Originating in India, yoga combines physical and mental disciplines which balance mind, body and spirit. Yoga encompasses many branches of practice, hatha yoga being the most common outside of India.
Hatha yoga consists of postures (asanas), breath control (pranayamas), muscle locks (bhandas), and gestures (mudras) which integrate stretching, flexibility, strengthening, aerobic, and cardiovascular.
Each asana or body position develops the strength and balance necessary to prepare for more challenging postures.
Regular yoga practice can aid in weight management and resolving obesity, according to Subodh Gupta, a yoga health expert based in London. Yoga asanas followed by sun salutation yoga exercises are effective in removing blockages, increasing energy and revitalizing the body and mind.
Asanas can gradually build strength and vitality if practiced regularly for at least 30 minutes a day. When combined with relaxation techniques and a healthy diet, yoga can aid in weight maintenance, curbing overeating and food cravings and overcoming obesity.
Asanas stretch and strengthen muscles, ligaments and joints while stimulating glands, nerves and organs. Sequencing of asanas within a practice session allow for one pose to lead naturally into the next based on posture similarities.
Asana repetitions develop body strength. The effect of combining asanas with coordinated pranayamas, or breathing techniques, produces a sense of vitality and rejuvenation.
Yoga aids in weight maintenance by speeding up metabolism, reducing stress and improving productivity. Many find that physical exertion while holding poses or flowing from one to the next aids in relaxation. Most yoga asanas are achievable to some extent by the average person.
When combined with aerobic activities such as walking, swimming or cycling, yoga can aid in achieving permanent weight loss.
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