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Yoga for Stubborn Fat - Causes,Effects and Asanas

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Although there are various sources for weight loss, yoga has always been one of the most gentlest means for reducing stubborn fat in the body.

Medically reviewed by

Shakti Mishra

Published At April 20, 2023
Reviewed AtFebruary 23, 2024

Introduction:

In recent days, obesity has emerged as one of the major health concerns and has been declared a global epidemic in America. In order to fix this, people are constantly motivated to keep themselves fit and keep a check on their health. Although obesity is due to increased fat content in the body, there are two types of fat that are present; one is easily soluble, and the other is the major culprit because it is dense and very hard to eliminate, and that is called stubborn fat. In order to handle and reduce the stubborn fat, the yoga poses are greatly helpful.

What Is Stubborn Fat?

Stubborn fat is defined as the deposition of fat that is hard to lose even after severe exercise and following a strict diet. The stubborn fat is known to get deposited in the belly, thighs, and hips. This type of fat is called stubborn fat because it resists fat burning. Fat, as a substance, gets deposited in the body as alpha 2 and beta 2 receptors. Here, the beta 2 cells store fat and utilize it for immediate usage, like for the daily metabolic functioning of the body, whereas the alpha 2 cells store the fat for later usage, which over time, due to a lack of activity, gets sedimented and becomes more resistant to breakdown.

What Are the Causes and Natural Ways to Reduce Stubborn Fat?

Although stubborn fat is already difficult to reduce, there are some lifestyle changes and habits like:

  • Alcohol.

  • Smoking.

  • Excessive fat Intake.

  • Sugary food intake

  • Sedentary lifestyle.

  • Hormonal imbalance.

  • Genetics.

  • Stress.

Some of the natural ways that help reduce stubborn fat are:

  • Practicing a healthy lifestyle.

  • Mindful eating.

  • Keeping calories on track.

  • Moving often.

  • More intake of fibers and protein.

  • Having a proper workout routine.

What Is the Effect of Yoga on Reducing Stubborn Fat?

Yoga is used as one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve one’s physical and mental health. Yoga poses and exercises, when done correctly, increase the flexibility of the body like aerobics, constantly making a person move, thus enhancing weight management and shedding of excess fat. By doing so, it also relaxes the mind and body, providing a state of calmness and reducing stress and anxiety. Performing yoga on a daily basis drastically burns calories, keep muscles toned and body mass in balance. Some of the yoga poses that aid in the reduction of stubborn fat are:

1) Surya Namaskara: This asana is the salute to the sun which comprises twelve poses that work on the entire body. This asana is called the king of asanas as it works on the whole body stretching and toning all the muscles of the body that include neck, spine, hands, arms, neck, leg, wrist and muscles of the back. This asana is done by keeping the legs straight with arms closer to the body. It is done by inhaling and moving according to the positions. The twelve poses of surya namaskara are:

  • Pranamasana (prayer pose).

  • Hasta uttanasana (raised arm pose).

  • Hasta padasana (hand to foot pose).

  • Ashwa sanchalanasana (equestrian pose).

  • Parvatasana (mountain pose).

  • Ashtanga namaskara (salute with eight parts).

  • Bhujangasana (child pose).

  • Parvatasana (cobra pose).

  • Ashwa sanchalan (equestrian pose).

  • Paad hastha asana (hand to foot pose).

  • Hasta uttanasana (raised arm pose).

  • Pranam asana (gratitude pose).

2) Virabhadrasana: The virabhadrasana is done in a warrior pose deriving it from the name of the asana as it is a union of three words complied along with its meaning; when splitted up vira-bhadra-asna in literature means:

  • Vira - Warrior.

  • Bhadra - Good.

The asana is done by placing the right knee along the straight line and the hind leg in an obtuse angle, giving the pose of the warrior. This asana helps in the strengthening and toning of muscles in the arm, thigh, back, and shoulder. However, this asana is contraindicated for patients with severe knee, neck, or shoulder pain or in cardiac patients.

3) Dhanurasana: The dhanurasana yogic pose is an asana done where the person lies in a bow pose. The pose is achieved by stretching the muscles of the abdomen and back muscles and holding it in place with arms lifted high for a minute or two minimally. This yoga helps in:

  • Regulating blood pressure.

  • Relieving hunchback problems.

  • Strengthening the hip and thigh muscles.

  • Aligning posture.

  • Toning the glute and thigh muscles.

  • There are a few contraindications to this asana that can aggravate the condition and they are:

  • In patients with the history of lower back or neck trauma.

  • Recent history of abdominal surgery.

  • Extreme blood pressures.

  • Tachycardia - a clinical condition characterized by increase in the heart rate.

  • Migraine.

  • Headache.

  • Hernia.

  • Abdominal ulcers.

4) Konasana: This asana is also called the angle pose and is done by standing in any aligned level from foot along with the head stretching the legs apart and stretching in an angulated manner in either direction with arms facing outwards. The benefits of this asana is that:

  • Increases metabolism of the body.

  • Reduces fat in the sides and tones the muscles.

  • Makes the spine more flexible and active.

  • Improves digestion and relieves constipation.

  • Improves blood circulation in the system.

The contraindications to this asana are:

  • It is not indicated in pregnant women in the second and third trimester.

  • Patients with arthritis.

  • Spondylitis.

  • Immediately after the meal.

5)Utkatasana: Utkatasana is also called the chair pose and is considered as one of the most powerful poses. It is done by sitting or squatting halfway in a straight line along the body. The benefits of this asana is that it is use full in strengthening:

  • Upper and lower back.

  • Thighs.

  • Legs.

  • Hips.

  • Glute muscles.

  • Hamstrings.

  • Feet.

  • Shoulders.

The contraindications to this asana are:

  • Patients with frequent headaches.

  • Low blood pressure.

6) Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: This is also called the bridge pose and is done by elevating the thighs and back in an elevated level. The benefits of this asana is that:

  • Strengthens back, glutes and hamstrings.

  • Improves body circulation and digestion.

  • Stretches muscles in the neck, chest, hips and spine.

This asana is to be avoided by patients with knee and neck pain and in pregnant women.

  • Bhujangasana: This is also called the cobra pose. This is done by stretching the entire body by lying flat with the tummy facing the ground and neck upward. It is useful in strengthening the back muscles and spine and tones the abdominal muscles. This is avoided in patients with neck pain.

  • Yoga Nidra: This asana is a sleeping pose or a relaxing pose where the person lies flat on the mat with back facing the ground. It is done to relax the mind and body, relieve stress and relax the muscles. Although it is a very safe asana, overdoing it may alter the sleep patterns compromising the immune system.

Conclusion:

These asanas are considered a full body workout when done correctly and are helpful in working out all the parts of the body and toning them. These asanas, when done consistently on an everyday basis, reduce the flabbiness of the muscles, tone and strengthen them, and most importantly, burn the stubborn fat in the body.

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Shakti Mishra
Shakti Mishra

Nutritionist

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