exercises with lots of static exercises. For those who want to change their spiritual state first, meditative, relaxing practices are suitable.
For weight loss are ideal practices that include intense breathing exercises that give the body a cardio load, which helps to quickly get rid of excess calories. Suitable complexes are located in the directions of hatha and bikram yoga.
Protect yourself from injury
For starters, this is the most important item. Injuries, injuries, discomfort, pain - these are all reasons that lead to the cessation of exercise after the first few exercises.
The exercises aim to teach a person to listen and hear their body. It is important to catch all his signals, to stop the lesson in time if unpleasant sensations appear.
Each pose should be performed slowly, without haste, without sudden movements. Especially often people get injured due to their own carelessness, fatigue, nervousness. Yoga should relax, give a charge of strength, peace of mind, balance. If this does not happen, then the training process is built incorrectly.
You need to start by studying the basic poses in detail. It is very important to do them correctly, remember the position of the feet, spine, pelvis. This will make it easier to navigate throughout the course.
One of the main parts of yoga is breathing or pranayama. It teaches you to control your own energy by controlling your inhaling and exhaling. The implementation of such techniques will allow you to relax, relieve unnecessary thoughts, stress.
Slow inhalation followed by slow exhalation will help you calm down in a difficult situation, overcome stress, discomfort. By mastering pranayama, you can apply it in life.
Explore Yama and Niyama
Behind these words are 10 basic principles of yoga. The pit includes rejections:
- violence against all living beings;
On the other hand, Niyama sets himself goals:
- satisfaction with what is available;
All these rules repeat Christian or Muslim truths. They are designed to cleanse a person, to change their attitude towards life.
Try eating like yoga
Yogis are very sensitive to food:
- monitors the quality of food consumed;
- food composition;
- to give up everything unnatural;
- prefer small portions;
- Most give for vegetables and plant foods.
Food for yogis is fuel to sustain life. It cannot be used as a means of relieving stress or solving problems. Reducing the diet to the required minimum is the reason why yogis lose weight. This must be taken into account.
13 best weight loss asanas
Different courses, practices are based on basic exercises that differ in the degree of complexity and performance characteristics.
Let's take a closer look at 13 basic poses:
Lean forward with your legs wide apart (Prasarita Padottanasana)
It is necessary to take a standing position, with legs wide apart, wider than the shoulders. Put your hands behind your back, lean forward from your hips. Hold the pose for about 20 seconds, slowly rising.
If the position is properly occupied, tension will appear in the hips.
Forward low step (Anjaneyasana)
Suitable for stretching the front of the thigh. Starting position - kneeling. When exhaling, you must pull your left leg as far as possible, in half. The main thing is that the right knee is at a 90 degree angle. The pose is held for 30 seconds, after which the leg is changed.
Pose for half a boat (Ardha Navasana)
Helps strengthen back, neck and abdominal muscles. Starting position - lying on your back. Put your hands on your elbows, feel the stability. As you exhale, raise your legs above the floor. An easy option is to bend them at the knees, and it’s harder to leave them straight. Hold for 20 seconds.
Exercise helps strengthen the muscles of the lateral nucleus. Starting position - lying on your side. On the exhale you have to lift your body, tear your hips off the floor, stretch your body in one row. Support on flat arms and feet. The pose lasts 15-20 seconds.
Pose on a tree (Vriksasana)
Starting position - stand on two legs. When you exhale, you have to lift one leg, bend it at the knee and press your foot against your thigh. Bend your palms in front of your chest. Measure in position for 30-40 seconds.
The pose helps to improve coordination of movements, strengthen the hips.
Twist Lunge Pose (Parivritta Anjaneyasana)
Starting position - standing on straight legs. As you exhale, jump forward, turn to your feet. Fold your arms in front of your chest. Make sure the front leg is bent at 90 degrees and the knee is directly above the foot.
Regular application of this exercise strengthens the front surface of the thigh.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
The exercise is reminiscent of a squat. Starting position - stand on both feet. With the inhale you have to bend your knees, do a light squat. Raise your arms above your head. The delay is 30 seconds.
Make sure that the back is straight, that there is no pain in the lower back, neck.
Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I)
Starting position - stand on both feet. On the exhale you have to push deep, raise your arms above your head. Make sure there are no painful sensations in the knees, lower back and neck.
The position is held for 30-40 seconds.
Warrior Pose II (Virabhadrasana II)
The second pose follows from the first. Starting position - warrior I. But now the arms must be lowered, spread them to the side above the bent legs. Direct your gaze towards the fingertips of your left hand, if your left foot is in front. And vice versa.
The delay lasts 30-40 seconds.
Warrior Pose III (Virabhadrasana III)
The third pose is considered the most difficult, focused on balance, stability, coordination of movements. Starting position - warrior pose II. From there you have to turn towards the bent leg, tearing the other leg off the floor. Tilt your body parallel to the floor. The delay is 30 seconds.
Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
The exercise is classified as reverse. It is strictly forbidden to do this without basic skills. This is fraught with injuries to the neck, spine. Starting position - lying on your back. As you exhale, lift your legs, separate your lower back from the floor, stay on your shoulders - as for the "birch" exercise. The delay is 20-30 seconds.
Pose of the King of Dance (Natarajasana)
The starting position is standing. When exhaling, bend your left leg at the knee, grab your wrist with your left hand. Without detaching, tilt the housing parallel to the floor. The delay is 20-30 seconds.
The pose works well the muscles of the front of the thigh, stability, coordination of movements.
Crane pose (Bakasan)
Ideal for well-trained people. Starting position - squat. Hands in front of feet, palms firmly pressed to the floor. As you exhale, move your body weight forward, rest your knees on your fists, separate your feet from the floor. The technique is quite complicated. To do that, you need a lot of experience, regular training. You need to hold the pose for as long as possible.
Tips for beginners
Beginners need to be careful and considerate. Don't force things. If the pose fails, continue. Over time, the body will strengthen, will be able to take different loads.
The next tip is to be systematic. Maybe at first there was a burning desire to indulge in apathy. This period must be experienced. Pleasant environment, favorite music, beautiful sportswear will help you. Exercise should be understood as enjoyable fun.
The main advice for beginners is not to strive for weight, but to lose weight with the help of yoga. These practices aim to change the psycho-emotional background. They can help control emotions, problems, stress. The main condition is parallel work with an experienced psychologist.
Only regular, technically correct workouts, including a wide range of exercises and approved by weight loss experts, will bring good long-term results.