While we are eager to try all sorts of exercises to get washboard abs, many times rigorous exercising brings with it side effects like back pain and muscle cramps. Here is where eating the right foods, doing the right exercises and trying these yoga poses can help you.
According to Smt Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra, Director of The Yoga Institute, ‘Firstly, weight loss is not just about looking good and getting the perfect figure. It is about being healthy and fit so that we can do our duties well and achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves.
Please ensure that while doing the asanas you do not press your stomach hard because it may lead to complications and health conditions like hernia.
#1.Tadasana (Mountain Pose):
Tadasana is an ideal warm-up pose. It improves the circulation of blood, thereby ensuring that your body is ready for the other poses in store.
How To Do
- Stand with your feet flat, heels slightly spread out, and the big toes of your feet in contact with each other. Keep the spine erect with hands on both sides and palms facing your body.
- Stretch your hands to the front and bring the palms close to each other.
- Inhaling deeply, stretch your spine. Raising your folded hands up above your head, stretch as much as you can.
- Try lifting your ankles and standing on your toes, with the eyes facing the ceiling. If you cannot stand on your toes, you can keep your feet flat on the ground, while your eyes face the ceiling.
- Breathe normally and hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Inhale deeply, and while exhaling, slowly relax and bring your feet back to the floor.
- Repeat the asana 10 times, increasing the count gradually. Relax for 10 seconds before you attempt the next repetition. The picture given above is a variation for beginners.
Made up of a set of yoga asanas, Vinyasa flow is perfect to get your heart rate up, tone your arms, back and of course your tummy. Made up of three poses – parvatasana or downward facing dog, bhujangasana or cobra pose, Kumbhakasana and back to parvatasana. Most importantly, all these poses are to be done with specific focus on your breath.
How To Do
- Start this sequence by getting into the downward dog asana. Breathe normally and hold this pose for five breaths.
- Now lower your body using your arms to lower your upper body. Breathe out while you do this. Once you are on the floor, lift your chest off the floor so that you are in bhujangasana. Hold this pose for five breaths.
- Now breathe out and go into the plank pose. Hold this pose for five breaths
- Go back into the downward facing dog and repeat the entire cycle five time.
Tip: The vinyasa flow is to be done slowly with focus on the muscles you are using while doing the exercises. While this can certainly be something that is tough on your body, make sure that you do no overdo it.
#3.Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation):
Surya Namaskar is a confluence of twelve yoga positions, each of which has a major impact on the entire body. The forward and backward bends allow stretches, while the deep breathing performed during the act helps in detoxification. Practice Surya Namaskar daily in the morning, facing the sun, for reaping the maximum benefits.
How To Do
- Stand with both your feet together, expand your chest, and relax your shoulders.
- As you inhale, lift both your arms from the sides. And as you exhale, bring your arms to the front of your chest and keep them in the prayer position.
- Inhale, raise your hands, and stretch backwards.
- Exhale, bend forward, and try to touch your knees with your forehead.
- Bending your left knee, stretch your right leg backward, with your palms placed on the floor.
- Hold your breath and stretch your left leg as well. This is called the plank posture.
- Come down to the floor holding your spine out. Here, your knees, chest, and chin must be in contact with the floor.
- Inhale, stretch forward, and bend backwards.
- Keeping your hands fixed on the floor, exhale and lean forward.
- As you inhale, bring your right leg forward, in between your elbows and stretch upwards.
- Bring your left leg forward and inhale deeply.
- Stretch back from the waist.
- Return to the initial position.
Also known as the boat pose, this asana is a great way to tone your abs. it not only strengthens the back and abdominal muscles but also tones your legs and arms. So if you are looking for that complete body workout, this asana is for you.
How To Do
- Lie down flat on your yoga mat, with your feet together and your arms besides your body.
- Now breathe in and as you exhale lift your chest off the floor. Simultaneously lift your feet off the ground (to a ten degree angle). Keep your arms straight and keep your fingers outstretched towards your toes.
- Make sure your eyes, finger and toes are all in one line.
- You will experience stain on the muscles within your belly as your muscles contract. Hold this pose for five to ten breaths.
- To get out of this asana, exhale slowly and come back down to the starting position.
Tip: Avoid doing this asana if you have low blood pressure, severe headache, migraine, have a spinal injury, are pregnant or menstruating.
Also known as the bridge pose, this asana works exclusively on your spine and hip joints. It also helps relieve pain, stiffness and discomfort in these regions and helps resolve any disorders associated with the neck, arms and palms. This pose also helps keep your blood pressure under control, helps to relax the mind, improves digestion, relieves the symptoms of menopause in women relieves respiratory problems.
- Lie flat on your yoga mat, with your feet flat on the floor.
- Now exhale and push up, and off the floor with your feet.
- Raise your body up such that your neck and head are flat on the mat and the rest of your body is in the air. You can use your hands to push down for added support.
- If you are flexible you can even clasp your fingers just below your raised back for that added stretch. The key here is to not overexert or hurt yourself while doing this pose.
Tip: Avoid doing this pose if you have a neck or back injury.
From head to toe, all parts of the body and the internal organs are benefitted by this pose. Regularly practicing Surya Namaskar keeps you healthy and energized.
Women must not perform Surya Namaskar during menstruation. Pregnant women must check with their doctor before performing this asana.
People with spinal problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and sciatica must not perform this pose.