“How can I lose weight?” Upon asking this question, the only answer you would likely get is either dieting, or working out. Many of us misinterpret Yoga as a meditative science which is more spiritual than physical. But in fact, Yoga – being a miraculous way to mental and physical health – can be an optimal way of losing weight.
There are a number of Hatha Yoga asanas (a posture in which a practitioner sits) that offer outstanding benefits to the body. Hatha Yoga is that branch of Yoga that prioritises physical exercises to take control of the mind and the body. The asanas of Hatha Yoga primarily focus on the physical workout. According to a survey, one can lose approximately 400-700 calories per hour by practising Hatha Yoga.
Following are some of the many Hatha Yoga poses that can help you burn calories:
- Phalakasana (Plank): Plank pose is an anti-gravitation pose. It pushes all your muscles to workout. There can be many modifications in this pose to further enhance the workload such as raising one foot, reverse plank, and adding weight to your body. 3-5 minutes practice a day is good to start with. You can gradually increase the timing for better and faster results as your body gets adapted to the style.
- Chakrasana (Wheel Pose): It is one of the most difficult poses in Yoga. Your entire body gets stretched in this pose. Your heartbeat may increase while performing this. Muscles from feet to head are worked while practicing Chakrasana.
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose): This pose tones your arms and thighs’ muscles. Stand tall, keep your legs apart in the same line making a right angle between them. Bend down towards your left by raising your right hand making an obtuse angle with the right leg. Repeat this process by bending down to another side. Make sure both of your hands are in same line.
- Virabhadrasana-I (Warrior Pose-I): Stand in Tadasana, stretch your arms up, spread your right leg by stepping up, bend your right knee positioning your consecutive feet to make a right angle with the ground. This pose works on your legs’ and arms’ muscles.
- Mayurasana (Peacock Pose): Get down on your knees, keeping your palms against the Yoga mat. Putting the entire weight of your body on your palm, rise up in the position of a peacock. It tones up the abdomen, arms, and wrists. It will be very difficult for a fresh Yoga practitioner to perform this as it requires a lot of strength and balance.
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose): Stand straight, put your buttocks down making 0° angle with the ground. Now raise your arms, parallel to each other in the air. Also called ‘the wild pose’, this pose tones your thigh muscles. Not more than 2-3 minutes practice at a time is recommended for freshers, although it can be practiced during breaks.
- Chakki Chalanasana (Grinding Pose): Spread your legs apart while you are sitting on the Yoga mat. Make sure your knees don’t get bent in the process. Join both your hands and move them on a circular path along your legs. While you are grinding, it poses an additional load on your belly resulting in the burning of the belly fat.
The Science behind calorie burn/weight loss
The whole logic of weight loss or calorie-burning is dependent on sweating. Most of the Yoga instructors and fitness experts across the world believe that the only way to release extra unwanted materials out of the body is through sweating. It is very obvious why the body needs more energy while practising Hatha Yoga. And to compensate for the required energy, speedy respiration is needed. In this process, anaerobic respiration happens in the absence of oxygen which makes the body warm. To maintain the temperature of the body it sweats in the form of extra calories present in your body.
Whether you’re a complete newbie, or yoga-obsessed, why not switch up your routine and use Yoga to shift those hard-to-shift pounds?