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YOGA PRACTICES TO REDUCE ANXIETY AND HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS

YOGA PRACTICES TO REDUCE ANXIETY AND HELP IN WEIGHT LOSS

Let’s begin the topic by answering 2 simple questions below..

  1. Is anxiety your best friend whom you want to badly say a forever goodbye? Our days just do not end without overthinking and getting anxious about something so silly as getting cut off in traffic or writing emails, texts to someone or answering an unexpected call or being too late or early anywhere! It happens to all of us all the time... In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to calm anxiety.  
  1. Are you one of those who want to lose weight, get fitter but not a fan of all those mainstream workouts and diets? Do you dislike the gyming trend and cant just bare all that muscle sourness & injuries? Well, then this article is going to change your thoughts on exercise for weight loss and how you can burn more calories and shed fat.

One solution to all problems! 

Of many solutions out there Have you ever tried out our very own desi ways to lose weight and treat your anxieties? Be it workouts or diets or therapies? NO. Then you are majorly missing out on various benefits you could gain. In this article, we will discuss how a form of exercise originating about 5000 years ago still, holds prominence in benefitting & solving the problems of generations. Read on...

“YOGA”- The best desi thing the world is a fan of 

"Yoga" is a boon to manhood, practicing yoga regularly is proven to benefit the mind and body in numerous ways. In yoga, the mind is disciplined through meditation and the body is aligned and strengthened. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help in achieving peacefulness of body and mind.

The benefits of yoga are widely acknowledged globally and you can become in vogue with a lot of international celebrities like Madonna, David Beckham, Jennifer Aniston to name a few, along with them we have our very own B-town celebs who swear by Yoga as their numero uno form of workout. Be it Shilpa Shetty Kundra to Malika Arora to Akshay Kumar.  

 

How YOGA helps depression and anxiety

Regular yoga practice can help in staying calm and relaxed in the day to day life. It has proven to ease stress, reduce the feeling of nervousness and enhance mindfulness among its regular practitioners. Anxiety not only stresses out the mind but also our body. Often people feeling anxious complain about stiffness, heaviness, and pain in muscles. Yoga postures help in relaxing the muscles and ease out the physical discomfort. Regular meditating, stretching of muscles, visualization and focusing on breathing has proven to reduce the anxiety levels and boost positivity and overall mood. 

The most preferred style of yoga to calm anxiety and manage stress is Hatha yoga. The word “Hatha” literally promotes balance--the word is a combination of the words for “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha). Hatha yoga is the classical form of yoga known for its slower pace and easier movements concentrating on breathing. Hatha yoga involves the practice of physical postures in conjunction with the awareness of the breath to help develop mental focus and to connect the mind, body, and spirit. Practicing Hatha yoga helps one change the way they think, feel and experience life. Find out the best Hatha yoga asanas to calm anxiety at the end of the blog post. 

Yoga for losing weight 

This age-old practice has been successful in treating and healing various health-related issues. Yoga and weight loss may not go hand in hand in terms of contemporary workouts like HIIT,  Aerobics, etc., which are designed to keep the heart rate high constantly and leave you sweating profusely and panting harder. Yoga is a much calmer and relaxed approach to exercise eliminating out the stress-one main cause for weight gain. Although the various asanas of yoga involving deep breathing help in trimming and toning the body.  Regularly practicing yoga and following a healthy diet and lifestyle will certainly show results. The only secret to losing weight is to burn more calories than you consume, so be wise while choosing what you put into your system. 


Power Yoga is preferred the most among yogis when it comes to weight loss. It’s a vigorous fitness-based approach in comparison to the traditional vinyasa style yoga. It emphasizes strength and flexibility and assures to burn more calories while performing it compared to other styles of yoga. An intense session of Power Yoga will leave you sweating profusely. The various other benefits include building internal heat, increased stamina, flexibility as well as stress reduction, promotes blood circulation, boost the immune system, increases stamina. Power Yoga is popularly known as “gym yoga”, as this form of yoga brought yoga to the contemporary gyms.


Fun Fact: The term “Power yoga” was coined in America in the mid-1990s by two American yoga teachers.

10 easy Asanas you can perform at home which calms anxieties and aid in weight loss

Try out the top easiest Hatha and Power yoga Asanas in the comfort of your home. Things you require:

  1. A Yoga mat
  2. Comfortable Yoga Wear
  3. Yoga Ball (Optional)
  4. A lot of Motivation
  5. A calm mind and a peaceful place

Hatha Yoga Asanas for stress relief 

  1. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

           Utrasana pose     

This pose is designed to promote blood circulation in the body which will increase the oxygen levels in the blood flow healing the mind and body by instantly reducing stress.

Muscles worked:

  1. Quadriceps
  2. Chest and abdomen muscles
  3. Lower back
  4. Spinal Muscles 

To do this:

  1. Kneel on the floor with an erect spine.
  2. Keep your legs hip-width apart.
  3. Rest your hands on the back of the pelvis.
  4. Bent a little inwards and keep hips over the knees
  5. Stretch your ribcage by leaning backward slowly
  6. Keep chest uplifted, chin tucked towards the chest and hands reaching behind to grab the foot heels.
  7. Inhale slowly while gazing at the tip of the nose.
  8. Hold in the same pose for 30 sec and slowly bring both your hands back to the hips to end the pose.

 

  1. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) 

                                     paschimuttanasan

This pose will calm the mind and release stress from the body slowly. It also opens up the lower back and legs muscles stretching the spine to the max. This asana will boost your mood and enhance your thoughts.

Muscles worked:

  1. Pelvic
  2. Erector Spine
  3. Gluteus Maximus
  4. Gastrocnemius
  5. Calves

To do this:

  1. Sit on a mat with erect spine and legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Inhale and lift your arms above your head
  3. Slowly bend forward so as the hands can touch the tip of the Foot toe 
  4. Hold in the same pose for 30 sec and release your hands slowly and sit back straight to end the pose.

  1. Balasana (Child’s pose)

     Balasana

This is a calming pose designed to relax and rejuvenate the body. It soothes the muscles and alleviates pain in the back, neck, and shoulder. The pose resembles a fetal position and provides physical, mental and emotional solace.


Muscles worked:

  1. Gluteus Maximus
  2. Rotator Muscles
  3. Hamstrings
  4. Spinal Extensors

To do this:

  1. Kneel on the mat and then sit back onto heels.
  2. Slowly lean Forward walking your hands out in front of you.
  3. Rest your forehead on the floor and let your upper body fall on thighs.
  4. Stretch out your arms as much as possible and touch your chin to the ground.
  5. Hold this for 30 sec to 1 min and then slowly lean upwards to end the pose.

  1.   Marjariasana (Cat Pose)

                   Marjariasana                                         

This pose loosens the spine, improves flexibility and circulation. It releases the tension trapped in the lumbar spine. It relaxes the mind and calms down anxiety levels.  

 Muscles worked:

  1. Shoulders
  2. Back
  3. Abdomen
  4. Glutes
  5. Neck

To do this:

  1. Kneel on the yoga mat and bend down to rest your hands on the floor, such that back forms a tabletop and feet & hands form its legs.
  2. Look straight and have your spine straight and not bending it downwards.
  3. This Asana is a combination of two movements. For the first: Exhale and drop your chin to your chest and form an arch with your back. For the second: Inhale and have your neck stretched out with head facing forward and round your spine toward the ceiling tucking in your tailbone relaxing the buttocks.
  4. Hold this for a minimum of two breaths.
  5. Relax and come back to the table position to end the pose.

 

  1. Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose)

    Viparita Karani

     

    This pose will help let go of all the stress and tension trapped in the body leaving it more relaxed and calmer. Use this Asana for complete relaxation of body and mind.


    Muscles worked:

    1. Hamstrings
    2. Lower back
    3. Pelvic Muscles 
    4. Front torso & back of the neck 

    To do this:

    1. Sit on a yoga mat with your right side facing the wall.
    2. Slowly lie down and swing your legs up along the wall.
    3. Get buttocks as close to the wall as possible.
    4. Relax and breathe slowly in the same position.
    5. Hold this pose for 5 minutes.
    6. Bring your legs down on to the floor to end this pose. 

    Power yoga Asanas for losing weight

    1. Surya Namaskara 

        Surya namaskar

     This pose helps to burn calories and keeping the heart rate high. It improves metabolism. As it stretches the abdominal muscles helps in shedding fat around the belly. This asana is a series of 12 different poses


    Muscles Worked:

    1. Back
    2. Shoulder muscles
    3. Front torso
    4. Glutes
    5. Leg muscles

       To do this:

    1. Stand straight on your legs and inhale while lifting the arm overhead.
    2. Swan Dive Down into a forward bend and exhale as you do so.
    3. Get into a plank pose either by a jump, step or walk.
    4. Hold this position for as long as you can and breathe constantly. 
    5. Drop your knees and body down to the floor.
    6. Turn the tops of the feet to the mat pacing hands under the shoulders
    7. Inhale slowly and lift yourself all the way up into cobra pose
    8. Exhale to lower back down and then push up into Downward-facing Dog.
    9. Hold this pose for as many breaths as you can.
    10. Exhale and jump your feet to the top of the mat and stand in a forward bend.
    11. Inhale to lift arms overhead.
    12. Exhale and slowly bring your arms over your chest.

    1. Navasana (Boat Pose)

                                          Navasana       

      This pose engages the muscles of the entire body particularly targeting the core area. It tones and strengthens the abdominal muscles. It improves digestion and increases blood circulation. It also stimulates Kidneys, thyroid gland, intestines, and prostate gland.


      Muscles worked:

      1. Abdominal muscles
      2. Thighs
      3. Glutes
      4. Lower back

      To do this:

      1. Lie on the floor with hands on the side.
      2. Slowly lift the upper body and legs such that the body takes a V shape.
      3. Extend arms straight in front keeping it parallel to the ground
      4. Keep your knees straight with spine neutral and torso lifted.
      5. Hold this pose for a minimum of 30 sec to 1 min.

      1. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

       Dhanusarana

       

      This pose is designed to strengthen the spine and improve flexibility. It is proven to cure many digestive disorders like constipation, gastrointestinal problems. It also improves digestion and blood circulation.

                                                  

      Muscles worked:

      1. Back Muscles.
      2. Abdominal Muscles
      3. Arms 
      4. Leg muscles
      5. Front Torso
      6. Glutes & Ankles

      To do this:

      1. Lie flat on to the stomach on the mat
      2. Simultaneously lift your upper body and legs towards each other.
      3. Grab the top of the foot with hands and stay in the same position
      4. Continuously Inhale and exhale
      5. Drop your legs and upper body back to the ground to end the pose.

      4.Setu Bandha Sarvangasana(Bridge pose)    

                             Sarvangasana

      This pose is commonly used to strengthen and stretch back and abdominal muscles. It opens up the lungs improving respiration. It boosts metabolism and improves digestion, 


      Muscles worked:

      1. Glutes
      2. Abdominal and back muscles
      3. Hamstrings
      4. Front Torso

      To do this:

      1. Lie down on the mat with knees bent and feet flat.
      2. Slowly lift your tailbone such that buttocks and lower back are off the mat. 
      3. Place your hands under hips and use figures to hold the back foot.
      4. Form an arch towards the floor using the spine.
      5. Stay in the same position for 30 sec to 1 min
      6. Drop your tailbone down slowly and relax to end the pose. 

      1. Phalakasana(Plank Pose) 

        Phalakasana

        The most popular asana of power yoga helps in the deep conditioning of the body, building abdominal strength, improving spinal flexibility. It improves blood circulation, tones abdominal muscles and helps to get rid of belly fat. It increases stamina.


        Muscles worked;

        1. Arm muscles
        2. Back muscles
        3. Abdominal muscles
        4. Shoulder muscles
        5. Glutes
        6. Leg muscles     

          To do this:

        1. Lie flat on your stomach on the mat
        2. Keep hands on the ground closer to the chest.
        3. Lift your body and put pressure on the hands, don't rest the knees.
        4. Keep spine neutral and shoulders right above your wrist.
        5. Hold the position for 30 sec to 1 min
        6. Slowly drop body down on the floor and relax to end the pose.


        Conclusion 

        Yoga is indeed one of the best forms of exercise gifted with numerous benefits both for mind and body. Regular practice of yoga has proven to improve overall health and boost confidence and positivity. Perform yoga daily for a healthier life filled with positivity & calmness without anxiety.  So, now after knowing all these amazing benefits, you can gain by performing yoga, when are you getting started?  


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