Gaining weight and obesity is essentially a state of metabolic disturbance. We gain weight when there is an imbalance between the intake and expenditure of energy in the body. Yoga works in a unique way. It works on the endocrinal system and changes the hormonal balance in the body. Unwanted fat from the body is removed by burning calories as well as by altering the hormonal balance of the whole body. Yogic asanas tone up the body by penetrating deep into each tissue and muscle which general exercises cannot achieve. Yoga will help you change the functioning of your entire system, lose weight and build a healthy muscle tone.
TONING YOUR ABS In yesterday’s article, we contracted the abs. The following toning exercises alternate from contraction to relaxation. Toning exercises are a must for a flat stomach and, practiced regularly, will give you a well-toned and flat abdomen.
Lie on back, body straight Slowly raise legs to 90 degrees, foot flat, toes in and hold for 15 -20 seconds. Slowly lower the legs to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Lie on back, bend knees as shown. Interlock hands behind head, keeping elbows close to head. Lift up exhaling, hold for 15-20 seconds breathing normally. Come back to starting position. Repeat 10 - 20 times
Lie on back and bend knees, interlock legs, position as shown. Interlock hands behind head. Exhale as you lift up, hold for count of 15-20 breathing normally. Come back to starting position. Repeat 10-20 times.
Lie on back, legs at 90 degrees, feet interlocked as shown. Interlock hands behind head, raise upper body exhaling as you come up. Hold for count of 15-20, breathing normal. Inhale as you go back to starting position. Repeat 10 – 20 times.
CONTRACTIONS FOR ABS There is a scientific system of working on the abs. First, the muscles have to undergo tremendous contractions. So, holding yogic contractions is the key to losing the fat around your stomach. The following asanas help increase muscle strength while toning the body and melting the fat. Practiced regularly, they will give you a well-toned and flat abdomen.
Lie on back. Raise upper body, arms and legs, exhaling as you come up. Hold the position for a count of 15- 20, breathing normal. Inhale as you come back to starting position.
Lie on back with arms stretched above your head. Inhale Raise one leg, upper body with arms stretched out as shown. Hold for 15-20 seconds, breathing normal. Inhale as you come back to start position. Repeat with other leg.
Lie on back, hands interlocked behind head. Bring legs to 90 degrees, bend knees. Keep leg position fixed. Raise your upper body to meet your knees, Hold, breathing normal. Inhale as you come back to start position.
Lie on back, legs wide apart. Exhale, raise both arms and legs. Hold, come back to start position.
Lie flat on stomach, legs straight, feet together, soles of feet uppermost. Place palms below and to side of shoulders, forehead on floor. Inhale as you slowly stretch the upper body upwards. Straighten arms and arch the back as shown Hold 20 -30 seconds breathing normal. Breathe out as you slowly return to starting position.
Lie on back. Fold your knees, place feet near hips. Place palms underneath shoulders, finger pointing towards feet. Raise hips and arch your back, shifting your weight onto your hands. Push up and raise your head and upper body as far as you can. Hold for 10-30 seconds then slowly lower the body to starting position.
Stand on knees, knees a little apart. Reach back for heel with the same hand and then reach for the other heel with the other hand. Push your hips forward and drop your neck back. Drop the head back and arch back, pushing hips forward. Hold for a few seconds breathing normally Slowly resume starting position.
Lie on your stomach, arms beside you. Bend your knees and catch hold of your ankles. Push feet away from head and raise your upper body as shown. Hold for a few seconds – breathing normally. Exhale as you lower your body.
LEGS Stretching the Leg Muscles Yesterday we contracted the leg muscles to increase muscle strength, tone muscles and eliminate fat. Contractions can leave sore muscles and so it is important to now do some asanas that stretch and relax these muscles. These asanas specifically affect the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. Contracting and stretching these regularly will tone and shape your legs, improve your figure and make your body swift and agile.
Sit with your legs stretched out, feet together Exhale and bend forward from your hips. Hold your toes or heels, touch your forehead to your knees and hold 30-60 seconds. Inhale slowly as you raise your arms over your head and return to starting position.
Sitting, bend the right leg so that the heel touches the groin area. Inhale slowly stretching both arms up over head. Exhale slowly as you bend forward. Interlock the fingers and hold your heel.. Place your forehead, chest and abdomen on the thighs and hold 30-60 seconds breathing normally. Inhale slowly as you stretch your arms up and return to starting position Repeat on the other side.
Sit between your heels. Holding the heels, lean backwards and place your elbows on the floor with the head and neck stretched backwards. Place your palms on the soles of your feet as shown. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Place palms on floor, press down and slowly return to start position.
From position above, slowly straighten your elbows and lie down on floor. Try and keep knees together, place your palms on thighs and hold 30-60 seconds. Hold your heels, pushing down on elbows, move up. Press palms down on floor and slowly come up and return to start position. LEGS CONTRACTING THE LEG MUSCLES These asanas work specifically on the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles, and also strengthen the ankle and knee joints. They contract and tone the leg muscles, building up muscle strength. Practiced regularly, they will tone and shape your legs, improve your figure and make your body swift and agile.
Stand straight with feet together, both arms stretched out, palms down. Slowly raise one leg up, toes pointed forward. Hold 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
Stand straight with feet together. Raise arms so parallel to ground, palms down. Bend the knees and raise heels as shown. Hold for 10 - 30 seconds. Resume starting position.
Stand with legs wide apart, feet turned out. Bend knees, keep back straight and stretch both arms straight above the head, palms together. Hold the posture for 10 – 30 seconds.
Standing, twist right leg around the left. Bend elbows, twist forearms around each other with left elbow below, palms together. Bend the left knee and lower body keeping eyes focused on a fixed point. Hold for a few seconds and then raise the body and release legs Repeat with left leg and left arm.
Stand with feet apart as shown. Interlock hands behind head. Bend the knees Keeping back straight, pulse up and down 10-20 times
Stand with legs wide apart, feet turned out. Bend knees, keep back straight. Stretch both arms straight above the head. Join palms together. Lift the heels and keeping lifted, pulse up and down 10 – 20 times.
Stand with feet apart, arms above your head, palms together. Turn to the left placing left foot 4-5 feet in front of right foot, toes pointed forward. Bend the left knee as shown, bend backwards and look up. Hold for 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
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