As we know, yoga isn't about losing weight. Yoga isn't the form of physical exercise you choose if your only goal is to shed a few pounds. That's because yoga is so much more and has so much more to give and teach. It values lessons, morals and a lifestyle that doesn’t care what the number on the scale tells you about yourself. The shedding of the weight is just a bonus – the STEM of the cherry on top of the huge banana split desert that is your practice. Though as a yogi, the health and care of our bodies in all ways is important. Thus, it is good to know some important poses to incorporate into your practice if you desire to be healthier – and therefore thinner – in certain areas. Here are 6 poses to help you:
This pose stretches the hips, groin, side of the body and the spine all while strengthening the thighs, knees, ankles and core. If held for 30 seconds to a minute while breathing deeply and evenly, extended side angle pose reduces fat around the waist and hips. In addition, the twisting and revolved more difficult version of this pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana) intensifies these effects and greatly aids in digestion and removing waste from the body.
Cautions : knee issues, shoulder issues, pregnancy
This pose increases stamina while strengthening the shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles and calves. As you receive the stretch in the groin, belly, chest and shoulders, you also relieve stiffness in the shoulders, back and neck. If held for 20-30 seconds with normal breathing, warrior 1 helps to reduce fat around the hips.
Cautions : knee issues, lower-back issues, shoulder issues
Gate pose stretches out the abdominal region which helps to keep the muscles and organs in this region tight and in good condition. When held for 30 seconds to a minute while breathing normally, this pose helps a person to relieve their stiff back and prevents the skin around the belly from sagging.
Cautions : knee issues
Though this pose can seem intimidating, the leg is not meant to achieve a 180 degree angle – and the same benefits are achieved no matter the height of the leg. Also, while stretching the thighs, groin and hamstrings - the thighs, calves, ankles and knees are strengthened. Standing split pose is great for improving balance and when held for at least 20 seconds with even breathing it reduces fat around the hips.
Cautions : ankles issues, knee issues, lower-back issues
This pose is an incredible builder of core strength and stability. It also decreases the bloating sensation while improving digestion and strengthening the stomach, back and hip flexors. When held for 30 seconds to a minute with normal breathing, full boat pose reduces fat around the waistline. Creating variations with the different heights of the legs and abdominals can also increase the effects.
Cautions : pregnancy
This mobile pose stretches the spine while reducing excess fat all over – especially in the abdominal region. It also eradicates the sluggishness of the liver, spleen and pancreas while strengthening the intestines and therefore aiding in digestion. Though many variations of this pose exist including the height, direction and shape of the legs (such as raised stretched-out foot pose, or urdhva prasarita padasana, when the legs go up and down instead of side to side) - revolved abdomen pose, and it's like poses, should be held for 30 seconds to a minute with normal breathing.
Cautions : lower-back issues
As with all poses, the length of time holding the pose and the way we breathe – always through the nose – makes all of the difference. If you are experiencing any of the cautions please research different variations of the poses so that they can accommodate to your body and it's needs so that it can still benefit you without hurting you. Lastly, don't forget to indulge yourself with the yummy gift of corpse pose (savasana) after practicing any or all of these – you deserve it!