Daily Practice for Weight Loss: Yoga


Introduction:

The program is designed to help you lose about 5 pounds a month.  Each day do the following till you feel you have achieved your weight loss goals…

Section 1: Breathing Exercises Section (Pranayama):  Total time 2-10 Minutes

Bhastrika Yoga Breathing Exercise to Burn Fat for Natural Weight Loss & More: Start with Bhastrika Yoga Pranayama, doing it at a capacity which suits you for 1-5 minutes.

Kapalbhati Yoga Breathing Exercise for Optimum Health & Healing: Next do Kapalbhati Yoga Pranayama, doing it at a capacity which suits you for 1-5 minutes.  Then move onto the Weight Loss Yoga Section below.

Section 2: Weight Loss Yoga Section:  Total time 5-30 minutes

Online Yoga Exercises for Health Weight Loss:  Start practicing this set as described in the article.  You will be starting with just 2 exercises initially and slowly building up your capacity week by week.  If you are more fit you can start with more exercises.  As I mentioned earlier, this program is designed to help even those who are very overweight or out of shape, therefore it is scalable by design.

 

Section 2: Best Yoga Set for Weight Loss: Total time 5-30 minutes

 

  • Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #1: Yoga Single Leg Rotations:

The first exercise is from the popular video Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set and are the Single Leg Rotations.  The video is below for you as well, but I have also given you exercise details below that.  The first place to start a fitness routine is by strengthening the abdominal muscles and building your core strength.  This workout for the first week or two will prepare your body nicely for the rest of the weight loss exercises to come.

Core Abdominal Power Yoga Set

Demonstration of the Single Leg Rotations


1. Single Leg Rotations Kundalini Yoga Exercise:  (Chakra Padasana)

a. Guided Instructions for Single Leg Rotations:

  • Lie flat on your back.
  • Raise your right leg up to about 45 degrees.
  • Point your feet and toes away from you.
  • Do 2-10 rotations in 1 direction and then without resting rotate the same leg in the other direction (counter-clockwise).
  • Repeat with the left leg.

b. Duration: You can build up to 1 minute / leg.  You can start with 2-4 rotations per leg, per direction and build up from there.

c. Benefits:

  • Builds your Navel Center and strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.
  • Builds willpower and strength of character.
  • Loosens and opens up the hips. 

d. Practice Tips: 

  • To modify the exercise bend you knees or do fewer rotations at a stretch. 
  • Start with just normal breathing and only incorporate Breath of Fire once you feel ready. 
  • You can also take rest as needed.
  • Yoga Exercise #2 – Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose:


  • Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place your hands under your buttocks palms facing down (to support your lower back).
  • Raise your heels 6 inches, point your feet and toes away from you, raise your head slightly and stare at your toes.  You will feel the abdominal muscles go to work immediately.
  • Begin Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose: Try to complete 1 minute, by taking as many as 4-8 breaks in between as necessary.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose:

  • Builds abdominal strength.
  • Increases core energy and power.
  • Helps develop the much coveted 6 pack abs.
  • Opens, heals and balances the Manipura Chakra (aka. Nabhi Chakra, Navel Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra) which is the seat of willpower.  It is recommended to build this center early in your Yoga practice as it will give you the strength and character to see things through.
  • Improves your digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Stretch Pose:

  • To modify this pose you can do this posture with your legs bent at the knees, or do one leg at a time.  Either way you will reduce the pressure on the abdominal muscles.
  • Be careful with your lower back when practicing this pose, roll more of your arms underneath you to help give it more support.
  • Weight Loss Yoga Pose #3 – Bhujanga Asana:

 


a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Lie flat on the floor, stomach down and feet extended.
  • Place your hands near your shoulders and then raise your upper body and torso up off the ground.  The upper thighs should remain on the floor.  You back should arch up.
  • Turn your head up and look upwards as well.  Stretching your neck.
  • You can either do Long Deep Breathing or do the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.
  • As a variation, you can go up and down in cobra pose.  Coming up and breathing in, holding the position for a few seconds and then coming back down and exhaling.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Start with 4 rounds of 10-15 seconds each, and build up from there.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Very good for improving the health of the back and spine.  Good for toning all the back muscles and tissue related to the vertebrae.
  • Massages all the digestive organs improving both digestion and elimination.  Works on balancing both the manipura (navel) chakra and the swadhisthan (sex) chakra.
  • Works on all the nerve junctions that lie along the spine, as well as the important psychic channels that run through the spinal cord.
  • Works on improving functions of the ovaries and reproductive glands.
  • Works on the thyroid and para thyroid glands and the vishuddhi (throat) chakra.
  • Opens up the heart chakra (anahata) promoting softness of character.
  • Good for improving vision and toning the optical nerve.
  • Builds upper body strength.  Specially the shoulders (deltoids), triceps and chest (pectoral) muscles.  This is more true if you use the modified version of cobra pose where you go up and down.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Cobra Pose:

  • Careful with your lower back!  Do not over strain.
  • Also, careful with the elbows if you are using the bent arm version.
  • Going up and down in cobra pose is excellent for building strong arms, shoulders and chest muscles without risking injury.

 

  • Weight Loss Yoga Pose #4 – Locust Pose

4 rounds, holding each round for 10-15 seconds each

 


a. Basic Instructions for Hatha Yoga Locust Pose: 

  • Start by lying flat on your stomach, with your chin on the floor. 
  • Have your hands in fists and place them underneath your body at the point where your hips and torso meet.  As a variation to this hand position, you can also have you hands along your body, with your palms facing down, instead of tucked underneath in a fist.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Now push down with your hands against the floor and at the same time raise both your legs up as shown in the illustration above.  Only raise your legs as far up as comfortable.
  • Hold this position, which breathing deeply through the nose.
  • Lower your legs and release your arms once you are done with the pose and rest on your right cheek.
  • Variation for Beginners:
  • If you are just starting yoga or starting to practice this pose for the first time, start with lifting just one leg at a time, instead of both.  As you get stronger and more fit you can move to the classical locust pose as I described above.
  • Dynamic Locust Pose:
  • Once you can do the classical version described above, you can try the dynamic version of this posture as well.  In this variation, lift your legs up as you inhale and then lower them as you exhale.  Continue this dynamic motion for the duration of the exercise.
  • Locust Pose with Dynamic Breathing:
  • Another variation is to hold the classical pose illustrated above, and then do Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise with holding this posture.  This too is a very good variation to this pose. 
  • Finally, you can also do the dynamic movement of the legs going up and down, which doing breath of fire at the same time.  Now you are practicing some serious Kundalini Yoga .

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Locust Pose:
4 rounds, holding each round for 10-15 seconds each

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Locust Pose:  

  • Excellent for strengthening your lower back muscles.
  • Tones all the digestive organs and excellent for the digestive system.
  • Promotes stress relief and deep relaxation.
  • Strengthens and firms the hamstrings and buttocks.
  • Increases flexibility in the lower body.

d. Practice Tips and Cautions for Classical Hatha Yoga Locust Pose:

  • Although this exercise is great for you back, if you have major back issues you should proceed with caution.  For minor back issues, this exercise can be used as an effective treatment.
  • As this pose increases blood flow and puts pressure on the heart, you should be cautious if you have high blood pressure or major cardiovascular issues.
  • Feel free to take breaks in between the leg raises to allow your muscles to recover while you develop your strength and stamina.
  • Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #5 –  Tree Pose

You can do up to 1 minute per side, taking breaks in between as required.


A. How to Do Palm Tree Pose: 

  • Stand straight up with feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your eyes open and focus on a point in front of you to help you keep your balance.  Advanced practitioners can also look upwards.
     
  • Interlace your finger, stretch your arms up and have your palms facing UP.
  • Now slowly slowly rise up onto your toes and STRETCH UPWARDS.
  • Breathe normally and hold this pose for the duration of the exercise.  Keep STRETCHING.  The key to getting the most out of this pose, is to keep stretching upwards.  This aspect makes the pose very effective.
  • This pose has a few variations to this exercise and below I give 2 good ones.
  • Variation 1:  After you reach up, bend to the left and hold, then come back to center.  Then bend to the right and hold.  Repeat stretching gently from side to side for the remainder of the exercise. This is called Swaying Palm Tree, and is also a nice easy way to stretch and warm-up.
  • Variation 2:  In the version I referred to above, called Mountain Pose, you don’t interlace your fingers.  Instead keep the palm wide open, facing forward with the fingers all stretched and pointing upwards.  Then STRETCH upwards, consciously stretching every joint and reaching towards the sky.  In this pose, you can also stretch left and right if you like.

B. Duration for Palm Tree Pose:
15 seconds – 3 minutes.

C. Benefits of Palm Tree Pose:
 

  • Great easy stretch for the entire body.
  • Helps stretch and strengthen up the joints.
  • Helps stretch the ligaments as well.
  • Stretches the side abdominal muscles and back as well.
  • Good for your back and spine.
  • Good way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • Helps build balance and mental focus.

D. Practice Tips and Cautions for Palm Tree Pose:

  • This is a nice easy pose which almost everyone can practice without any problems.
  • If you really stretch well, you will be able to break a sweat even while doing such a simple pose.

Here are some more simple and easy yoga poses to help you develop your practice.

  • Weight Loss Yoga Pose #6 – Forward Bend – Paschimothan Asana

You can do 2-4 rounds of this pose, holding each time for about 1 minute.


a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • Sit with both legs extended straight in front of you.
  • Make sure the legs are parallel and feet pointing straight up.
  • Reach forward with your hands and hold onto your legs as low as possible without bending the knees.
  • If you can hold your toes that’s great, if not, arch them back towards you while holding your shins, knees or thighs.  This will ensure you are stretching the calves and nerves.
  • As you reach towards your feet, ensure you are bending from the waist and try to keep the back as straight as possible.  Try to bring the forehead to the knees if possible. 

b. Duration for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • 1 minute – 5 minutes.

c. Benefits of Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • Excellent yoga pose to promote natural and spontaneous healing.
  • Bestows health and longevity.
  • Expands your entire nervous system, especially stretching the sciatic nerve, whose length, according to kundalini yoga, is directly related to the length of your life.
  • The asana also promotes flexibility and strength in the hamstrings and calves.
  • The pose stretches the entire back, with emphasis on the lumbar spine.
  • Excellent posture to tone and rejuvenate the entire digestive system and all the important digestive organs.  The liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, stomach all benefit from this pose.
  • Helps fight obesity.
  • Helps dissolve blockages that run along the shushumna (primary psychic channel for the flow of prana and kundalini.  For more on this topic, see Kundalini Seven Chakra System Overview).

d. Practice Tips for Hatha Yoga Back Stretching Pose:

  • Do not strain excessively when doing this stretch.  When doing the pose, start off stretching gently and as your body gets warmed up, extend the stretch further.
  • Try not to hunch over as much, instead try to concentrate of bending forward from the hips.
  • As a variation to holding your toes, you can instead hold your big toes only and pull back on them.
  • It is MUCH more important to keep your legs straight, than it is to reach your toes.
  • Try to keep the back as straight as possible.
  • As an additional chakra breathing meditation for this pose, as you inhale feel or visualize energy being drawn in from the soles of your feet, up along the back of your legs to the base of your spine, and then as your exhale, visualize the energy passing up the center of the spine and then out through the crown of your head.  Continue to do long deep breathing is this manner as you hold the pose.
  • Weight Loss Yoga Exercise #7 – Bow Pose

You can do 1-2 minutes, taking breaks as required.

 


a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose:

  • Start by lying on your stomach with your chin on the floor.
  • Next, bend your knees and bring your heels towards your buttocks.
  • Beginner Yogis:  Reach back and grasp your ankles, keeping the rest of your body on the floor.  Pull your heels into your buttocks.
  • Intermediate Yogis: Raise yourself up off the floor as shown in the illustration above, by pressing your ankles away from you.  Your chest and thighs should be raised off the floor.
  • Advanced Yogis: Rock back and forth in bow pose, inhaling as you come forward, exhaling on the way back.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose:

  • You can do 1-2 minutes, taking breaks as required.

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose:

  • The ultimate yoga pose to improve and perfect your digestive system.
  • Excellent for your respiratory system, to relieve breathing problems and ailments such as asthma, etc.
  • Good for the entire spine and back.
  • Great pose for improving the overall flexibility of the entire body.
  • Helps improve overall health and wellbeing.
  • Good for weight loss.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Bow Pose:

  • Progress gently towards the advanced version.  For some, even the beginner version is difficult to get into, in which case just bring your heels as close to your buttocks as you can, and reach as far back with your arms as possible.
  • Do not eat for at least 2-3 hours before practicing this posture, or you will be quite uncomfortable.
  • Careful of your knees and back when doing this pose.
  • Weight Loss Yoga Posture #8 – Camel Pose

Try to do 1-2 minutes with breaks in between.

        

Picture of Yoga Camel Pose (Beginner’s Version)    Picture of Yoga Camel Pose (Full Version)

a. Step-by-Step Instructions for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose:

  • To start this yoga pose, come up onto your knees and have your feet hip distance apart, with toes extended.
  • For modified Camel pose have your hands, fingers pointing downward supporting your lower back and arch back as far as comfortable (Illustration #1 above)
  • Now tilt your head back and such that you are facing the ceiling.
  • You should be pressing forward with your hips and also expanding your chest region, by pressing your elbows back.
  • In the full version of Camel Pose, drop your hands back and hold on to your heels.  Again you should arch your back, press your hips out and expand your chest.
  • Begin Breath of Fire Yoga Pranayama, in either pose.

b. Duration for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose:

  • 30 seconds – 7 minutes

c. Benefits of Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose:

  • Excellent yoga posture for overall health and wellbeing.
  • The pose expands the abdominal region, helping digestion and elimination.  It helps to heal and balances the Navel Chakra.
  • Opens and heals the Heart Chakra by expanding and stretching the chest region.  Excellent for the respiratory and circulatory systems.  Bestows softness of character.
  • Releases tension in the ovaries and helps the immune system by working on the lymphatic system.
  • The posture, activates and balances the Throat Chakra, and works to heal and rejuvenate the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
  • The exercise opens up the hips and builds strength in the thighs and arms.
  • Stretches and strengthens the shoulders.

d. Practice Tips for Kundalini Yoga Camel Pose:

  • Start with the modified version of Camel Pose and work your way to doing the full version over time.
  • If the Breath of Fire makes you dizzy or uncomfortable, just switch to normal breathing instead.

 

  • Weight Loss Kundalini Yoga Pose #9 – Yoga Spinal Twists

1-3 minutes of this exercise with breaks as required will do you wonders.


 

Yoga Spinal Twists for Stretching Lower Back:

a. Instructions for Yoga Spinal Twists: 

  • Sit in easy pose (legs crossed).  You can see I am using a cushion in the illustrations above and sitting in Burmese Style (one leg in front of the other).
  • Extend both arms behind you, interlace your fingers and pull your hands away from your lower back, as I have demonstrated in illustration #1.
  • Close you eyes and concentrate on the base of your spine.
  • Inhale through the nose as you twist to the left.  Then exhale through the nose as you twist right.
  • Start slowly and allow the back muscles to get limber and warmed up before picking up your pace.
  • Continue at a smooth, steady pace for the duration of the exercise.

b. Duration for Yoga Spinal Twists: 1-3 minutes of this exercise with breaks as required will do you wonders.

c. Benefits of Yoga Spinal Twists:  

  • Excellent for stretching your lumbar spine and lower back region.
  • Strengthens your lower back muscles.
  • Stimulates Kundalini Shakti (Energy) at the base of the spine.
  • Stretches your shoulder and arms.
  • Improves your respiratory system.
  • Helps balance your energies and creates internal harmony.
  • Good for your digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Spinal Twists:

  • Take a break in between in you start to feel dizzy or tired, then start again once ready.
  • Great exercise to use in the beginning of any set to stretch and warm-up the lower back and spine.
  • If you have back problems, twist slowly and don’t over strain.  As your back heals you can pick up the intensity.
  • Weight Loss Yoga Pose #10 – Yoga Bridge Pose

You can build up to 1-3 minutes

a. Instructions for Yoga Bridge Pose:

  • Raise yourself on your palms and feet keeping your torso parallel to the ground. You should be facing the sky. The feet are hip distance apart while the hands are shoulder width apart.  Your fingers point away from you.
  • Begin the Breath of Fire Breathing Exercise.

b. Duration for Yoga Bridge Pose: 1-3 minutes.

c. Benefits of Yoga Bridge Pose:

  • Helps the immune system.
  • Strengthens the arms and back.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Bridge Pose: Press your hips upwards towards the sky and try to keep your back straight. Rest your head on your collar muscles.  For starters, take frequent breaks if the arms get tiered and then restart the pose again when ready.

  • Weight Loss Ending Yoga Pose #11 – Shav Asana – Corpse Pose

LI have been stressing the importance of this pose for quite some time and it is simply doing corpse pose at the end of your yoga set.  So, no matter how many of the above exercises you are doing, you should do Corpse Pose afterwords.  The more exercises you do, the more time you need to spend in this pose, allowing the body to assimilate the benefits of the exercises.  So if you do the entire set, you should do corpse pose for almost 10 minutes.  During this time, relax completely and let the body heal, evolve and reshape itself according to your desires.

2 thoughts on “Daily Practice for Weight Loss: Yoga

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