Power Yoga for Weight Loss
Many people these days think they have to follow the latest fad diet in order to lose weight fast. The hard truth is that these crash diets makes you lose weight in the short term, but ultimately it can hinder weight loss. These diets not only remove fat but also lean muscle and tissue. The loss of lean muscle causes a fall in your basal metabolic rate – the amount of calories your body needs on a daily basis. This means your body will need fewer calories than it did previously, making weight gain more likely once you stop dieting. That’s why a good workout is recommended to build lean muscles which increase your resting metabolism. So relax and stop these fad diets and follow our Power Yoga workout to come back to your ideal weight.
Power Yoga is the best workout regimen for losing weight. Power yoga workout tones and stretches the muscles at the same time it builds strength, stamina and lean muscles. Power yoga gives you a whole body workout, with flexibility, toning, strength building, and functional movements and also elicits properties of what a good aerobics or cardio session can do. Power yoga has adapted to taking all the learning of yoga and uniting them with today’s more urgent need of weight loss and fitness.
Power Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
Ardha Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)
Begin with Plank Pose get down on your hands and knees. Exhale and slowly stretch one leg back so that the knee is straight. With the next exhalation, place your other leg beside it. Your feet should be about 6 to 8 inches apart, and your toes curled under. Balance on your hands and your feet. Breath has not to be hold in this pose. Gaze down between your hands and Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Do not allow your hips and butt to sag too low or poke too high. Hold this pose for 15 seconds to 2 minutes and come down by bending your knees and sitting back on the floor. Repeat this pose up to three times. It can take some time to build up enough strength to hold the pose for more than 15 seconds so be careful not to over-stress your arms and shoulders. This asana also develops and strengthens core strength and abdominal muscles. There are a few advanced variations to this pose. In the one of the variations, technique and duration will remain same as I mentioned above but lift your one leg up and hold the pose. After this repeat it by lifting the other leg. This can put more pressure on the lower back, so be careful when using this variation. Do not practice Plank Pose if you are suffering a wrist injury, especially from repetitive strain injury.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
To start with, come to your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Curl the toes under and push back raising the hips and straightening the legs. Spread the fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips. Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening the collarbones. Let the head hang; move the shoulder blades away from the ears towards the hips. Your torso goes toward your legs so the head hangs freely and more toward the floor. Eventually, the crown of your head may touch the floor. Engage the quadriceps strongly to take the weight off the arms, making this a resting pose. Rotate the thighs inward, keep the tail high and sink your heels towards the floor. Do not step the feet toward the hands in this position in order the get the heels to the floor. This will happen eventually as the muscles lengthen. As you work in the pose, continually observe the distribution of your weight on each part of your feet, on your hands and your fingers. Keep equal weight on both sides of the body and in all parts of hand or foot. Hold the pose anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds and breathe normally. Over time extend the time in which you hold this pose. As you become able to work in the pose for longer periods of time you will gain in strength and in stretch. Eventually you should be able to hold and continually work in the pose for at least five minutes. Regular practice of this pose also prevents the development of osteoporosis problem. This is especially beneficial for menopausal woman, as it helps ease the symptoms associated with menopause.
Once you have mastered this pose, you could try a slight variation. Inhale, and lift one leg up at a time, so it is in line with your torso. Hold the leg up for a few seconds, exhale, and bring it down. After this repeat the same with other leg. This is an inverted posture and should be avoided by the people suffering from high blood pressure or a heart condition. It should not be practiced when the wrists are sensitive or injured.
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
To start with, Stand straight and step the right foot a foot lengths forward and shift all of your weight onto this leg. Inhale the arms over your head and interlace the fingers, pointing the index finger up. As you exhale, lift the left leg up and out, hinging at the hips to lower the arms and torso down towards the floor. Look down at the floor and stare at a point for balance. Reach out through the left toes and the crown and fingers making one straight line. The raised leg has to be rotated inward to achieve a horizontal alignment. It is hard to maintain balance when doing this. The strength of the big toe on the supporting leg can prevent loss of balance when the inward rotation is applied. Breathe normally and hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds. While coming back inhale the arms up to lower the leg back to the floor and step both feet together back into the standing position. Now repeat the same with the other leg. Both legs are strengthened in this pose. The hamstrings are stretched in the supporting leg and strengthened in the raised leg. The gluteal muscles are stretched on one leg and strengthened on the other. This causes them to be raised on one side. Beginners can do the pose at the wall. They can either face the wall and bring their arms outstretched in front of them with their hands on the wall or turn around and bring the lifted back foot onto the wall. Do not perform this pose if you have high blood pressure or severe back, ankle, knee, hip or shoulder pain.
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
To start with, stand straight with feet together and hands at your sides. Exhale, then step your feet about four feet apart, placing feet flat on the floor. Raise your arms parallel to the floor, at the same time, swinging them out to your sides, level with your shoulders. Turn your left foot towards the right slightly, and your right outwards, until it is at about ninety degrees to its original position. Ensure that your heels are in line, then tighten the muscles of your thighs, and turn your right thigh outward, ensuring that your knee is in line with your ankle. Turn your left hip slightly to the right, and your upper torso towards the left. Ensure that your left heel is firmly placed and then bend your right leg, over the ankle, creating a ninety degree angle between your shin and the floor, exhaling as you do so. Try to bring the right thigh as close to parallel with the floor as possible, and aim the knee of the right leg outwards. Extend your left arm towards the ceiling, inhaling as you do so. Lay the right side of your torso over the right thigh, or as close as possible, then place palm of the right hand onto the floor inside the right foot.
Always make sure you haven’t lost the 90 degree angle of your bent leg. Both sides of your torso should be extended. The bent leg’s knee should be in a flat plane with the rest of your body. It may have a tendency to move forward which you should correct. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds and come out of it by first removing the right hand from the floor, stretching your left arm up towards the ceiling and then bringing the torso back so that it is perpendicular with the floor and then straightening the bent leg. Repeat the pose on the other side. Don’t practice this asana if you are suffering from insomnia, headaches or either low or high blood pressure, back and neck problems.
Utkatasana (chair pose)
To start with, stand straight with the legs shoulder or hip width apart. While keeping your heels anchored flat on the floor; make a deep bend in your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Bend only as much as is comfortable. Straighten your arms so that they are parallel to the floor and gaze straight ahead. Now lean your upper body backwards while stretching your fingertips as far out in front of you as you can. You should look like you are sitting on an imaginary chair. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds then straighten your legs and come up slowly.
Finding correct alignment between your knees and feet is important not only for developing strength and flexibility, but for avoiding injuries, particularly to your knees. Going deeper in the pose, requires huge strength from the quadriceps, one of the largest muscles in the body. So it’s important to be gentle because the lower legs bones can rotate when the knees are bent, which increases the risk of injury. Utkatasana should be avoided by people with destabilized knees, strained ligaments, headache, insomnia and low blood pressure.
Naukasana (Boat Pose)
To start with, lie flat on the back with the legs and feet together, and the arms and hands beside the body palms facing downward and the eyes open. Take a deep breath in, hold the breath inside and then raise the legs, arms, shoulders, head and trunk above from the ground. The shoulders and feet should not raise more than 15 cm above the ground. The arms should be held at the same level and in line with the toes. The hands should be open with the palms down. Balance the body on the buttocks and keep the spine straight. Look towards the toes. Keep shoulders, neck and face relaxed. Remain in the final position for a comfortable period with holding the breath. While exhaling slowly bring down your legs and hands and lie on the ground as in the first position. To increase core strength, release very slowly from the pose and take 10 to 15 seconds time in bringing the legs and torso down towards the floor.
This can be an advanced pose for beginners. If holding yourself 15 cm above the ground is intense, you can lower your legs and upper body until you feel more comfortable. In time you will gain strength and form a perfect boat with your body. Person suffering from diseases like high blood pressure, hip joint disorders, neck injury, arthritis, hernia & ulcers should avoid practicing Naukasana.
Lie flat on the stomach with the legs and feet together, and the arms and hands beside the body. Bend the knees and bring the heels close to the buttocks. Clasp the hands around the ankles. Place the chin on the floor. This is the starting position. Tense the leg muscles and push the feet away from the body. Arch the back, lifting the thighs, chest and head together. Keep the arms straight. In the final position the head is tilted back and the abdomen supports the entire body on the floor. The only muscular contraction is in the legs; the back and arms remain relaxed. Hold the final position for as long as is comfortable and then, slowly relaxing the leg muscles lower the legs, chest and head to the starting position. Release the pose and relax in the prone position until the respiration returns to normal. Repeat this pose 2 to 3 times.