Yoga is an ancient traditional low intensity sequence of movements performed in slow motion and engages every muscle of the body; Yoga is known for its toning and detoxifying properties, however, it is also considered useful in losing some sheds. The practice is not as effective as aerobics and other forms of high intensity workouts in case of weight loss but it is quite an efficient way of shaping your body.
Yoga practice is not known for bringing significant weight loss but it is well known to enhance your body’s shape with stretches. Talking of the yoga stretches, it is, however, noteworthy that though yoga is not enough for weight lose but it definitely aids it by increasing your flexibility and endurance. Try the following moves and see results in a couple of weeks.
The 10 Best Yoga Poses for Healthy Mind and Body.
1. Sun Salutation
Sun Salutation is the most famous and deemed effective pose of yoga. It is a combination of several poses, which increases its efficiency and ability to provide a complete workout to your body. Sun Salutation unites mountain pose, forward bend, tabletop pose, downward facing dog, upward facing dog and reversal of the entire series. Ideally, and traditionally, an individual must repeat the complete series for about fifty to sixty times, gradually increasing the number. The pose is the initial pose and is practiced before each sequence, the beginner, intermediate and advanced level. Sun Salutation is recommended to perform in early morning to yield maximum benefits.
2. Mountain Pose Yoga
As the name suggests, Mountain Pose is believed and found to be effective in increasing confidence; Mountain Pose is the very first pose in the Sun Salutation series and aids the other poses too. Stand with your hands at your side, raise your hands slowly reaching the ceiling, now slightly bend backward while keeping the posture, lower your arms to the sides and repeat for five to six times in smooth fluid motion. Mountain Pose initiates blood circulation in the body and prepares it for more complex moves and bends. Moreover, it is helpful in toning lower abdomen, which is one of the chief problems for both men and women, as the little ‘pooch’ seems to take forever to disappear.
3. Downward Facing Dog
Ever seen a dog leaning its body back? The pose is derived from the very action. Downward Facing Dog is also a part of Sun Salutation and yields some serious benefits to your whole body. The pose comes after forward bend in respective series, after forward bend reach down and place your palms on floor, move your feet back in plank position. After plank, raise your hips to the roof bringing your arms down and stretching your back down. The pose will work your arms, legs, back and abdomen as it stretches them all. Hold the pose for five breaths and increase the breaths with regular practice. If you are doing the pose all by itself, without Sun Salutation series, you can do it after getting in plank pose. The pose is good for agility and lean look everyone craves.
4. Upward Facing Dog
The pose is in alliance with the previous pose. After doing full Downward Facing Dog, return to plank position, now stretch your hips and thighs forward to the ground while holding your weight on your arms. Your arms will be stretched, as a starter, you can bend your elbows slightly to support your weight, make sure that your knees and legs do not touch the ground, you should be ‘hovering’ while keeping your weight on your palms and toes. The pose is an excellent for arms, shoulders, back, legs and thighs.
5. Cat and Cow Pose
Cat and Cow Pose is one of the warm up poses like Mountain Pose, it warms your body and starts blood circulation, which is important to prevent injuries. Get on your knees and palms, back straight without any bend or arc, slowly arc your back down while moving shoulders and hips in upward motion and keep the toes on floor. After the low arc, move your back and arc it deep in inward motion in a way that your back is now pointing to the ceiling, keep the top of your feet to the ground. The pose sustains the flexibility of your backbone that lessens due to osteoporosis and causes a bend.
6. Warrior Pose
Warrior Poses contains two poses, Warrior Pose I and II, and are performed in set or individually. Warrior poses work the thighs, love handles, and shoulders and increase endurance in legs muscles. Stand with legs shoulder length apart, move your right leg to right side and lunge on it while turning your left leg slightly, straighten your arms at shoulder length parallel to the ground. Hold the move for five breaths this is Warrior I pose. For Warrior II, hold the same position, after five breaths place the lower arm of right arm on right leg, and extend your left arm overhead. Hold for five breaths and repeat on other side.
7. Cobra Pose
Cobra Pose is known for the overall stretch it gives to your body; it works the arms, shoulders, back, abdomen, hips and legs. Lie on your stomach on carpeted floor or yoga mat, your hands align with shoulders they way you put for a push up. Lift your upper half off the floor slowly while keeping your legs firmly fixed on the floor, bend from your abdomen backwards as much as you can comfortably. Do not stress your back as this will only harm it rather than depositing any benefit, the move is extremely beneficial for the firming of belly especially the lower abdomen, which is quite difficult to flatten.
8. Bow Pose
Bow Pose is slightly complicated than the before mentioned poses, it needs regular practice and flexibility to perfect the pose and hence it is advised that it should not be attempted during first couple of weeks. Lie on your stomach, lift your arms and legs, stretch the arms backwards and hold your ankles. Wait a few seconds and maintain the position, lift the body off the floor while holding your ankles, Bow Pose is one of the most effective yoga poses and works your whole body.
9. Tree Pose
Tree pose is an excellent pose for the beginners who are working on their foot balance. The pose works your core and strengthens the mescles in your abdomen and legs. To begin, stand on the mat with feet shoulders width apart. Lift your left foot and place it on the inner thigh of your right leg. Hold the position for some time and repeat on the other side. Keep the position for at least 8 to 10 breathes before switiching to the other side. Learn more about how to tree pose?
10. Seated Forward Bend
This pose targets the hamstrings of your legs and make them elastic and flexible. The pose is especially useful for the people with stiff hamstrings as it helps them relax. To perform the pose, sit on the floor with your legs spread forward befor you. Lift your arms and bend forward, reaching towards the toes of your feet. Kep your abdomen tight and your core engaged. Hold the pose for some breaths. Learn more on how to do Seated Forward Bend in Yoga (verywellfit.com).
Yoga is an excellent exercise to train your body, lose weight and add elasticity to your form. What other yoga poses did you find useful? Share with us in the comments below.