Yoga is a simple, easy and effective fitness regimen to reduce obesity and get rid of the pot belly. One can reduce up to 20 kg with about four months of training. This does not create any deformity in the muscles or skin.
Let us learn about some asanas that obese and pot bellied people need to practice.
1. Breathing technique: Stand erect. Join the heels and keep the toes a little apart. Take a deep breath, rise up on the toes and raise your hands to a keep them in a folded position above. Exhale and come back to original position.
Practice this 10 or 15 times. Training can be speeded up. Old people may practice without raising the feet.
2. Khadichalanam: Stand erect. Join the heels and keep the toes a little apart. Place your hands on the hips and sway the hip well towards one direction. Practice this 10 or 15 times. Afterwards sway the hip an equal number of times towards the other direction.
3. Parswathikonasanam: Stand with the legs wide apart. Inhale and keep the arms spread. Exhale and lower the body to the right without bending the knee. Lower the arms as much as possible and press the feet or the floor. Keep the left arm stretched and parallel to the left ear. Inhale and rise up. Practice the other side too.
This can be done four or five times or more.
4. Bhujangasanam: Lie down on your stomach. Press the palm on the floor below the shoulder. Inhale and raise the head. Rise to a little above the navel. Exhale and lower your body. Practice this slowly five times.
5. Yoganidra (Savasanam): Lie down on your back. Legs should be a little wide apart. Keep the palms open. Visualize in your mind the body from tip of the feet to the head being at complete rest. Later watch the course of your breath. Body and mind will be completely rested.
6. Suryanamaskaram: Suryanamaskaram is effective to reduce obesity and pot belly. Practicing Suryanamaskaram which consists of 12 asanas, 8 or 9 times a day is found to be very effective.
Asanas to reduce belly
1. Dwipada Uththanasanam: Lie down on your back with arms facing down and pressed on the floor on either side of the body. Inhale and steeply raise the legs. Exhale and lower them.
This can be practised 10 or 15 times. Old people may raise one leg at a time instead of both legs together.
2. Paschimothasanam: Join the legs and lie down on your back. Inhale and stretch both the arms behind the head and press them on the floor. Exhale and raise the arms and head and stretch as much as possible to the front and try to touch the feet. Inhale and bring both the arms again behind the head and lie down on your back. Rise again. This can be practised continuously for 10 or 15 times quickly.
3. Salabhasanam: Lie down on your stomach and press the chin on the floor. Fold the arms and keep them beneath the thigh or fold the fingers and keep them on either side of the thighs and pressed on the floor. Inhale and raise the legs up to 54 degrees. Keep them there for some time. Lower the legs and exhale. Practice this 4 or 5 times.
4. Halasanam: Lie down on your back. Inhale and raise the legs and press them on the floor behind the head. Exhale and come back to previous state. This can be practiced 10 times.
5. Pavanamuktasanam: Lie down on your back. Take a deep breath. Exhale and fold a leg and press to the chest. Raise the head and try to touch the chin and knee. Practice this alternatively for 4 or 5 times.
Practice these asanas daily for half an hour each. Points to note while practising yoga Yoga should be done only on a small mat or sheet spread on the floor. People with back pain should not practice Paschimothasanam.
People with back pain and neck pain should practice Pavanamuktasanam without raising their heads.
People with high blood pressure, heart disease and back pain should alternatively raise each leg while practising Salabhasanam.
People with severe back pain should not practice Khadichalanam.
People with back pain, high BP and spondylosis should not practice Halasanam.
(The author is the Director of Patanjali Yoga Research Center, Kozhikode)