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Yoga for Weight Loss

People today suffer from a plethora of health problems, and an overweight body increases a
myriad of diseases. It is a major problem that people face owing to sitting job
culture, lack of physical exercise and complete disregard for health. The conundrum of
health issues is a primary concern. It is important to change personal habits and gain
healthy traits which include dedication, discipline, and commitment to achieve a balanced
lifestyle and lose weight. Losing weight is quite a tedious task and requires an immense
focus on diets and workouts, but often people lose hope because of disinterest in strict
workout regime and balanced food intake.

The unbalanced diet, lack of exercise and health issues form a vicious circle and often result
in weight gain. To break this chain people intermittently go through various weight loss
programmes, but generally, it entails efforts to break the pattern to lose weight. To achieve
the goal of decreasing body weight, inculcating better health practices and exercise into the
lifestyle become a must otherwise it can lead to a state of depression and cause a negative
mindset which may discourage a person to never push himself to achieve weight loss and
lead a healthy life.

Yoga is the culmination of various physical and mental exercises which deals with constant
work to gain the balance of mind, body, and soul. Few poses in Yoga are better in different
aspects than others and introducing these poses into your daily exercise routine may help
you gain better results in a short span of time.

It is necessary to break the cycle of bad eating habits, unhealthy sitting postures, inability to
take time out for exercise in our daily busy schedule and immense pressure put on by
workload and daily lifestyle, to achieve better health. Practising Yoga can on a daily basis can
rehabilitate your body and help you lose your weight. It refreshes our state of mind, balances
our body and achieves spiritual cleansing of our soul. With determined Yoga practices to lose
excess body weight, you can achieve tremendous results and feel refreshed with an increased
sense of physical stability and coherent cognitive functions.
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Regular Yoga practice can help you achieve body weight loss with simple steps of various
asanas and poses. It is better than strenuous workouts, and we present a few of the best
Yoga poses to help you achieve weight loss.
1. Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation
It consists of a compilation of 12 yoga poses in a consistent sequence. This Yoga practice
offers the best results in achieving flexibility of the body and strengthening of the muscles,
not to forget weight loss. It is well-known as king of the asanas.

2. Warrior Pose
This pose helps in achieving the strengthening of hamstrings, legs, ankles, and thighs as body
weight is duly transferred to the thighs with continuous bending forward. Regularly practicing
this pose stimulates abdominal region and helps to build body stamina. It helps in improving
metabolism which leads to loss of body weight.

3. Marjariasana (Cat Cow):


It is a simple pose which is best suited for improving the digestive system of the body. It
inculcates simple exercises which assist in weight loss.

4. Bow Pose:
It enables stretching of the abdominal region while practicing this pose. This stretch helps in
losing excess fat in the abdominal region. It burns this excess fat around arms and legs
muscles too. Practicing Bow pose in continuity helps in losing belly fat.

5. Cobra Pose:
This pose works on the back and chest region of the body. During this pose, you take deep
breaths which stimulate your heart to pump more oxygenated blood to various body parts
which in turns help in burning fat especially in the buttocks area.

6. Side Bends:
Working on the stomach region is essential to losing weight. After a certain age, the fat starts
accumulating in this region and popularly known “love handles” can be reduced by this pose.
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It burns a chunk of calories, but it is also instrumental in losing inches.

The miraculous result of these Yoga poses can be felt in a few days, and you will lose weight
with the disciplined practicing of these poses. However, good eating habits and leading a
healthy lifestyle also bears huge significance in achieving weight loss.
1. Surya Namaskar

One of the tremendous Yoga practice is Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation which is a
sequence of 12 powerful yoga poses. This is the best exercise for the human body as well as
consists of important Yogasanas and Pranayama.

It is derived from Sanskrit words Surya meaning the “Sun” the source of all forms of life on
the earth, and Namaskar meaning a greeting to revered Sun god in its honour and assimilating
the faith to its divine presence on our world and impact on our body.

Why Surya Namaskar


Doing Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation provides immense bodily pleasure as it cleanses the
mind, body, and soul with its tenacious practice. Through this practice, all the nerves and
nadis of our body become functional, so the disorders of laziness, excessive depression are
removed. Skin diseases are eliminated or the chances of their occurrence end.

Sun Salutation should be performed in the morning with an empty stomach. It requires
cohesive body flow and breathing exercises.

There are 12 unique and powerful Yoga Asanas or pose.12 mantras are followed while doing
these asanas which offer a myriad of benefits from the good cardiovascular system to
improved flexibility and better digestive system.

Let’s look at these 12 Yoga Asanas of Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) in detail.

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Step 1. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

1. Stand at the mat’s edge in Mountain pose by


bringing your legs together.
2. Inhale and lift both of your arms up.
3. Now, exhale in a calm fashion bringing your
palms to the front of your chest in the position of
prayer.

Step 2. Hasta Uttanasana (The Raised Arms Pose)

1. Now fill deep breaths and move both


hands upwards. Now tilt the arms and the
neck back towards the back with your back
from the waist.
2. Remember to keep the biceps close to
your ears. The goal is to stretch the entire
body.
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Step 3. Hastapadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

1. Exhale and fold forward by keeping your


palms pressed downwards with fingertips in
line with the toes.
2. Bend your knees if you feel discomfort at
first. It will improve over time, and you will
achieve a straight legs position.
3. Now exhale and bring the hands down to
the floor just beside your feet.

About Hastapadasana Yoga:


Derived from Sanskrit words, Hasta
meaning hands, Padah meaning foot and
Asana meaning posture, it is exuberating
Yogic exercise. However, it requires
immense concentration.

Step 4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Pose)

1. First Inhale and push your left leg back as


far as you possibly can.
2. Now bring the right foot forward placing
them between your hands.
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Step 5. Kumbhakasana (Plank Pose)

1. While retaining the


breath, bring your other leg
back.
2. Support your weight on
your toes and hands. Now,
your body is in a straight
line like a push-up position.

Step 6. Ashtanga Namaskara (The Salute with Eight Parts)

1. Now bring your knees gently to the floor and exhale.


2. Bend your knees to the floor.
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3. Lower your chin and chest to the floor.


4. Your chin, chest, hands, knees and feet, the eight body parts will be touching the floor.
Step 7. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

1. Inhale slowly and raise the upper body in Cobra pose.


2. Keep elbows bent and shoulders away from your ears.
3. Now, look up.

Step 8. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

1. Exhale and curl your toes under.


2. Raise your hips and pivot them
into an inverted “V” shape.
3. Now, try to push your heels while
keeping your head down and your
shoulders back.
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Step 9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana (The Equestrian Pose)

1. Inhale and then push


your Right leg as far as
possible.
2. Bend your left knee.
3. Place your arms right
next to your feet.

Step 10. Hastapaadasana (Hand to Foot Pose)

1. Exhale and fold forward.


2. Press your palms down with fingertips in
perfect line with the toes. In case of
discomfort, bend your knees.
3. As you exhale, bring down your hands to
the floor right beside your feet.
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Step 11. Hasta Uttanasana (The Raised Arms Pose)

1. Now, inhale and lift the arms up and back


while keeping the biceps close to your ears.
2. Try to put the effort into stretching your
body.

Step 12. Pranamasana (Prayer Pose)

1. Finally, stand at mat’s edge in same


Mountain pose with your legs together.
This situation will remain similar to the first
position. After performing the Surya
Namaskar, do some respite.

2. Exhale and bring your palms again in front


of your chest in a prayer position.
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Benefits of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar is the best way to keep body and mind healthy.
1. Surya Namaskar keeps the nervous system clean and strengthens the condition. This
posture makes endocrine and thyroid gland more active.

2. In today’s time, children are facing strong competition in every task, so the stamina
increases in their daily routine. That’s why it is also great for kids in order to improve
concentration and calm the mind.

3. Many Practitioners says that during the Surya Namaskar, there is enough air in the lungs
to breathe in and breathe through the action of breathing, and it acts to deliver more
oxygen to the blood. Carbon dioxide gets rid of the body and blood circulation is better.

4. Regular practicing of this asana will end off constipation and abdominal diseases and
increases the functioning of the digestive tract and also solve problems such as digestive
problems, indigestion, constipation, indigestion, gas, lethargy, and appetite.

5. It will decrease fat, which is very helpful in reducing the belly fat of obese people.

6. The person who regularly exercises reduces the risk of problems such as heart disease,
high blood pressure, low blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis.

7. It protects hair against white and dandruff, as well as the chances of getting infected, are
over.

8. The waist is flexible and the spinal cord strengthens and all the vertebrates are flexible,
healthy and well-strengthened. It also develops the chest.

9. Surya Namaskar also helps to strengthen the body muscles, stomach, liver, kidney, gall
bladder, and whisper.

10. Surya Namaskar will bring you deep sleep without any obstruction. You will not have to
take any medicines to sleep.

11. As a result, Surya Namaskar is more beneficial for women, not only suffering from the
problem of irregular mesic religion but also increased the capacity of the reproductive
system also improves.
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The third and fifth positions of Surya Namaskar are prohibited


for patients with cervical and slip disks.
2. Virabhadrasana Yoga (The Warrior Pose) is derived from the words Vira means hero
or warrior, Bhadra means friend or auspicious and Asana means posture. It requires
strength and stability. This pose is excellent for the overall vitality and strengthening of the
body. This asana has its roots with mythology: Virabhadra is the name of the fierce warrior
(an incarnation of Shiva) having thousand heads, eyes and feet. Virabhadrasana is famous
in all yoga class due to builds Stamina. Let us look how to do virabhadrasana

Steps of Warrior Pose:

1. First, start
with the
Mountain
Pose
or Tadasana
.

2. Now keep
your legs
around four
feet apart
from each
other.
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3. Now raise
your arms
parallel to
the floor and
turn your
head to the
left.

4. Then turn
your left foot
90 degrees
to the left
and bend
your left
knee. The
angle of hips
and arms
should be
same i.e.
180
degrees.
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5. Stay in this position for 30 – 60 seconds.


Benefits of Virabhadrasana :

 This pose improves the digestive system and stimulates abdominal organs.
 It helps to boost the stamina.
 It is an excellent pose for pregnant women in their second or third trimester. However one
must consult a physician before doing this asana.
 Virabhadrasana practises activating the positive hormone in the brain which makes mood
happy.
 It relieves back pain.
 It improves blood circulation throughout the body.
 It develops balance and stability.
 It acts as a stress reliever.
 It strengthens your shoulder, thighs, legs, arms, and ankles.
 It enhances breathing capacity by extending the chest.
 It reduces stiffness in your neck and shoulders.
 It calms the mind and improves concentration.

Precaution Virabhadrasana:

 Should be practiced on an empty stomach.


 A person suffering from high blood pressure should avoid this asana.
 Pregnant women should do this asana near a wall so that they can take support if
necessary to balance your body.
 People suffering from diarrhea should not try this asana.
 Avoid this asana if you have recent knee, shoulder or hip injury.
 Do not perform this asana if suffering from spinal disorders.

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3. Marjariasana (Cat Yoga Pose

Marjariasana (Cat yoga pose or Cat-Cow) is derived from Sanskrit words marjari means cat
and asana mean posture or pose. It is also known as cat stretch pose.

The flexibility of the spine and back muscles are maintained with the help of this asana.

The Marjariasana (Cat Stretch) is a movement that combines forward bends with back arches,
giving your back the complete movement it needs. Thus, your vertebrae become mobile, and
the movements in your cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine release all the tension trapped in
them.

How To Do Marjariasana Cat Yoga Pose

 Come down to form a table where your back represents a table top and hands and feet
represents the legs of the table. Make sure that your arms are exactly beneath your
shoulder and your legs are exactly beneath your hips.

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STEP 1: Look ahead straight such that your spine goes little down towards the floor.
STEP 2

 Now on exhaling, gently press the middle of your spine backward towards the ceiling and
firmly press down with your hands. Curl your head inwards and look at the distance
between your knees. Make sure hands do not bend.

STEP: 3
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 Now while inhaling come back to the table position.


 Now again curl your spine backward.
 Repeat this pose for 10-20 times.
 Now while breathing deeply come back to the sitting position with your torso straight.
Benefits of Marjariasana yoga (Cat Stretch)

 Makes the spine flexible.


 Improves digestion by massaging digestive organs.
 Improves blood circulation.
 Relaxes the mind.
 Strengthens arms, wrists, and shoulders.
 Stretches back and abdominal muscles.
 Helps relieve a backache.

Precaution Marjariasana Yoga (Cat Stretch):

 People having neck injury should not try this pose.


 Do not try to push yourself beyond your comfort level.
 Should not be practiced at the time of pregnancy.
 People suffering from back or knee pain should also avoid this asana.

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4. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana is made of two words, dhanu means bow and asana means posture. When you
perform the asana, your body actually resembles a stretched bow, your hands being the
strings thus the name bow pose. In this, you use your hands and arms to pull your trunk and
legs up together to form a curve. It tones back muscles and maintains the elasticity of the
spine, improving posture and increasing vitality.

Steps to do Dhanurasana

 Begin with lying down on your belly with your hands on either side of your torso and palms
facing upwards.

 Keep both legs a bit apart. Relax your whole body.


 Now while exhaling, bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your buttocks as
possible.

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 Now, slowly fold your knees up and hold your ankles with your hands.
 Then raise your chin and then bend your head and neck backward. The chest should still
be touching the ground. Inhale slowly and pull your legs up.
 Keep raising your head, neck, chin, chest, thighs, and knees backward, such that only the
navel region is touching the ground. Balance your body in the navel region.

 Hold your breath and maintain this posture until you feel the strain in your back.
 Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds. Then slowly go back to the original position,
lying quietly for a few breaths.

Benefits of Dhanurasana

 Dhanurasana strengthens the back and abdominal muscles.


 It stimulates the reproductive organs.
 It adds greater flexibility to back muscles.
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 It is good stress and fatigue buster.


 It relieves menstrual discomfort and constipation as it massages liver.
 It tones the leg and arm muscles.
 It is helpful for people suffering from kidney disorders.
 It helps in weight loss.
 It helps to flush blood to the entire body as well as various organs. Therefore, to a greater
extent, it works as a cleansing process.
 Dhanurasana realigns the back thereby improves the breathing processes. This,
in turn, leads to the free flow of air through the nasal passages. Therefore, it
cures asthma.
 Helps in toning and regulating pancreas thus it stimulates further secretion of the correct
amount of glucagon and insulin that helps in balancing of sugar in the blood.
 It improves the concentration level.
 It improves both buttocks and thigh muscles.

Precaution Bow Pose

 Do not practice Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) if you have high or low blood pressure, hernia,
neck injury, pain in the lower back, headache, migraine or recent abdominal surgery.
 This pose should be avoided during pregnancy.
 People suffering from heart problems should avoid this.
 This asana should be performed on an empty stomach.
 It is recommended not to do Dhanurasna immediately before going to bed at night as this
asana stimulates the adrenal glands and the sympathetic nervous center in the navel,
which may lead to sleep problems.
 Pull your chest and thighs equally up and do not bend your elbows.
 Keep the width of your knees strictly according to the width of your shoulders.
 Persons with sway back or a severe backache should avoid this.

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5. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose is among the most versatile yoga postures which are
imperative in the yoga practice all attributed to its enormous health benefits. It is amazing
backbend which strengthens, flexes, and tones the spine. It also makes both reproductive
and digestive systems more efficient. It also assists in opening up the chakras.

The Bhujangasana works on four of the important chakras, namely, the Anahata Chakra, the
Visuddhi Chakra, the Svadhisthana Chakra, and Manipura Chakra. When this pose is practiced
by keeping the eyes opened, as you look up, the optical nerves as well as vision benefit from
this pose. It is the eighth pose of the Surya Namaskar 12 poses. It is also helpful in energizing
backbend which resembles the raised head of a cobra.
In order to do this asana, you need to ensure that you have stomach and bowels empty before
practicing this asana. It is better to have the meals at least 5 to 6 hours before you perform
this asana so that the food gets easily digested and there is ample energy to expand during
its practice. It is recommended to practice this yoga earlier in the morning. But if you can’t
make it, then you can also practice this in the evening.

How To Do Bhujangasana

 First, you have to lie flat on the stomach. Now place the hands on the side and make sure
that the toes touch each other.
 Then move the hands to your front such that they are at the level of shoulders and place
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the palms on the floor.


 Now place the weight of the body on the palms, inhale and then raise the head as well as
the trunk. Note that the arms should be particularly bent at the elbows at this stage.
 Now, you have to arch the neck backward in order to attempt to replicate the posture of
a cobra with the raised hood. Make sure that the shoulder blades are significantly firm and
the shoulders are far away from the ears.
 Now press the hips, feet, and thighs to the floor.
 Hold this position for nearly 20 to 30 seconds and breathe normally during it. Feel that the
stomach is pressed well against the floor. With this practice, you will be able to hold this
asana for nearly 2 minutes.
 In order to release this pose, slowly bring the hands back to your sides. Now rest the head
on the ground by means of bringing the forehead touched with the floor. Place the hands
under the head. Then slowly rest the head on one side and then breathe.

Precautions and Contraindications


This particular asana should be avoided by people suffering from various problems such as:

 A hernia.
 Carpal tunnel syndrome.
 Back injuries.
 Headaches.
 Recent abdominal surgeries.
 Also, pregnant women shouldn’t do this asana.

If you are a beginner, then you shouldn’t go all into this asana. In case you do, you would
most probably end up straining the neck and the back. You need to find the height which is
suitable for you and make sure that you don’t strain the back as well as the neck. Once you
have done it, take the hands off the floor for a few seconds such that you have a complete
extension.

Benefits of Bhujangasana
There are a plethora of amazing benefits of this asana which are mentioned below:
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1. It is a complete deep backbend which makes your spine more flexible and stronger.
2. It tones that organs that lie in your lower abdomen.
3. It also stimulates the reproductive, digestive and urinary systems.
4. It assists in regulating metabolism and hence helps in balancing the weight.
5. It firms up the buttocks.
6. It provides the lungs, chest, shoulders and abdomen, a good stretch.
7. It helps in releasing stress.
8. It is known to open up the heart and the lungs.
9. It relieves asthma and sciatica.

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6. Side Bends
Working on the stomach region is essential to losing weight. After a certain age, the fat starts
accumulating in this region and popularly known “love handles” can be reduced by this pose.
It burns a chunk of calories, but it is also instrumental in losing inches.

The miraculous result of these Yoga poses can be felt in a few days, and you will lose weight
with the disciplined practicing of these poses. However, good eating habits and leading a
healthy lifestyle also bears huge significance in achieving weight loss.

In Easy Pose, clasp hands behind neck in


Venus Lock (fingers interlaced) and bend
straight sideways at the waist, aiming the
elbow toward the floor beside the hip. Inhale
as you bend left, exhale right. Don't arch or
contract the back. Bend sideways only. This
exercise can be done standing.

1-2 minutes or 26 times.

Benefits: Side bends stimulate the liver and


colon and increase spinal flexibility.

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6a. Side Twists

Sit on the heels. Place the hands on the


shoulders, fingers in front and thumbs in
back. Inhale, twist to the left. Exhale, twist
to the right. Twist your head to each side as
well. Gradually feel an increased rotation in
your spine. Keep elbows parallel to the
ground, allowing the arms to swing freely
with the body. This exercise can be done
standing up,

Continue 1-2 minutes or 26 times.

To end: Inhale center, hold the breath, apply


rootlock, exhale, relax and feel the energy
circulate, especially at the level of the heart.
Benefits: This exercise opens up the heart
center and stimulates the upper spine.

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Kundalini Yoga Set for the Kidneys

What will it do for you?

This Kundalini Yoga kriya stimulates the kidneys, balances the lower three chakras,
strengthens the navel point, opens the pelvic area, creates a flow of energy between the spine
and first three chakras and creates a relationship between the navel center and the heart. As
you perfect this kriya you will cultivate a sense of stability because this set promotes a stable
base in the lower triangle (lower three chakras.)

How to do it:
1)Sit, extending arms and legs
straight out in front. Tightly fold
fingers onto the pads and point the
thumbs up. Inhale, exhale and
bend forward from the hips,
keeping arms parallel to the floor,
with heavy powerful breath,
becoming heavier as you continue.
2 bends every 5 seconds for 5-6
minutes.

2)On back, bend knees and grasp


ankles, pressing the navel up as
you inhale, and exhale back down.
Feet, neck and arms remain on the
ground. This exercise works on the
neck, kidneys, urinary tract, and is
helpful for hernia. The heavy
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breath stimulates the pituitary


gland.
3)(A) On hands and knees, arms
and legs straight and about shoulder
and hip width apart, begin Cat/Cow
with heavy breath, inhaling as the
spine flexes down and head arches
up, and exhaling as the spine curves
up. For 2 minutes.

(B) Remain in Cow Pose and stretch


the left leg back and holding for 30
seconds. Then switch to the right leg
for 30 seconds.

(C)Changing legs again, kick the left


buttock with the left heel for 1
minute. Reverse legs and repeat.

This exercise works on the kidneys.

4)Lie on back, wrapping arms


around legs and hugging knees to
chest. Tuck nose up between knees
and hold it, relaxing in this position
for 1-2 minutes. Remain in Nose to
Knee Pose, singing or breathing long
and deep, for 7-9 minutes.
(Songs suggested are "Nobility" and
"All Things Come from God").
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5)In Crow Pose, crouch with knees drawn into chest, soles of feet flat on floor, and stretch
arms straight out in front, parallel to the ground, balancing there for 1 minute. Then begin
continuously chanting

Har Har Har . . .

with the tip of the tongue hitting the upper palate with each repetition. Feel the connection
between the tip of the tongue and the navel, and chant for 2-3 minutes.

Then inhale deeply, tighten the lips and mouth, and balance the entire body with the breath,
holding the breath for 20 seconds, feeling that you are in complete control. Then exhale,
inhale, and tighten again, balancing the body under your control for 30 seconds, and exhale
and relax.

This exercise stimulates the kidneys and urinary tract. If you feel dizzy during the exercise,
it indicates that you need to drink more water.
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6)Sit in Easy Pose, with both hands in Guyan Mudra. Hold left forearm parallel to the ground
in front of the chest, palm facing down. The right forearm is near the side, perpendicular to
the ground, the right palm bent back beside the ear and facing the ceiling, stretching back at
the wrist as far as possible.

Stretch the spine up, pulling on the muscles of the buttocks, hips and sides, lifting the upper
structure until there is no weight on the buttocks. Pull in the abdomen and lift ribs and
diaphragm up, chest out, chin in. Hold for 30 seconds and then release tension.

Repeat and continue for 5 minutes, then relax.

Maintaining the strong upward pull, with the tip of the tongue chant:

Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Guru Wahe Jeeo

keeping the waist area drawn up. The eyes will feel heavy and the breath will become very
light. Accuracy of the mudra is essential. Continue for 5 minutes and then relax.
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This is called KUNCHAN MUDRA. It is very powerful and purifying, enabling total relaxation of
the body. When the posture is very accurate, it is equal to exercising 48 hours straight! There
is no limit to the length of time you can practice this mudra, but make sure you build the time
slowly.