We’re pretty sure you’ve come across the phrase ‘yoga se hoga’ and there’s a good reason behind it. You see, no matter what your goals are for your physical health, yoga can help you achieve them with regular practice.
From strength building and enhancing flexibility to losing weight and toning the body, yoga is the powerful tool you need to transform your body. And it doesn’t matter what size or weight you are, there is no time like the present to start your yoga journey.
But if you’re overweight and are wondering just how your body will respond to yoga, then know this: it is okay to feel overwhelmed when you’re starting out.
And to nudge you along your journey, we spoke to Mumbai-based fitness influencer and acro-yogi, Subhadeep Ray Choudhury to know which are the most effective asanas to start out with when you’re overweight:
1. Cat-cow pose
Cat-Cow is a transition between two poses. The set provides your spine with a great stretch and strengthens your abdominal muscles. It is a great asana to start with to lose your belly fat.
Get on all fours, making sure that your wrists are parallel to your shoulders and your knees are parallel to your hips. Your shins and knees should be hip-width apart. Once you have acquired the position, get into cow pose. Drop your belly towards the ground as you take a deep breath. Ensure that your chin and chest are up while you look towards the ceiling. Remember to keep your shoulder blades broad and away from your ears.
From here, you have to slowly move to the cat pose which will require you to suck in your stomach and draw your belly towards your spine. Your back will round-up towards the ceiling, just like a stretching cat. Move your chin towards your chest.
Repeat this 15 to 20 times.
2. Table-top crunches
Lie on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle. Bend your elbows to provide a light rest. Gradually lift your shoulders using the strength of your abdominal muscles. Do not make the mistake of pulling your head up with your arm strength.
3. Chair pose
Much like a squat, a chair pose works on both your upper body and lower body muscles. It engages your quadriceps, gluteus, calves and ankles. All you have to do is push your thighs together, bend your knees and squat. Your position should be such that you should be able to see your toes right in front of your knees when looking down.
4. Bow pose
Bow pose stretches the entire front of the body, while simultaneously strengthening every muscle in the back. Its focus areas are your chest, abdomen, quadriceps, ankles, groin, hip flexors, and throat.
Lie flat on your stomach with your hands on the sides. As you exhale, bend your knees towards your buttocks. Remember your knees should be apart by the distance of the hip. Stretch your hands backwards and hold your ankles. Take a long and deep breath as you draw your thighs upwards. Your chest and head will also lift up. Hold the position and keep breathing softly.
5. Forward bend pose
Stand with your feet together and slightly bend your knees as you fold your upper body forward towards your legs from your hips. Keep your gaze directed forward. Then, slowly get back to the original position.
Start with these but make sure you’re regular with the practice to see the effects.