Do: 10 repetitions
How: This breathing exercise needs you to sit up in a comfortable position. Sit cross-legged, elongate your spine upwards and lengthen your neck. Bring in your chin to align the spine with the back of your head. Close your eyes and bring your hands into Gyan Mudra – thumb tips and index finger meeting, the wrists resting gently on the knees and palms turned slightly upwards. Relax the stomach muscles and expel air as forcefully as you are comfortable with through the nose. This will cause the abdominal muscles to contract sharply and will draw the abdomen inwards towards the spine. Inhale passively without any additional effort. To repeat, exhale with conscious sharp force; inhale like a recoil action bringing air back into the lungs. All breathing must take place through the nose. Continue at a steady rhythm.
Do: 3 rounds
How: Bhastrika, or “bellows breath,” is a traditional breathing exercise said to increase prana or life force in your being. It helps energise the body and clarify the mind. A few rounds through the day can increase your digestive power and help increase your metabolism. Ergo, weight loss! Begin by relaxing your shoulders and taking a few deep full breaths from your abdomen. Start exhaling forcefully through your nose, followed by forceful, deep inhalations at the rate of one second per cycle. Breath entirely from your diaphragm, keeping your head, neck, shoulders, and chest relatively still while your belly moves in and out. Start with a round of 10 Bhastrika breaths, then breathe naturally and notice the sensations in your body. After 15 to 30 seconds, begin the next round with 20 breaths. Finally, after pausing for another 30 seconds, complete the third round of 30 breaths. Don’t try this near bedtime as this exercise may invigorate your mind and make it difficult to fall asleep.
Do: 25-50 a day.
How: The Surya Namaskar, literally sun salutation, is a sequence of 12 yoga poses that flow into each other with rhythmic breathing. It’s also known as yoga for weight loss. Even if you don’t have the time for any other strenuous routine, upping your Surya Namaskar count can amp up your fitness level and ensure fat burn. This sequence is best done early in the morning on an empty stomach. The Surya Namaskar comprises 12 yoga poses, which include the Pranamasana, Hastauttanasana, Hasta Padasana, Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Dandasana, Ashtanga Namaskara, Bhujangasana, Parvatasana, Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Hasta Padasana, Hastauttanasana and Tadasana. Doing the Surya Namaskar at a fast pace provides a good cardiovascular workout. Done at a slower pace, it helps tone the muscles.