Yoga is popular as a relaxed activity that helps ease the mind. Thinking of it as a weight loss regimen might be a far-fetched idea, but one begs to divert off this stereotype. Ashtanga Yoga for weight loss is highly known for its physically challenging asanas and, guess what, it effectively burns excess fats in the body.
If you’re still wondering how it works, here are some quick notes you have to know.
HOW DOES IT BURN YOUR FATS?
Ashtanga’s asana sequences are meant to increase body heat for you to sweat more. Paired with physically challenging movements, it will surely burn a pound or two.
However, it’s not only the breathing or Ujjayi and movements that help you lose weight. When you do Ashtanga and make the most out of the Savasana, you get to reduce stress and mental clutter. These are important to focus on during a diet plan and to keep yourself dedicated to the practice. That’s if Ashtanga won’t be the source of your distraction.
Stress can cause the brain to reduce hormonal reactions. This can only be pacified through comfort eating or other practices that will result in piling up of extra pounds.
So how much fat can it burn? The answer to this depends on your weight and intensity of yoga practice. If you add a strenuous Ashtanga Yoga for weight loss routine at least three times a week, you’re bound to lose half a pound in seven days. But it can be increased drastically once you change your calorie intake.
Just to paint a picture, a 150-pound person who does Power Yoga-somewhat close to Ashtanga-would burn 350 calories per hour of vigorous asanas. If you’re planning to drop one pound per week, you need to reduce at least 500 calories from your diet.
WHAT POSES CAN YOU USE TO LOSE WEIGHT?
There are many Ashtanga postures, but knowing which one burns the fats can be tricky. Knowing your target part of the body-say that bulge on your tummy-can help you choose the asanas. As a quick reference for your yoga weight loss regimen, here are some poses you should try.
1. FROG POSE (BHEKASANA)
You should lie down on your chest and try reaching your feet or knee. Take a deep breath first then squeeze your shoulder blades from the back while you extend your arms backward. After that, fold your feet to your buttocks and grab it with your hands for five deep breaths.
2. MILL CHURNING POSE (CHAKKI CHALAN)
For this Ashtanga Yoga for weight loss pose, you should sit comfortably with legs resting straight in front. Keep your legs together as support as you lean slightly towards the back with a straight spine. Clasp your palms together and do a wide circling motion on top of your legs like a mill mechanism. Do this ten times then reverse the direction.
3. BRIDGE POSE (SETU BANDHA)
Lie on your back then plant your feet on the floor with knees pointing to the ceiling. Afterward, place your arms on your side flatly and palms facing the ceiling as well. Try raising your pelvis up to knee level then slowly lay your body on the ground. Do this up to 10 times, and I suggest, with a teacher.
4. LOCUST POSE (SHALABHASANA)
Perform a planking pose and put both your arms on your side with palms facing the ceiling. Rest your forehead and chin on the ground then raise your right foot 10 inches off the floor. After a few minutes, switch to another leg but make sure that the resting leg is always straight. Once you achieve this on both legs, try lifting your head and feet at the same for five breaths.
5. DOWNWARD FACING DOG (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)
This Ashtanga Yoga for weight loss asana will need you to make a triangular pose on your body. You should have both your hands and feet planted on the floor while making a slope-like structure on your back and legs. Your buttocks should be pointing at the ceiling and your shoulders and neck are relaxed and released. If you feel like your hamstrings are tight for the position, bend your knees a bit. Do this in five breaths.
DOES IT WORK FOR EVERYONE?
Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous workout that needs a high level of endurance, strength, and fitness. If you’re used to a lot of sweating and you don’t have medical issues, you can proceed with this routine. However, I advise that you ask a yoga teacher to guide you through the asanas.
Also, yoga isn’t a magic pill to weight loss. Cutting your calorie intake is also a key player in shedding extra pounds. Aside from that, you should also seek to reduce stress and promote mindfulness. If you’re considering trying Ashtanga Yoga for the sake of its physical challenge, you should also think about adding meditation on it. Besides, yoga is also about self-realization and reflection.
With that, I can say that Ashtanga isn’t for everyone. But you can always look for a trial membership in an Ashtanga class to check if it will click for you. Nevertheless, it might be encouraging to know that even a single Ashtanga class a week can already put a dent on your bulge.
Practicing Ashtanga Yoga for weight loss isn’t a new thing these days. This yoga promotes a healthier way of life through its discipline, and I guess that’s what lures many people to switch on this active meditation. If you’re planning to incorporate this into your weight loss plan, you should be ready to flex those muscles a lot and sweat all the toxins away. Does Ashtanga sound good for a workout? Share your thoughts with us!