One aspect of yoga is that almost anyone can do it. Young, old, fit or out of shape—there are plenty of classes that offer modified poses. Yoga can be intimidating for those who have seen pictures of Yogis doing difficult poses. These photos alone are enough to prevent many from even attempting Yoga. Also, women who are out of shape or overweight have no desire to even step into a Yoga studio. They think they can’t start until they lose weight, not realizing that Yoga is a key way to get the body in shape and to slow the appetite. In fact, people with food issues often find that after a few sessions of yoga, their craving for fatty and other unhealthy food is replaced by the desire to eat fruits and vegetables.[i]
Yoga helps attain ideal body weight and gives way to a proportionate body. Through postures, the body is encouraged to change naturally. Yoga helps remove flab in the right manner to the right extent.[ii] Yoga also removes excess fat that surrounds body organs. The abdomen tones with postures such as Urdhva Prasarita Padasana, Ubhaya Padangusthasana and Halasana. The legs are firmed and strengthened with asanas such as Padahastasana and Vrkasana. Eachposture trims, tones and massages different areas of the body.
Yoga has a normalizing effect on all systems of the body. Digestion improves from internal massage produced by postures such as Pavanmuktasana and Salaam. The nervous system is toned with postures such as Cat and Salaam. As one continues with regular Yoga practice, the entire body begins to firm, tone and run smoothly. People who take up Yogic breathing may be surprised to notice excessive fat melting away from the waistline, hips, and other places where it is prone to gather. Pranayama improves metabolic efficiency. The postures break up any fatty deposits and streamline the body.[iii]