5 reasons why yoga is great for weight loss, heart health, reducing stress
On International Yoga Day (June 21), take a look at what makes yoga the perfect exercise for losing the extra kilos, boosting heart health, managing diabetes, and more.Updated: Jun 21, 2018 11:22 IST
Yoga works at a deep, cellular level and can give you your most fabulous body yet. If you thought yoga was only for the flexible and fit, you’re mistaken. It can be taken up by almost anybody and you’re sure to reap a number of health benefits if you’re regular at it.
Here are 5 ways yoga can help you become healthy:
Shed the extra kilos:
If you practise yoga regularly, your body and organs function at optimum levels. “When you do a pose that focusses on the tummy, and you hold it for 10-15 seconds, your muscles are contracted and stretched. This means you’re getting stronger,” says Ishwari Patil, General Nutrition Center expert and a yoga trainer. And it also helps you look more toned. Moreover, breathing exercises like pranayama and kapalbhati also accelerate fat loss. “Remember to follow up heat generating exercises like udyan bandh and agnisar with cooling ones like shitali and shitakari,” she adds.
Boost heart health:
Yoga focusses on breath and movement. When you do poses which involve inversions, you allow the return of blood to the heart freely. “Many asanas lead to opening up of internal organs. When your heart has more space, more blood rushes in,” says Nishrin Parikh, a General Nutrition Center expert, and a national award-winning fitness trainer. Some asanas she recommends are surya namaskar, bhujangasana, and sarvangasana.
Better diabetes management:
Diabetes is related to the functioning of pancreas and release of the insulin hormone. A spike in insulin is not desirable. “Yoga can help balance insulin levels by directly working on the pancreas. Diabetics should practise asanas like halasana, chakrasana, dhanurasana and padangusthasana,” says Parikh.
When you do yoga, your overall blood and oxygen flow improves. When that happens, your digestive system is able to better absorb all the nutrients from the food you eat. Also toxins are removed from your body. “When you do twisting poses, it massages your internal organs. Their function improves greatly. It also strengthens the muscles of the digestive tract,” says Patil. To aid digestion, go for asanas like mallasana, pavan muktasana and trikonasana.
Simply being active leads to reduced stress. Moreover, by focusing on your breath, yoga helps you be in the present. “Just 15 mins of vipritkarni is equivalent to 6 hours of sleep. Doing pranayama like anulom vilom and kapal bhati will help you calm your mind,” says Parikh.
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First Published: Jun 20, 2018 17:00 IST