Expanding waists and protruding bellies are commonplace these days. It used to be something that plagued middle-aged people, but these days it is common to see youngsters too with a more than ample girth. The first and main cause of obesity or protruding belly is consuming more food than we need or use in our daily activity. Added to this is a new era culture of fast food, processed foods, and foods high in fat and sugar. This causes fat to accumulate not just around the belly, but throughout the body system.
Fat tissue is deposited around organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys and muscles, causing a person to lose energy and vitality. The accumulated fat prevents insulin from converting the accumulated fat into energy, which makes the person prone to diabetes, heart and blood pressure, combined with the outward manifestation of an obese body which affects the well-being of the nobody.
Yoga is a holistic practice that impacts all vital organs, the heart, respiratory and endocrine systems of the body, all of which impact your mental and emotional states. Here I have detailed a simple and smooth way to get into a yoga regimen with a few asanas, which will get you physically, mentally and experience emotional balance. You can practice them with other asanas or expert regimens.
If you suddenly begin a vigorous and challenging practice, you may not sustain it or become discouraged by its demands. Therefore, start with the practice of limbering up the body. This will begin to activate your muscles, joints and impact blood circulation throughout the body. It just allows you to get into more vigorous asanas.
Here are some of the asanas, which will surely get you a shapely body and fight energy levels. These are practices that have a direct impact on the stomach muscles and help reduce and tighten them.
1. In chakrasana (rotation of the legs): Stand on your back. Relax the whole body. Internalize consciousness. Rotate your right leg in a full circle clockwise initially for 3 turns slowly, increasing to 5 and finally 10 turns. Repeat counter-clockwise. Do the same with the left leg. After a few days of practicing with one leg, rotate with both legs together. Make sure your knee is straight all over. The motion should be from the hip joint down, so the hips stay flat on the floor throughout. Don’t start with both legs together immediately. Practice with just one leg for a week or two, then slowly start doing the leg rotation with both legs together.
It is excellent for obesity, tightens stomach muscles and tones abdominal and spinal muscles.
Note of caution: People with LD, heart or any other stomach problem should seek expert advice. Leg rotation with both legs should be performed after gaining sufficient endurance with practice with one leg. Leg rotation with both legs is strenuous practice. Initially, you must rest between each round. And after 3 or 5 rounds, be sure to relax and regain normal breathing.
2. Padasanchalan (Cycling): Continue to lie on your back. Relax the body. Keep your palms close to the body, facing up. Relax your shoulders. Try not to use your shoulders and arms to support the movement of your legs.
As you exhale, bend your right knee and bring your thighs close to your chest. Then, as you inhale, in a continuous motion like riding a bicycle, straighten your leg at 90 degrees to the body. Then with the right knee. bring the leg closer to the ground. Then bring the thigh to the chest again and continue this cycling movement. Start with three rounds, then five and finally increase it to 10 rounds. Repeat with the left leg and finally with both legs together after enough practice.
Cautionary Advice: Patients with BP should be careful while doing this practice. The same goes for those with serious back problems. It’s an intense practice, especially when you do both legs together. Therefore, be sure to relax and regain normal breathing between each round. Slowly but surely you will gain the stamina to go around without stopping.
Blood pressure and heart, lower back problems should first be solved with the practice of asana and pranayama. It is a great practice for toning the stomach muscles, eliminating fat in the hips and belly.
3. Surya Namaskar: It is a holistic asana that tones the whole body. Just as the sun provides vital energy for life on earth, Surya Namaskar awakens and energizes the whole body, mental system. It helps break the vicious cycle of sluggishness that sets in with a gradual increase in weight gain. There are many videos showing the 12 asanas which include a half twist of Surya Namaskar.
Initially, one can start by doing just a few of the asanas, then as the body becomes freed and stronger, a person is easily able to do the full practice. It should be followed by a relaxation practice like Shavasana or Yog Nidra.
It is a safe solution to eliminate excess weight throughout the body. Yoga students report that this combination of Surya Namaskar followed by a relaxation practice allows them to go through the day with energy and balance, which is an unbeatable combination.
Precautionary advice: Those with BP, heart or back problems should seek expert advice and approach it slowly. Or better yet, one should practice the asanas and pranayama that help to correct these problems, and then begin the practice of Surya Namaskar without any fear. They are not prohibited from doing so. In fact, if learned in the right way, it will definitely help with BP, heart and back issues.
The sustained practice of yoga makes you aware of the healing abilities of your own body. It awakens a positive attitude and helps convert dietary indulgences into nourishment for health and fitness. A combination of yoga and a healthy diet will improve your physical condition and your health.
Kamini Bobde is a Kundalini practitioner who follows the Swami Satyananda Saraswati yoga tradition. She is the author of Kundalini Yoga for All: Unleash the Power of Your Body and Brain. Edited by Penguin
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