What is Yoga? | Yoga Benefits For Health | Weight Loss Yoga Poses for Beginners
The onset of the COVID pandemic marked the beginning of the Yoga trend around the globe.
Thousands of people, including many celebrities, took to social media to share their yoga postures, practices and shared weight loss poses for beginners. There are immense yoga benefits for health.
According to a recent survey, practicing Yoga has tremendously helped people sustain their mental health and stay optimistic.
Not only this, Yoga postures have been enthusiastically practiced in countries like the US and UK, where these exercises were rarely undertaken.
So, what has inspired so many people to jump back to this millennium-old practice and make it an indispensable part of their routines?
Well, this and many more questions will be answered as we move ahead with defining Yoga and its health benefits.
What is Yoga?
The literal meaning of the word ‘yoga’ derived from its Sanskrit roots is ‘union’. It’s the union of mind and body by the use of breath.
This word, yoga, which is now so much familiar to us, was first mentioned in ancient sacred texts called Rig Veda.
Yoga is among the six philosophy schools in Hinduism and is also a significant part of Buddhism and its meditation practices.
With time, Rishis(sages) redefined and developed yoga with their practices and experiences.
It is believed that Yoga originated in northern India some 5000 years ago.
Yoga is not just a collection of a few postures that can refresh you, but a whole different lifestyle, a whole different experience. Yoga is practised at physical, emotional and spiritual levels because of powerful yoga benefits for health.
Yoga Benefits for Health and some weight loss yoga poses for beginners
Yoga benefits for health are unimaginable. The ancient practice has so much to help with stability, flexibility, strength and balance.
A review that looked into the yoga benefits for health found that Yoga has helped a lot of practitioners in weight loss, blood pressure reduction and cholesterol control.
Here’s a list that highlights the Yoga benefits for health and some Yoga postures:
- Daily Practice of Yoga changes the brain’s chemistry and boosts mood.
- Improves posture and eradicates back pain.
- Within 3 months of Yoga practice, depression level decreases by approximately 50%.
- Yoga reduces anxiety levels by over 40%.
- Yoga improves mental peace and stability.
- Daily Practice of Yoga increases intuition and self-confidence.
- Yoga helps sustain energy and zeal throughout the day.
Fun Fact – The oldest Yoga teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch, died at the age of 101 in Feb 2020.
To enjoy the above-mentioned Yoga benefits, you must practice it consistently. A 15 minute daily Yoga practice is enough to improve the quality of your life.
The answer to the question asked at the beginning of the blog might now be very obvious, given the meaning and the benefits of Yoga.
3 Basic Weight Loss Yoga Poses For Beginners
Yoga can be intimidating for some people who have been avoiding exercises and gyms for all their lives.
Yoga becomes much easier and comfortable when practiced in the right way.
Many practitioners start their Yoga journey with complex yoga postures and practices that make things worse for them, leading to injuries and fatigue.
Here, we discuss 3 basic poses that every beginner should start with.
Downward Facing Dog
The downward dog strengthens the upper body, releases tension in the spine and stretches out the back. This posture also stretches the hamstrings and calves. This is one of the best weight loss yoga poses for beginners because it reduces your fat from calves and upper body.
Two Knee Spinal Twist
This weight loss yoga poses for beginner stretches and relieves tightness in your chest, spine, shoulders, muscles, lower back and hip. It rejuvenates you, adding more energy and freshness.
This last of the three poses is for stability and balance. With every practice, you get better with balance as you tone the hip, back, thighs, butt and shoulder muscles.
Different Types Of Yoga Postures
Yoga has something for everyone. From gentle stretches to sweating it out, there’s a guaranteed type of Yoga that works for you.
These different types reflect different styles of yoga, both for the body and the mind.
Following are the 5 types of Yoga that the practitioners popularly know:
1. Chair Yoga
As the name itself suggests, Chair Yoga is a gentle practice in which the postures are performed while seated on the floor or on a chair.
Chair Yoga is typically practised by people with physical disabilities or aged men and women. This weight loss yoga poses for beginners, old aged people or the physically disable category are the best to give a gentle start.
It targets increasing stability and flexibility. When standing postures are included, the chair can be used for improved balance.
Chair Yoga helps in increasing concentration, focus and decreasing stress and anxiety.
Certain breathing techniques like pranayama and meditative techniques are included in Chair Yoga.
Following are the 5 Chair Yoga poses that you can practice anywhere:
- Seated Cat-Cow
- Seated Twist
- Seated Forward Fold
- Seated Chair Opener
- Chair Hip Opener
2. Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga is commonly referred to as Flow Yoga. It is one of the most popular Yoga types in the world.
Vinyasa is a breathing initiated practice that targets to increase balance and flexibility.
The word Vinyasa comes from two fragments, ‘vi’ meaning variation and ‘nyasa’ meaning within the prescribed limits.
Vinyasa connects one posture to another with breath. That’s the reason why it is characterized as flow yoga.
Following is a 13 step Vinyasa Practice to rejuvenate your body instantly:
- The Check-In
- Downward Dog
- Plank Pose
- Low Plank
- Low Lunge
- Hamstring Stretch
- Child’s Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Fig 4 Stretch
- Supine Single Leg Stretch
3. Hatha Yoga
The word Hatha can be thought of as sun(ha) and tha(moon), meaning Yoga for Balance.
Hatha Yoga is a practice of physical yoga postures, characterised and the word Hatha is also referred to as ‘willful’ or ‘forceful’.
There are many Hatha Yoga poses that target different body parts.
We have selected some popular as well as easy postures to suit practitioners at different levels.
Here are 7 basic Hatha Yoga Poses:
- Tadasana(Mountain Pose)
- Vrikshasana(Tree Pose)
- Uttanasana(Standing Forward Bend)
- Setu Bandhasana(Bridge Pose)
- Halasana(Plow Pose)
- Sirsasana(Head Stand)
- Sarvangasana(Shoulder Stand)
4. Ashtanga Yoga
The word Ashtanga can be broken into two parts, ‘Ashta’ meaning eight and ‘anga’ meaning limbs.
The Ashtanga Yoga system was recorded by Rishi(sage) Vaman in the manuscript Yoga Korunta.
There are 8 parts of Ashtanga, as evident from its name. These 8 Limbs, as they are often referred to as, are as follows:
- Yama(principles of moral code)
- Niyama (Personal Disciplines)
- Asana (Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures)
- Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)
- Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)
- Dharana (Concentration on Object)
- Dhyan (Meditation)
- Samadhi (Salvation)
The first four limbs are considered external cleansing practices, whereas the remaining four are internal.
5. Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga is a type of Hot Yoga that Bikram Choudhary devised.
Hot Yoga means that Yoga is practiced in a room at a temperature slightly higher than the body temperature(41 degrees celsius).
Bikram Yoga consists of 26 fixed postures that are practiced on a matted floor and mirrored room.
This Yoga became popular in the early 1970s and spread rapidly across the US and the western world.
The 26 Poses of Bikram Yoga include postures like,
- Half Moon Pose
- Balancing Stick Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Tree Pose
- Toe Stand
- Cobra Pose
- Sit Up, etc.
Bikram Yoga sweats you; it is best suited for weight loss and toning. Bikram Yoga also increases flexibility, balance and endurance.
How To Start Yoga as a Beginner | How to start with weight loss poses for beginners?
The most sought after question that troubles many is, “How can I start practicing Yoga as a beginner?”
Well, there are many types and styles that can help you start practicing Yoga at home. The blog discussed some of the major styles as well.
But, many beginners feel intimidated to practice Yoga on their own.
The 5 primary reasons that can hold you back from starting Yoga are:
- Fear of injury or fatigue
- Irregular Posture
- Improper Yoga flow and asanas
- Lack of knowledge about different Yoga poses and practices
- Time management problem
These are prevalent issues beginners face and are often overlooked while practicing Yoga.
Younker Activity Hub, a yoga class in Pune truly believes that every problem needs to be addressed and worked upon.
Overlooking these issues will worsen the situation resulting in delayed or no benefits.
To help you overcome this dilemma, Younker provides trained professionals assisting people in practicing Yoga in the most gentle, fun and exciting way possible.
Younker has both online and offline programs to help you practice Yoga.
The programs offered by Younker will change your perception of fitness, with realizing that gyms and supplements aren’t the only way to stay fit.
The Younker courses are intricately designed to suit every Yoga practitioner who aspires to maintain a healthy body.
Check out our website for more information and programs.
Good luck, Yogic!