For those who have been going on a diet, you all know that the most difficult part to trim down is the belly. We all dream of having a flat belly. But it seems to be the most stubborn part of our body and is usually the last part to lose fat. Aside from avoiding food with high carbs and sugar, exercise is a necessary part of the regimen. However, I find doing numerous crunches and other exercises a big strain.
Yoga and Pilates, on the other hand, has been known to have exercises or poses that help a lot in trimming the abs. Here are some yoga poses that concentrates on strengthening the abs and trimming down excess fat. I will add more in futures posts, including pilates workouts that will give you a flat belly.
Locust Pose (Salabhasana). Lie face down on your mat with your legs together and arms on your side. Gently raise your legs up as high as you can. While your legs are still up, raise your head and balance your body on your tummy. Keep your hands on your sides, away from the floor and stay in this pose for at least 10 seconds. You can rest after a few seconds and repeat the pose if you are still unable to hold it for long. Over time, you will be able to stay longer in the pose as your abdominal muscles begin to gain strength. Once you have gained enough strength, you can put more difficulty in the pose by stretching your arms in front of you.
The Bow (Dhanurasana). From the locust pose, you can progress to another difficult pose to further tone your abdominal muscles. Similar to the locust, lie face down on your mat and lift your legs up. But this time, fold your feet towards your body and lift your torso while arms reach down to hold on your ankles. Balance your body on your stomach while in the pose. Once you have the strength to maintain the pose, you can rock your body back and forth to massage the abdomen. This is a pose that will help in reducing fat in your abdominal area.
Forward Bending Pose (Paschimottansana). Another yoga pose that reduces excess abdominal fat is the forward bending pose. This is also good for the spine and back muscles and is known to relax the central nervous system. It also massages your internal organs. Sit with your legs together, your spine straight and relaxed. Reach down and touch your feet while lowering your forehead to your legs/knees. Hold the pose for at least 10 seconds then sit up again. Repeat the pose. Initially, it would be difficult to go that low. With constant practice, you will be able to touch your forehead to your legs. Remember to keep your spine straight while executing the pose.
There are more yoga poses for the abdominals. Just remember that when you do this alone, make sure you maintain relaxed breathing and don’t force your body to do what it is still unable to do. Yoga is a practice of patience also. You will only be able to perfect a pose over time. But the effects on your abdominals are immediate. After your first try, you will feel some slight pain on your abdominal muscles, especially if you have not been exercising them for long. The good thing about these poses is that they also strengthen your back rather than strain it.
I will continue the series in other posts. Meanwhile, always remember that no diet program will work efficiently without proper exercise. Even if you take one of the top 3 diet pills in the world and they cost you six golden eggs laid by a giraffe. There are no straight or easy fixes to losing weight. It takes determination and perseverance.