3 Yoga Poses and Pranayama for Weight Loss

Updated on June 29, 2020
LilianeNajm profile image

Certified to teach Yoga, Meditation, Reiki, Pilates; ongoing YogaU Online Yoga & Wellness Educator professional training. I love to write.

Pranayama Effect

Research at The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that movement-based yoga practices like Hatha yoga lower risk factors including high blood pressure, body weight, body mass index, and cholesterol. “The stress-reducing, meditative component of yoga may translate into cardiovascular risk-factor benefit,” says lead study author Paula Chu, a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University.

The conclusion of the study[i] showed that yoga can be thought of as “a safe and effective intervention for reducing waist circumference and systolic blood pressure in individuals with metabolic syndrome who are not adhering to conventional forms of exercise.”

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that happen together, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions cover increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Yogic breath practices increase levels of leptin, a hormone produced by fat tissue that tells the brain to inhibit hunger. This is according to research from Shirley Telles, Ph.D., director of the Patanjali Research Foundation in Haridwar, India.

A study on “Breathing Through a Particular Nostril Can Alter Metabolism and Autonomic Activities” was led by Shirley Telles, R Nagarathna, and HR Nagendra[ii]. This study focused on finding if breathing exclusively through either nostril may alter the autonomic functions, and if such changes do actually occur when breathing is consciously regulated.

A group of subjects was asked to practice one of three pranayamas or yogic breath techniques through the right nostril only, through the left nostril only, or do the alternate nostril breathing. The study went for one month.

The three groups showed a significant increase in baseline oxygen consumption. This increase in metabolism could be due to increased sympathetic discharge to the adrenal medulla. The results suggest that breathing selectively through either nostril could have a marked activating effect or a relaxing effect on the sympathetic nervous system.

The therapeutic implications of this is being able to alter the metabolism by changing the breathing pattern.

3 Yoga Poses to Help Lose Weight

1. Bow Pose (Beginner’s Level)

Caution: Recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips, anus or shoulders, pregnancy and recent abdominal surgery.

Benefits: strengthens the core body and opens the chest; stimulates the endocrine, nervous, circulatory, respiratory and reproductive systems.

  • Lie down on your belly, with the chin on the floor, arms alongside your body and legs together.
  • Bend both knees and reach the hands back to hold onto the feet or ankles.
  • Try to lift yourself into a bow, by attempting to extend the legs at the knee joints with the quadriceps muscles.
  • Keep the deep back muscles relaxed.
  • Breathe and hold for three breaths.
  • To release: exhale and slowly lower the chest, head and thighs to the floor.
  • Release the arms and legs down to the floor. Tum the head to one side and rest.

2. Cobra Pose

Caution: Recent or chronic injury to the knees, back, arms or shoulders, pregnancy or recent abdominal surgery.

Benefits: opens the chest and strengthens the core body; aligns the spine and invigorates the kidneys and nervous system.

  • Lie down on your belly, with the chin on the floor, palms flat on the floor under the shoulders and legs together.
  • Pull up the kneecaps, gently squeeze the thighs and buttocks, and press the pubic bone down into the floor.
  • Inhale and lift the head and chest off of the floor, keeping the neck in line with the spine.
  • With your elbows close to your sides, press down into your palms and lift you up even higher. Drop your shoulders down and back and press the chest forward. Keep your legs, buttocks, and keep your pubic bone pressing down into the floor.
  • Hold for three breaths while breathing normally.
  • To release: exhale and slowly lower your chest and head to the floor and relax.

3. Locust Pose

Caution: Recent or chronic injury to the back or legs, pregnancy and recent abdominal surgery.
Benefits: strongly strengthens the core body and the low back muscles; stimulates the endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems.

  • Lie on your belly with the chin on the floor, legs together and your arms alongside the body.
  • Inhale and point the toes of the right foot, extend the knee and lift the right thigh as high as possible, without strongly pressing the opposite thigh against the floor.
  • Breathe and hold for three breaths.
  • To release, exhale and slowly lower the right thigh to the floor.
  • Now Inhale and point the toes of the left foot, extend the knee and lift the left thigh as high as possible, without strongly pressing the opposite thigh against the floor.
  • Breathe and hold for three breaths
  • Exhale and slowly lower the left thigh to the floor.
  • Now lift your head, upper body, arms, and legs away from the floor. Rest on your lower ribs, belly, and front pelvis. Firm your buttocks and reach strongly through your legs, first through the heels to lengthen the back legs, then through the bases of the big toes. Keep the big toes turned toward each other.

  • Raise your arms parallel to the floor and stretch back actively through your fingertips. Imagine a weight is pressing down on the backs of the upper arms, and push up toward the ceiling against the resistance.
  • Release and come down to the floor and relax.
  • Do a couple of rounds.

Bonus: Alternate Nostril Breathing

Caution: no holding the breath for pregnant women or people who suffer from high blood pressure, epilepsy, or asthma.

Benefits: calms the mind, soothes anxiety and stress, balances left and right hemispheres, and promotes clear thinking.

Note: The counting is done mentally.

  • Use your dominant hand. In this example, we use the right hand.
  • Bend the forefinger and middle finger towards the palm; thumb, ring, and pinkie in the air.
  • To do one round:
    • Close off the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight;
    • Inhale into the left nostril to the count of four; close both nostrils and hold to the count of seven;
    • Open the right nostril and exhale through the right to the count of eight, then inhale into the right nostril to the count of four; close both nostrils and hold the breath for seven, open the left, and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight.

Do a minimum of three rounds and a maximum of five minutes as a start.

Cumulative Benefits With Regular Practice

The relaxing effect of yoga practice tends to reduce anxiety-induced or stress-induced overeating. The benefits of a yoga practice are cumulative. Significant improvements are observed with regular practice over time.

With time, yoga practitioners become mindful of their nutrition behaviors and diets, and how they manage stress.

Source

[i] “Yoga for metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis”. Holger Cramer, Jost Langhorst, Gustav Dobos, First Published August 22, 2016.

[ii] Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Volume 38, Pages 133–133 in 1994/4/1 by the Department of Physiology All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • LilianeNajm profile imageAUTHOR

      Liliane Najm 

      12 hours ago from Toronto, Canada

      I understand why:)

    • emagrecimentofitness profile image

      Ashley 

      14 hours ago from las vegas

      I loved it, I love yoga

    • LilianeNajm profile imageAUTHOR

      Liliane Najm 

      5 days ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank you Anupam. is there a specific point that you liked most?

    • Anupam Mitu profile image

      Anupam Mitu 

      8 days ago from MUMBAI

      Great job dear Lilane!

    • Danny Fernandes profile image

      Danny 

      8 days ago from India

      A well-defined article, Liliane.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)