In Sanskrit, Savasana, is generally the conclusion of the practice. After an invigorating yoga session the Corpse Pose is used to relax, restore and rejuvenate so the body can integrate all of the benefits down to a very cellular level. Here, we’ll use it in the same way but with a focus to cool down. When the body is doing nothing other than making a point to do nothing, its temperature will likely decrease.
So lie on your back fully reclined. Let your arms and legs fall where they may comfortably. Slide your shoulders away from your ears, give your tailbone a little tuck and resolve to relax. If you have a hard time relaxing and quieting your mental state, make your naturally moving breathe the focus of your attention. Try to remain still for a minimum of eight minutes. When you exit, roll off to one side slowly and roll up with your head and neck coming up last.
* YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS
If your primary purpose for exercising is to lose weight, yoga may not be the first activity you’d consider. Minute for minute, you’ll certainly burn a lot more calories with a fast-paced, cardiovascular sport like running or kickboxing, a boot camp class, or even a strength-training routine that involves heavy weights and lots of reps.
But ultimately, the type of exercise that’s going to help you lose weight is the type that you’re actually going to do. If you enjoy yoga, keeping up a regular practice can help you slim down, thanks to both its calorie-burning potential and the unique way it can connect the mind with the body, helping you to make smarter decisions — and burn more fat — off the mat, as well as on.
“It’s all about mindfulness and being aware of your body,” says Colleen Saidman Yee, a Long Island-based yoga instructor. “If you eat a big greasy meal right before yoga class, you’re going to feel it when you’re twisting and stretching.” Life coach and yoga instructor Sophie Herbert agrees: “Yoga helps you build confidence in your body, as you see yourself improving and gaining strength and balance that you didn’t have before. It really makes you want to take care of it so you’ll be able to perform at the highest level.”
Research supports this idea, too: In 2009, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center published a study in which people who practice yoga regularly lost about five pounds, while their non-yogi counterparts gained about 14. The authors concluded that the yoga group was more mindful about their food, eating only when they were hungry and stopping when they were full.
The best yoga postures for weight loss are the ones that get your heart rate up, that work your core, and that promote healthy sleep – another important aspect for anyone who wants to drop a few pounds. A routine that incorporates these elements, along with breathing and stress-reduction techniques, will offer any yogi a holistic and well-balanced approach to slimming down.
* YOGA ROUTINES FOR WEIGHT LOSS
This isn’t just one move; it’s actually a sequence of several postures that takes you from a standing position down to the mat and back up. Sun salutations are a great beginner routine to get your heart rate up and to work your core and upper body muscles, says Saidman Yee. There are many variations for sun salutations, but a basic one might follow this sequence:
- Start in Mountain Pose, reaching your arms overhead.
- Dive forward into a Standing Forward Bend, hinging at the hips and reaching toward the ground.
- Plant your palms on the ground and step or hop back into Plank Pose.
- Lower halfway, as if you were doing a push-up, to Chaturanga.
- Roll over the tops of your feet and straighten your arms into Upward Facing Dog.
- Tuck your toes and push your hips back to Downward Facing Dog.
- Step or hop to the front of your mat and roll up to Mountain Pose, repeating the sequence from the beginning.
Sun salutations often include lunges and balancing postures, like Warrior I, II, and III, that will build strength and help you work up a sweat, as well. Saidman also suggests warming up by standing in Mountain Pose and windmilling your arms in different directions; not only will it loosen you up, but it will also increase your heart rate, too.
“Yoga can help you lose weight all over, but I think it’s particularly good at helping to firm up the muscles of the core,” says Herbert. She recommends incorporating moves that require abdominal contractions — like Side Plank, Boat Pose, and Dolphin Plank Pose — but also mini backbends that stretch and stimulate the abdominal organs, like Locust and Sphinx Pose.
Restorative, relaxing poses — especially when they’re practiced at night — can help you get a good night’s sleep. This is critical for anyone who wants to lose weight, since the body cannot burn fat as efficiently when it’s sleep deprived. (Not to mention, the body also craves junk food when you’re tired) Standing and Seated Forward Bends, Legs Up the Wall, Plow Pose, and Supported Headstand or Should unerstand to get you prepared for bed.
* YOGA BURNS BELLY FAT
You may think that Downward Dog is a quick way to get a toned and tight body. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a quick fix that promises flat abs fast, yoga is not your best bet — but then again, not much is.
But a regular yoga practice can play a role in helping you achieve your long-awaited six-pack; it can help you lose weight and tone from head to toe, including your abdominal area. Yoga just boosts weight loss in a more holistic way than you might think.
To better understand this question, it’s important to understand how the body burns fat, in general. Although we can target certain body parts for toning and strengthening (like our arms, legs, abs, or glutes, for example), there is no research-proven way to blast more fat cells in one specific area than in any other. And while extra pounds around the belly are often the easiest weight to put on, they can also be some of the hardest to shed.
That being said, a diet and exercise plan that allows you to lose weight all over will almost certainly benefit that belly bulge. (To shed pounds consistently, remember that the key is to burn more calories than you take in every day.) And that’s good news, because excess fat around the abdominal area has been shown to raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
Yoga can be an important part of your belly-shrinking plan, regardless of whether you’ve ever practiced before. Not only does it burn calories and help tone your trouble spots, but research also shows that it has the power to alter your eating patterns, your sleep habits, and your mood — all things that will affect how much weight you pack onto your waistline, and how quickly you can burn it off.
Yoga, like all forms of exercise, burns calories — some forms more than others. A fast-paced, vigorous style of yoga, like Vinyasa or Ashtanga, will burn more fat and calories, for example, than a slow, restorative class.
Yoga certainly does have a cardiovascular element,A vigorous athletic form of yoga can raise your heart rate for a good 20 minutes.” And moves that focus on the core — such as plank, chaturanga, and boat pose — can help tone the abdominal muscles underneath.
A 2009 study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute found that people who practiced yoga regularly were likely to maintain or lose weight during the study period, while those who did no yoga were likely to pack on extra pounds. The researchers credit the yogis’ weight control to their mindful eating habits — they paid attention to what they ate and stopped when they felt full.
In addition, yoga has been shown to help improve sleep problems and symptoms of depression. And if you’re already trying to lose weight by dieting, research shows that not getting enough sleep can sabotage your body’s efforts to burn fat.
The first section focuses on a lot of standing poses and arm movements to get the heart rate up, and the second section is all about the midsection, But the last section is all restorative poses and breathing exercises, to help you wind down get a good night’s sleep.