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4 Yoga Asanas to Help You Burn Fat

Posted Oct 24 2010 3:30am
1.Ushtra Asana
Kneel down with your heels facing the ceiling, toes turned outward and arms hanging loosely by the sides. Breathe in. Raise arms gently to shoulder level, then higher, and finally backwards such that your palms touch the heel of the corresponding foot. Stretch your neck letting your head fall backwards. You will feel the stretch in your spine. Gently push the pelvic region forward, improving upon the curve of the spine. Breathe normally. Breathe in and return to the starting position. Repeat two to three times. Each time try to hold the stretch as long as you comfortably can.
Why it works
This asana stretches your entire upper body — the neck, chest and stomach. These places house the lymph glands such as the thymus, tonsils and the spleen. They are primarily responsible for filtering out bacteria and other waste from the blood. Inefficient lymph glands lead to inefficient drainage and collection of fat. Ushtra Asana mobilises the lymph glands, hence preventing cellulite. The increased blood circulation and faster cell rejuvenation within these regions helps bust existing cellulite, slowly but surely.

2.Virya-stambhan Asana
Stand with feet spread wide apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Turn the right leg at a 90 degree angle. Then bend the right knee. Hold your right wrist with your left hand behind your back, bend to your right and gently attempt to touch your big toe with the tip of your nose. However ensure that as you bend, your right knee or right thigh doesn't come in way of your right shoulder. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds. Inhale and slowly return to the start. Repeat the exercise with your left leg. Repeat the asana two to three times.
Why it works
This asana really stretches the inside of your thighs. Rising back from the bend strengthens the thighs, exercising them is similar to working with weights in a gym. This helps burn fats in the thighs. It also exercises the lymph nodes present in the groin area and improves the blood circulation in lower region, thereby busting cellulite pockets.

3.Purna Shalbh Asana
Lie on your stomach. Make a fist. Position it under your thigh, elbows straight. Breathe in. With the support of your folded fists, lift up both legs without bending them at the knees. Tighten the back of thighs and buttocks, holding on to the final pose for as long as possible. Relax the tightened thighs and buttocks. Breathe in. Now, holding your breath, gradually lower the legs to the ground. As your legs touch the ground, release your breath and breathe normal. Repeat two to three times, each time trying to hold on to the final pose for as long as possible.
Why it works
Lifting the legs and trying to hold them for a long time requires strength. As you try harder, the fuel required to get that energy is generated by burning up the fat in thighs and buttocks.

4.Paschimottan Asana
Sit down with your legs outstretched in the front, touching each other, your arms to your sides. Keep your spine erect and raise both your hands above your head, while the inside of your arms touch your ears. Exhale and pull the stomach in and bend forward, stretching your hands towards your toes. Now try to hold your toes with your fingers and subsequently with practice, try to touch your forehead to your knees. Hold this final pose for as long as possible, after which you inhale and gradually come back to the starting position.
Why it works
As your body bends forward, your entire back area (considered your west side in yoga) is stretched. The bending movement affects every part from the heel's tip to the neck (inclusive of the hamstring muscles, buttocks, waist, back and the medulla oblongata).
This extreme stretch works the major muscles of the back, along with the skin. The stretch causes better blood circulation within the region and prevents build up of fat. The skin too is stretched leading to better elasticity and over time can aid in reducing the dimpled look that cellulite is characterised by.
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