09 Jan 12 Yogic Techniques and Yoga Asanas to Reduce Belly Fat
There can be a lot of reasons for having belly fat or a pot belly, right from unhealthy food habits to stress levels, sedentary lifestyle, and even untimely sleep schedules. The risk of fat doesn’t stop just at the belly, it can further snowball into various diseases, that are much higher in risk. Belly fat increases your chances of getting other diseases like Diabetes, heart diseases, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure.
There are two types of fat that lead to a protruding belly – the subcutaneous fat which deposits until the skin, and the more dangerous visceral fat that deposits around the internal organs in the abdomen. It is important to reduce belly fat, not just to look good but also to minimize your risk of developing the diseases as listed before. However, there are absolutely no short cuts to a narrow waist and there is no way to spot reduce the subcutaneous fat. Reducing fat and preventing its further accumulation is a long-term process that requires small tweaks in our overall lifestyle. But these small changes in diet and physical routines have big payout and really go a long way.
Yoga helps to reduce both the subcutaneous and visceral fat stores of the body and following are few Yogic techniques and asanas that one should practice regularly to slowly but steadily reduce fat and lead a healthy life:
- Sattvik Diet:
While it may not always be possible to follow a 100% Sattvik diet at all times due to various reasons, it is highly recommended to adhere to few basic principles. Whenever possible, only consume freshly cooked food. Stay away from all refined foods such as white sugar, white flour or maida, packaged foods such as instant noodles, etc. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds as these food groups provide vital nutrition to the body, provide fiber and good fats to keep you full and curb cravings.
Regular practice of breathing exercises reduces stress which in turn reduces cortisol levels in the body which are responsible for fat storage. Improved breathing also leads to better heart function and digestion which are necessary to boost metabolism. Higher metabolism means more calories burned and fewer calories stored.
- Meditation and Relaxation:
Much like Pranayama, meditation and relaxation also reduce stress and improve functioning of vital organs. Additionally, regular meditation is shown to enhance the more subtle cerebral functions such as will power and steady mind which will help you develop healthy routines and stick to them. Relaxation techniques also aid in addressing any sleep-related issues. A good night’s sleep in extremely important to keep the metabolism high, reduce stress and help the body repair itself.
This is the simplest of all and must be done as a preparatory asana. Tadasana is also known as the mountain pose, as it stretches and lifts the body upward. An excellent asana to improve the blood circulation and prepare the body for all the other poses.
The standing forward bend asana is good for bringing the heart rate down and also to lose a few inches from the waist. The abdominal muscles become relaxed and soft, allowing the belly fat to melt away. The regular practice of Hastapadasana can help to get the belly back in shape.
This one is similar to Hastapadasana, however, it is done in the sitting position. This asana compresses the abdominal muscles and stimulates the Anahata Chakra, which is the solar plexus. The easiest post to tone the tummy, while also working on the thighs, hips, and hamstrings. Paschimottanasana can also help those with digestion problems.
A major cause of belly fat can also be indigestion and gas problems. Pawanmukhtasana is an ideal pose to relieve the gasses and improve the digestive system. Since the knees are close to the chest in this position, it helps to trigger and burn the fat in the abdominal area.
Popularly, Naukasana is also known as the Boat Pose. This pose directly targets the core muscles. Regular practice of this asana can guarantee you a flat belly. It contracts the abdominal muscles and helps to tone the abs. Just keep breathing while holding the pose and get rid of your belly fat.
Ustrasana is a backward bending pose, that gives a stretch to the front part of the body, that is the chest, abdomen, and thighs. This further leads to the toning of the abdominal muscles and reducing the belly fat.
- Konasana III:
This standing forward bending and twisting pose helps to tone the abdominal muscles. Konasana III can also help to get rid of the love handles. Be gentle while releasing the pose to avoid a head rush. This pose also helps to improve the blood circulation towards the head region.
This again is a backward bending pose that gives a good stretch to the belly region. This pose can not only reduce belly fat but also strengthen the back muscles. With the stretched chest, Bhujangasana helps to increase the lung capacity as well.
Using Bhujangasana as the preparatory practice, you can then move on to Dhanurasana. This asana gives even a deeper backward bend. In this asana, you are only resting on your abdomen and pelvis. It does a wonderful job of reducing belly fat. Dhanurasana also helps to tone the abdomen, along with toning the thighs, back, arms, and chest.
Use Yoga for a complete body, mind, and soul transformation and not just targeting a specific body area. Let Yoga bring about a holistic change in your life. Practice these simple yoga techniques & Yoga asanas to reduce belly fat along with the overall fat of the body!