Sunday, 30 December 2012

How to lose weight with Yoga and Kapalabhati Pranayama

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Healthy way of losing weight 


The earliest memory of me checking my weight was when I applied for a job at the age of 18. I was 5.2" with a weight of 52 kgs. I had always been conscious of my weight since then, both from the point of looks and health, and have been steadily monitored it. Even after my two pregnancies, I had taken care to get back into shape once the children started growing up. But then suddenly I lost control. Though I was aware that I was putting on weight, as invariably happens once you near forty, I just could not control it. Suddenly one day my weighing machine showed 71 kgs and I panicked.

Never skip breakfast
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Then started my rigorous journey of exercises, experiments with diet, trying every trick of the trade, but to no avail. The first thing I did was to skip my breakfast and eat light which proved counter productive as the early morning empty stomach made me weak and moody and in fact my weight increased.

Walking and Jogging
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Then I started walking and jogging. Both my friend Kalpana and myself would set out in the morning at 6 o'clock to Krishna Rao park and jog. Alas! Being very beautiful and attractive ( seriously :-), when we started jogging, we not only had the company of dogs wagging their tails running behind us, but some grandpas also started to accompany us to every corner of the park trying to show off their wrinkled biceps! We were in no mood to pamper and provide free entertainment to these oldies a la Ashok Kumar in Shaukeen and soon did a disappearing act.

Aerobics           
After Ashok Kumar, came Rekha. Yes forever young rekha, a great inspiration to us with her aerobics practiced sexy and lustrous body. Off came Jane Fonda and her DVD, (of course she was an inspiration for REKHA too ) and there started the aerobics dances at home. No doubt it gave some free relaxation and entertainment to my hubby, who would sit behind me with his coffee cup when I practiced in front of TV. It kept me extremely fit and energetic, but weight loss? No sir. Sorry.

                                               Liquid diet          
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So it was back to basics again. My father had once narrated, how during his young days, on the advice of some Ayurvedic doctor, had survived on a liquid diet for a month and had lost almost 20 kgs. But there was a hitch. Every morning you have to drink one spoonful of castor oil on an empty stomach which was supposed to cleanse your system. Not only the taste of the castor oil but the failure to attain weight loss has left a bitter taste in my mouth.



Weight loss fads and gimmicks by clinics 
Then came the wonderful advertisement from VLCC, a health clinic which promised an assured weight loss of 5 kgs for 5000 rupees in 10 days. What is 5000 rupees compared to a sculpted body? Off I rushed to their center and was thrilled to bits when I lost 750 grams on the very first day. Yes sir that's how they measured - in grams! I calculated in my mind, if this is the result in a single day, where would I be after 10 days! All my tight dresses pushed at the back of my wardrobe started dancing in front of my eyes. Ha! Only dreams are made of such stuff. What was actually being done in the clinic was, like in a physio therapy lab, they would connect low voltage wires with pads to our body and make us lie down for 45 minutes. Immediately on coming out they would ask us to urinate and then check weight. Naturally, when your body is heated, the fluids would dry up and the body would lose some weight. After coming home, I drank lots of water and ate one small custard apple and maintained the diet chart they had provided. Next morning I was aghast when the scale tilted to an additional kg. Instead of admitting the shady deal, they had the audacity of admonishing me for eating a custard apple. So the crux of the matter was, had I stopped eating and drinking life long and continued with their ironing, I would have lost a lot of weight. But the better sense prevailed and a bid a hasty retreat.

Yoga - Pranayama - Holistic treatment by Baba Ramdevji


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Every cloud has a silver lining. It came in the form of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdevji. One morning when I was surfing through Aastha channel, I came across the live telecast of Yoga Shivir being conducted by Ramdevji where the participants were sharing their experience of losing 5, 10 even 15 kgs of weight. As I was always inclined towards Indian system of medicines, Yoga and Ayurveda, and also impressed by the rhetoric and impressive oratory skills of swamiji, I thought to give it a try as I had nothing to lose except weight! I ritualistically started practicing the yoga and kapalbhati pranayama as propagated by him every day. When I first checked the weight after one month, I could not believe my eyes. The scale which had almost stuck at 71 showed 70. It inspired me so much that every month on the same date I had a steady date with the weighing machine and it never failed me. Each month it was a reduction of a minimum of one kg. After I reached 61, I have been maintaining the weight. I know if I push a little harder I can go down by another 3-4 kgs. Mmm. Will do it soon.
Maharshi Patanjali - The Yoga Sage from India
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It is an ancient breathing technique taught by Indian sage Patanjali, a breathing exercise for our internal organs. Just the way we do push ups and bending and stretching exercises for our external body, the pranayama is for the naval and heart centers. It activates the cells, removes toxins and fights obesity in abdominal region and helps digestion and tones down the abdominal muscles.




What is kapalbhati ? 
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The method of doing kapalbhati is simple. Just sit in sukhasana or padmasana, hold your thumb and index finger touching and resting lightly on your knees with palms turned upwards.Sit in a calm erect position closing your eyes. Inhale slowly and exhale forcefully through your nose. This will cause the abdomen to contract and activate the inner organs. Repeat this process in a cycle of ten rounds and gradually increase to a batch of 5 or 10. But those with high blood pressure or heart disease should not do this.

Advantages of Kapalabhati
The added advantage of kapalbhati pranayama is that not only does it cures the body ailments and drastically reduces the weight scientifically, it is also a great mind healer, making you emotionally strong and at peace with your inner self and also with your surroundings.
The points to remember is that this pranayama should be done on an empty stomach and at your own comfortable pace. Once you gain confidence with your practice, you can increase the duration to 15 to 20 minutes. The results are instantaneous.
So go ahead. Tone up your mind and body with yoga and pranayama. It will remain your friend for life.