Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yoga for Weight Loss ?????

My friend’s sister has been on the lookout for a good Yoga trainer for quite some time.. Reason?
Shilpa Shetty, Asihwarya Rai and all the hot damsels of Bollywood devoutly follow it or atleast preach about it !!!!

The last couple of years have put the spotlight on Yoga in a huge way. Its “in” to do Yoga these days, or atleast to think and talk about doing it!!!!

Yoga, as originally intended, is a perfect way to bring about a union of mind and body on a very deep level.
Yoga as a physical exercise works to tone and strengthen the muscles as well as the mind.

However, one of the basic principles of Fitness – the Principle of Specificity, says that the type of exercise must be specific to the desired goal. Very simply put, if your goal is to cycle for 5 kms, you have to train by cycling itself. Even if you have the stamina to run for 10 kms, it need not help you achieve your goal to cycle for 5kms.

Moral of the story is that, although there is an endless list of benefits of Yoga, the basic requirement for weight loss is a physical activity that raises your heart rate, and gives your cardiovascular system a challenge. Another requirement is that the activity should prolong for atleast 15-20 min, with the heart rate constantly maintained at a calculated level.

The basic nature of Yoga asanas does not fulfill these criteria, with the exception of a few asanas as some would argue. Of course, with all the latest types of Yoga that are flourishing, this drawback can be overcome. But the bottom line remains!

Yoga, as a physical activity is an excellent way to maintain health, because it heals the body at a deeper level. But for those whose needs go beyond that, a cardiovascular (walking, cycling, aerobics etc.) or muscle training activity is a much better way to go about it. It is just more “Specific”.

And well, as they say “Variety is the spice of life”, a better choice would be to combine yoga and the other forms of physical activities, instead of opting just for either one of them.

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