9 Yoga exercises to address the mental aspects of weight management | Health

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

Incorporating Yoga into a weight management plan offers a holistic approach, targeting both physical and mental well-being as experts reveal that simple yet effective asanas or Yoga exercises can enhance flexibility, burn calories and reduce stress, fostering a healthier lifestyle. This is because, Yoga is not just about physical postures; it also addresses the mental aspects of weight management.

9 Yoga exercises to address the mental aspects of weight management (Photo by Luca Micheli on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, explained that Yoga practice encourages mindfulness and stress reduction, which are often linked to emotional eating hence, by fostering a mind-body connection, Yoga promotes a healthier relationship with food and body image. He suggested the following 9 Yoga asanas that can be a supportive component of a weight management plan –

  1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): A series of postures that engage various muscle groups, promoting flexibility and elevating heart rate. This dynamic sequence enhances blood circulation, aiding in weight loss.
  2. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose): Focusing on core muscles, Trikonasana strengthens the abdominal region and helps in toning the waist. It’s a straightforward pose that promotes balance and stability.
  3. Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose): With its variations, Warrior Pose works on multiple muscle groups, including thighs, shoulders, and arms. This aids in building strength and endurance, crucial for effective weight management.
  4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): Targeting the abdominal area, this asana stimulates digestion and massages internal organs. It’s beneficial for those aiming to trim down their midsection.
  5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): This backbend not only strengthens the spine but also engages the core. Bhujangasana helps in toning abdominal muscles and can contribute to a flatter stomach.
  6. Utkatasana (Chair Pose): Utkatasana engages the entire body, especially the thighs and glutes. Holding this pose challenges the muscles, promoting calorie burn and muscle development.
  7. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog): A fundamental pose that targets the entire body. Downward-Facing Dog enhances circulation, stretches muscles, and serves as a full-body workout, aiding in weight management.
  8. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose): This asana strengthens the core, thighs, and glutes. It also stimulates the thyroid gland, which plays a role in metabolism regulation, contributing to weight control.
  9. Kapal bhati pranayama: Kapal bhati pranayama is a type of breathing exercise that involves rapid and forceful exhalations through the nose. This technique is often used in yoga practices to help improve respiratory function, increase energy levels, and promote overall well-being. During kapal bhati pranayama, you sit comfortably with your back straight and take a deep breath in. Then, you forcefully exhale through your nose while contracting your abdominal muscles. This creates a quick burst of air that helps to clear out any blockages or congestion in your lungs. You repeat this process for several rounds, taking short breaks in between each one to rest and relax. Over time, regular practice of kapal bhati pranayama can lead to improved lung capacity and better oxygenation throughout the body.

He concluded, “Integrating Yoga into a weight management plan provides a multifaceted approach. The combination of physical activity, stress reduction, and mindfulness creates a conducive environment for sustainable weight loss. Regular practice of these straightforward yet impactful asanas can contribute significantly to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

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