Fat Loss and Yoga
Many studies have linked a direct relation between fat loss and yoga. For instance, the study performed in Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center concludes that yoga is in fact a big reason for weight loss in adults. The study stated: “In our earlier study, we found that middle-age people who practice yoga gained less weight over a 10-year period than those who did not. This was independent of physical activity and dietary patterns. We hypothesized that mindfulness—a skill learned either directly or indirectly through yoga—could affect eating behavior” (Dr. Alan Kristal, 2009). The two most known yoga practices for fat loss are Kapalabhati also known as breath of fire and Anulom Vilom also known as alternate nostril breathing Pranayama. Pranayama is defined as the variety of yoga poses that involve different breathing patterns which aid in fat loss. Kapalabharti pranayama means skull illumination and is performed by normal inhaling and a forceful exhaling. It is known to improve digestion and relax the mind by increasing flow of oxygen through out body. Anulom Vilom pranayama is performed by inhaling from one nostril and exhaling from another alternatively. This pranayama helps in rebuilding respiratory system and body heat that helps in excessive fat loss.
Flexibility of Muscles
Yoga helps in increasing the flexibility of muscles which also improves balance and posture resulting in people involving in more physical activities. Many easy yoga postures like Padangusthasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana are proven to strengthen stamina and increase flexibility. Padangusthasana also known as Big toe pose is performed by standing up with a straight spine and then bending to touch the toes. It restores kidneys and liver functions while improving digestion. Adho Mukha Svanasana also known as Downward Facing Dog is performed by performing Padangusthasana and then walking the hands in front on the floor to make a triangle. This posture concentrates on the core and helps in digestion as well.
Improving Blood Circulation
Many inversion yoga postures help in proper flow of blood throughout the body which also hydrates the body. Hydration plays a key role in weight loss. Viparita Karani also known as Legs Up the Wall Pose which aids in high amount of blood circulation throughout the body. Surya Namaskar also known as Sun Salutation is a powerful sequence of 12 poses to boost blood circulation and burn body fat instantly. Many people do 20 to 30 Surya Namaskar steps in the morning regularly on an empty stomach. Surya Namaskar is also performed as a gratitude to Lord Sun to provide life on earth. It is an all in one sequence that can relieve stress, cure anxiety, improve digestion and rebuild body strength. The twelve poses are Pranamasana also called Prayer pose, Hastauttanasana also known as Raised backward arms pose, Hastapadasana also known as Standing forward bend, Ashwa Sanchalanasana also known as Equestrian pose, Dandasana also known as Stick pose, Ashtanga Namaskara also known as Salute with eight parts or points, Bhujangasana also known as Cobra pose, Adho Mukha Svanasana also known as Downward facing dog pose and now back to Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Hastapadasana, Hastauttanasana and last but not the least Pranamasana. One can also say some chants while performing Surya Namaskar to enhance spiritual awareness. ‘Om Bhaanve Namaha’ means ‘One who brings light’. When you recite this mantra, feel a sense of deep gratitude to the Sun for giving us light and making life possible on Earth. ‘Om Suryaya Namaha’ means ‘Dispeller of Darkness.’ In essence, it means that we worship the Sun for giving us light (The Art Of Living, n.d.).
Insomnia is now a days a common issue due to all the hustle and stress that comes with day to day life. Insomnia is an abnormal sleep pattern that may be inconsistent sleep throughout the night or having trouble falling asleep. As insomnia is directly related to increase in cravings or appetite, thus it results in obesity over time. Performing basic yoga posture for ten to fifteen minutes before going to bed aids in getting a calm sleep for seven to eight hours a day which is required to restore the fatigue and balance the appetite. All the pranayama practices help in curing insomnia as they regulate oxygen in the body.
A feasible solution to the problem of continuous rise in obesity rate is making yoga a way of life because it aids in excessive fat loss, rebuilds flexibility , increases body blood flow and cures insomnia. Practicing yoga at least 30 minutes a day with full concentration is, indeed, a healthy way out of being overweight and stressed. Performing Surya namaskar boots one’s immune system and promotes physical activities.