Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Benifits of Yoga

In ThinChicks today we are talking about Yoga & the benefits it can have on our body.

Yoga’s primary emphasis is upon general well-being. Although yoga has been shown to be beneficial in a variety of conditions, it is not considered a therapy for specific illnesses. Rather, yoga employs a broad holistic approach that focuses on teaching people a new lifestyle, way of thinking, and way of being in the world. In the process, however, it is also found to bring a myriad of healing effects. By attending to practices for improving, regaining or retaining general good health, a person is likely to find that some of his more specific difficulties tend to disappear. Many of the healing effects of yoga is clinically verified. We will look at the healing effects of yoga. However, one of the most important benefit of yoga is its application in relieving stress, fatigue, invigoration and vitality and its anti-aging properties and its application for relaxation therapy.

Yoga For Weight Reduction:

Does yoga help in weight management? Most definitely. There are a number of factors involved. Firstly, some of the asanas stimulate sluggish glands to increase their hormonal secretions. The thyroid gland, especially, has a big effect on our weight because it affects body metabolism. There are several asanas, such as the shoulder stand and the fish posture, which are specific for the thyroid gland. Fat metabolism is also increased, so fat is converted to muscle and energy. This means that, as well as losing fat, you will have better muscle tone and a higher vitality level.

Secondly, yoga deep breathing increases the oxygen intake to the body cells, including the fat cells. This causes increased oxidation or burning up of fat cells. ). Yogic exercises induce more continuous and deeper breathing which gradually burns, sometimes forcefully, many of the calories already ingested.

Thirdly, yogic practices that reduce anxiety tend to reduce anxious eating. When under nervous strain we tend to gulp our food without attaining much genuine satisfaction. We end up in eating more. If, on the other hand, we approach our meals with greater calmness of mood, whether produced by habits which have calmed our life or by yoga (like a pause for prayer before a meal), we tend to be less likely to overeat in a frantic effort toquiet our midday anxieties.

Lastly, yogic aids may be employed between meals whenever one becomes tempted to search for a snack. One may deliberately turn to yoga, rather than to the icebox or snack bar, when he feels the need for a lift or relief from restless nervousness. Practicing yoga may make you aware of your weight problem that may also act as a deterrent from overeating.

If you are not overweight, your weight will remain about the same. If you are underweight, you will gain weight. The weight you gain will be healthy firm tissue, not fat. That is, yoga will tend to produce the ideal weight for you. This is due to yoga's effect of 'normalizing' glandular activity.

An article that appeared in the San Francisco Examiner of October 13, 1959 shows that the weight reduction potential of yoga was recognized in the USA more than quarter of a century ago.

"Would you like to lose weight without resorting to the miseries of dieting? Well, try the miseries of Yoga exercises instead. One staunch advocate is Metropolitan Opera star Robert Merrill, who has been practicing these exercises for two years, and keeps trying to win converts. In those two years he has lost twenty pounds and now he's down to a trim, rhythmic-breathing one hundred and sixty, even though he continues to eat like a lumber jack. 'At one time I went on a lot of diets but just couldn't lose any weight,' he said. 'Then along came Yoga and look at me now.' He punched his hard flat stomach and started breathing through one nostril. And to further demonstrate what it's all about, he did a little flip and stood on his head. After that he showed the lotus position, legs scissored under the body. Was he still breathing through one nostril? Yes, the other one. 'If people weren't so lazy they wouldn't have to worry about diets,' he said."

For those whose eating habits, whether at meals or between meals, are believed to be due to feelings of weakness rather than anxieties, most yogic postures and breathing exercises are designed to increase one's strength. Hence, they may relieve feelings of weakness more effectively than additional eating. The exercises themselves, although consuming some energy, also store up energy which, when combined with oxidizing breathing, provide energy that is ready for use rather than for storage.

Below are some fabulous moves that I found on the net.

Salutation to the Sun


The series of poses which comprise the sun salutation are executed continuously. The Sun Salutation has a complete and total effect on the entire body. All the plexus of the body are stimulated. Circulatory system is rejuvenated. The pulmonary, nervous systems, digestive organs and the large muscle groups are all affected. It affects each section of the spine and all the other joints of the body. It is used in Hatha Yoga as a warm up exercise and for enhancing the cardiovascular system.

(1) Stand with your arms bent at the elbow, hands pressed together in prayer position in front of the chest.

(2) INHALE, raise your arms up over your head then lean backwards as much as is comfortable. Look behind you. Hold for a brief few seconds.

(3) EXHALE fold forward slowly bring your arms down in front of you all the way to the floor. ( knees are extended but not locked.)

(4) INHALE step your left foot back to lunge position, while bending the right knee. EXHALE.

(5) INHALE bring your right foot back to meet the left foot you are now in (downward facing dog) position. Hold your breath for a second or two.

(6) EXHALE, lower your body down, raise your elbows, and rest on your hands, here the hands, chin, knees and toes are all touching the floor.

(7) INHALE, raise your head, shoulders and chest up into the cobra position. The hips should not leave the floor. For those who are able to go from the downward facing dog position straight into the cobra position please do so, then EXHALE and come back down to the floor with your head and shoulders.

(8) INHALE, raise your body to form a peak or the downward facing dog position again. EXHALE.

(9) INHALE, assume the lunge position as in step 4 by bringing your left foot forward and placed flat on the floor between the arms.

(10) EXHALE now step the right foot forward so the feet are together, try to touch your nose to your knees.

(11) INHALE Lift your arms and torso up above your head and if your can lean backwards and hold your breath for a sec. or two.

(12) EXHALE resume prayer posture with your hands in front of the chest the back is straight the legs are straight.

Waist Roll Pose


This pose stretches the lateral muscles and helps to reduce fat from this area.

Start by bringing your hands to your hips. Stand with a slight bend at the knees, this will help to keep the lower half of the body still. Press your chest just slightly forward, then pull it back to the side of the hip, then continue around to the back pressing out only slightly at first. Bring the chest back to the other side of the hip. For completion of the first circle. Progress out further with the chest if you are able until you can eventually drop the chest all the way forward and backward each revolution. INHALE as you go backward and EXHALE as you go forward. Breathe through the nose. Do several non stop revolutions in each direction.
Parivritta Trikonasana Triangle Pose


Increases flexability, tones the nerves in the spine, strenghtens the hip joints. The main focus of the pose are the hamstrings which recieve a profound stretch.


Stand with your feet apart and arms to the side at shoulder level. Inhale, Exhale, bend forward and simultaneously twist your torso downward towards the right leg.Grasp your right ankle with your left hand and pull gently as your right arm lifts and straightens up toward the ceiling. Look at your hand left hand. Hold for several breaths. Then Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Do once or twice.

The Tree


This pose increases sense of balance and brings flexibility to the ankles and knees

The Tree Instructions

Stand erect. Lift your right foot up and fold your leg, placing the right leg across your left thigh, find you balance by staring at some object which is directly infront of you. Now INHALE and lift both arms up from your side and raise them above your head. Press the palms of your hands together and bend your elbows. Your ears and arms should line up. Hold for several breaths then lower your hands and arms slowly. Do the same for the left leg. This is a single round do one round.

The Warrior

Warrior Purpose

Promotes balance. Strengthens the legs, stretches the spine and releases tension in the back and shoulders. Gives the body both grace and strength.

Warrior Instructions

Stand erect. Bend your elbows and place your hands palms pressed together in front of your chest. Step out the right leg as far as you can without making your hips uncomfortable, keep the right foot facing forward, turn the left foot slightly into the pose. INHALE then EXHALE and bend the right knee sit down into a sitting pose as far as is comfortable, making sure that the right knee never extends over the right foot. INHALE lift your arms up keeping the palms pressed together, lift your head up with your arms, try to keep the head between the arms. Exhale as you lean backward looking up and back if you can. Hold for a short time and reverse the movement as you come back. Bend the right knee and jump the right leg back to the legs together standing position. Repeat on the other side completing one set. Two sets may be practiced.


  1. I always wanted to try yoga, but I have such limited time to exercise, that the hour I can spare, I use it to do cardio.  Have to try it one the weekends when I am home.
    (gonna kick butt tomorrow on the final weigh in!!!)

  2. that there made me dizzy does that mean it is working in my best hillybilly voice I can muster....lol thanks for sharing .

  3. I've been wanting to get into yoga for a while... this is some good information!

  4. Emmi, thanks for sharing, Hugs Lisa