Yoga, a 5000-year old practice has gained importance towards the prevention of diseases, maintenance and promotion of health. Yoga is a spiritual science practised all across the world and is not limited to just being a form of physical exercise. On December 11 in 2014, United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga.
Yoga has known to have brought remarkable lifestyle changes in the practitioners. A sedentary lifestyle leads to very low energy expenditures and can cause a number of lifestyle disorders. Obesity is caused due to an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Practising yoga has beneficial effects on internal organs, endocrine glands, and mind and is useful for the prevention of weight gain and the development of obesity.
- There are 84 classic Yoga Asanas, the Asana being one of the 8 limbs (branches) of Yoga. The other limbs are Yama, Niyama, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.
- Studies show that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease by improving arterial flow. Other studies found yoga help treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma
In this write-up, we will discuss two yoga postures which can be regularly practised for the management of obesity.
Veerasana (Warrior pose)
This asana exerts pressure on the digestive organs. It helps to reduce excessive fat accumulated in the abdominal region.
- Stand erect with both the legs joined.
- Step your left leg forward at a maximum distance from the right leg.
- Bend the left leg at the knee to form a right angle between the thigh and calf.
- Join both the palms and place them on the knee.
- With the right leg being straight, inhale and stretch both of your arms above your head and bend the upper part of your body backwards.
- Stay in this posture until you feel the strain.
- Exhale slowly while straightening your trunk, inhale and bring the hands down to the knees.
- Return your left foot to the original position aligned with the right, as you exhale.
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
This asana targets the stomach muscles and stimulates the digestive organs. It helps reduce flab around the hips, abdomen, and waist.
- Lie down with the chest and abdomen touching the ground.
- Stretch both the legs together as much as possible to resemble the tail of a serpent.
- Place the palms near the chest facing the ground. The elbows should be straight and stretched completely.
- Now slowly raise your forehead and lift the upper body, from the head to abdomen, to resemble the shape of a hooded cobra.
- Bend your neck to feel the stretch in your spines.
- Hold your breath until you maintain this position.
- Release by relaxing the abdomen first on the ground, then chest, and finally the head.
Did you know?
According to a study, obese participants practising yoga for one year showed more improvement in pulmonary functions and reduced BMI compared to participants doing aerobic exercises.
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Sources: 1. OMICS International. Accessed June 20, 2016. 2. International Day of Yoga. Accessed June 20, 2016. 3. The Art of Living. Accessed June 20, 2016.a