“Sukham, Stiram, Asanam”, is just one of the 196 sutras that Maharishi Patanjali compiled in his works on Rāja Yoga. This particular sutra in its multiplicity has now become the most commonly known yoga practice worldwide. The entire discipline of Rāja Yoga has many dimensions to it out of which asanas are only a minuscule but extremely important section within Patanjali’s Sutras. This sutra encapsulates the entire exercise regiment within the yogic discipline that promotes health and wellbeing by increasing body flexibility and endurance through the practice of these asanas.
Yoga has become one of the most pragmatic approaches to weight loss over the past few decades. With its growing popularity within the west, yoga has now managed to create a stronghold in the organic wellness approaches to better the lifestyle of the common populous. Yoga institutions and studios have become a common occurrence in recent times where yogic philosophies and practices are being taught. The institutions not only teach students but also carry out training courses for teachers.
Mansi Gulati Yoga for Weight Loss
Manasvaniyoga organization, founded by Mansi Gulati, is one of India’s well renowned NGOs that operate for the cause of spreading knowledge on the subject of Yoga. Their courses apply to students and teachers as well as provide a wide array of applications. These courses target aspects such as mental health, weight loss, and general wellness and fitness.
This article will specifically focus on the weight loss aspect of the subject. The most commonly practised sutra within the Rāja Yoga philosophy is “Sukham, Stiram, Asanam”, which encapsulates a majority of what the majority represent as yoga. Along with the practice of asanas, there are other aspects of the philosophy that meander in and out of said sutra.
One such example is the combination of asanas along with the ashtanga yoga philosophy. To clearly state the objective, the philosophy sheds light on a lifestyle that transcends into nirvana or self-actualization. The union of the consciousness and the entire universe, which lies beyond the mind and the body.
Yoga for Weight Loss at Home by Mansi Gulati
Yoga is an extremely pragmatic approach to fitness, weight loss, and general wellbeing. Over the years its presence around the globe has been rapidly increasing. Much like calisthenics, yoga works on building body strength and endurance through the use of one’s body weight. Along with these asanas is a combined understanding and practice of various breathing exercises and meditation. The entire process has a more wholesome impact which induces relaxation in both the body and the mind.
Mentioned below are 5 asanas that are most effective in inducing weight loss:
1. Surya Namaskar
Surya Namaskar is a 12-asana sequence that serves as the foundation for yoga initiation. The 12 Asanas are skillfully choreographed to take into account the practitioner’s flexibility and bodyweight. Through the perception of one’s own body weight, the Asanas encourage a great grasp of physical endurance, flexibility, and agility, making it comfortable to practise.
Surya Namaskar Instructions
- Place your feet close together on your mat. Inhale, expand your chest, and raise your arms sideways. As you exhale, join your palms together (over your head) as if praying.
- Inhale, raise your arms, and arch your back. Your shoulders must be in close proximity to your ears.
- Exhale and bend forward from your torso, attempting to touch your hands to the floor.
- Exhale and step backward with your left leg, lunging down to bring your right knees near to your chest. Backward stretch your left leg. Raise your head and take a step forward.
- Exhale and bring your right leg back to the plank position. Both hands should be under your shoulders, and you should be in a straight line from head to toe.
- Exhale and carefully lower your knees to the floor. Your chin should be on the floor, but your hips should be in the air. Your hands, knees, chin, and chest should be the only things touching the ground.
- Place your palms beside your chest and rest your body on the ground. Inhale and press your upper body on the ground to elevate your upper body off the ground.
- Exhale and gently elevate your hips to form an inverted ‘V.’ Straighten your elbows and knees and look toward your navel for this.
- Step forward with your left foot while keeping your right leg stretched behind you.
- Exhale and step forward with your left foot as well. Exhale and bend your torso to come to Hasta Padasana pose while keeping your hands in place.
- Take a deep breath and slowly rise up. Raise your arms above your head and bring your palms together. Arch your back a little.
- Exhale and stand up straight and comfortable. Lower your arms and place your palms in front of your chest.
Benefits of Surya Namaskar
The 12-asana practice stretches the entire body, releasing muscle tension and stiffness. It promotes appropriate oxygenation of the body and provides significant amounts of energy. This asana is a full exercise routine in itself as it burns a lot of fat in the process thus inducing weight loss.
Dhanurasana is named for the shape the body assumes while completing it — a bow. Dhanu refers to a bow, while asana refers to a posture or position. A well-strung bow is a benefit to a fighter, much as a well-stretched body keeps you flexible with good posture.
- Lie on your stomach, feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides.
- Raise your knees and bring your heel up to your buttocks.
- Using your hands, grasp the ankles of both legs.
- Take a deep breath and lift your chest and legs off the ground.
- Maintain a straight face and pull your legs as far as you can. Your body should be as taut as a bow.
- Take 4-5 deep breaths before returning to the beginning posture.
- It works to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles.
- It stretches the chest, neck, and shoulders.
- Muscles in the legs and arms are toned.
- Increases the back’s flexibility.
- Reduces stress and fatigue
Plank exercises are commonly used as a beginner’s yoga stance and offer numerous benefits. The yoga plank stance and its modifications are highly advised for beginners to assist improve stamina and core body strength before moving on to more difficult yoga poses. Plank stance is also an important aspect of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations).
- Inhale and slowly lift your body from the mat by straightening your hands and tucking your toes under while you lie flat on your stomach. Your arms should be parallel to the floor, and your shoulders should be squarely over your wrists.
- Form a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Take a few deep breaths and pause for a few seconds in this position. Return to your natural position gradually.
- Stimulates core muscles
- Burns fat quickly
- Strengthens bones
- Oxygenates the body
4. Chaturanga Dandasana
Also known as the Four-Limbed Staff Pose, this asana is intense and has many benefits.
Chaturanga Dandasana Instructions:
- Shift your body weight from the plank posture to the push-up position.
- Lower your chest toward the floor by bending your elbows back.
- Lower your body until your shoulders are parallel to or above your elbows.
- Do not allow your shoulders to sink toward the floor or come close to touching the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Chaturanga Dandasana Benefits:
- Strengthens core muscles
- Effective fat burning
- Improves respiration
This asana is most popularly known as the Cobra pose. This position focuses on strengthening your abdominal muscles while also relaxing your lower back.
- Lie face down on the floor.
- Spread your hands next to your shoulders on the floor.
- Stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet on the floor, then slowly inhale and elevate your upper body.
- Check that your pubis and toes are in a straight line and touching the floor.
- Maintain this posture for 25-30 seconds.
- On exhalation, release and return to the lying-down position.
- Strengthens the spine.
- Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen.
- Tones the buttocks.
- Soothes sciatica.
Over the years the lifestyle of people has been changing continuously. The current urban lifestyle is slowly moving towards a more health-conscious and fitter module of life with the growing fitness industry. Yoga studios and teachers have significantly increased and the need for a healthy lifestyle is right now peaking throughout the world. Yoga is an organic approach to fitness and well-being that impacts the body and mind in a holistic fashion.
Yoga Teacher Training Course by Mansi Gulati
Manasvaniyoga is a non-governmental organization that campaigns for the rights to health care. Their approach manifests opportunities for students and teachers. They provide courses on various forms of yoga, like face yoga, hatha yoga, and ashtanga yoga which have the capacity to induce a myriad of benefits. For more information, you can fill out the enquiry form here.
Mansi Gulati, AN INTERNATIONAL Yogi , Author, and a thought leader. She devoted her efforts to learn everything possible about yoga practices and philosophy from as many learning sources she could find. She has over 25 years of experience in yoga. She has many international and national certifications to her credit. She has written several articles and books, which are based upon the premise and philosophy that yoga can benefit all body types through a series of Asanas.