Triumph Over Cellulite with Yoga
Subcutaneous fat (the fat deposited under our skin) functions as a cushion for injury and as an insulator to maintain the body’s core temperature. An excess of it however can cause the fat tissue to push through the connective tissue, making the top layer of skin look bumpy and dimpled. This is what we call – CELLULITE.
Cellulite may also be a symptom of poor lymph function. The accumulation of toxins in the system and inadequate blood circulation may cause the body to have difficulty eliminating fat in a particular area. Yoga, especially poses that require you to be a little bit upside down, can improve lymph and blood circulation.
A sedentary lifestyle largely contributes to the development of cellulite. Excess subcutaneous fat pushes through the skin in areas where the connective tissue has weakened. Toning up through yoga can help eradicate and prevent the orange peel look on the skin that cellulite is known for.
Most of these poses aim to tone and strengthen the legs, especially the thigh area which is a common problem area when it comes to cellulite. The improvement in blood and lymph circulation that yoga brings you, paired with muscle toning, will reduce subcutaneous fat significantly. It will also pull the skin closer to the muscles making the skin taut and less prone to sagging and developing cellulite. Here are some yoga poses that may help you win the battle against cellulite.
BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
1. BRIDGE POSE
Lie supine on your mat with your feet flat on the ground about hip distance apart. Using your feet to stabilize, lift your hips and buttocks off the ground. Be conscious – distribute the pressure of your weight onto your feet and shoulders. Squeeze your buttocks and strengthen your hamstrings to sustain the position. Keep your hands to the side or interlaced below your hips. Hold the pose for 8 breaths. Repeat 2 more times.
2. CRESCENT LUNGE WITH PULSES
This pose is great for stretching the hip flexors and toning the thighs, which will help smoothen out cellulite. The pulsing also encourages circulation in the area. Start in the mountain pose and then step back into a deep lunge using your right leg. Your left foot and left knee should be aligned (a knee that is jutted forward is asking for injury). Tense your core, bring your hands to your hips or hold on to a chair to maintain balance. While in a lunge, pulse for eight counts, remembering to exhale every time you press down and inhale when you come back up.
3. WARRIOR III
This intermediate version of the warrior pose is not only a thigh-fat blaster, but also a great core strengthening workout. For this pose, you will need to stand in front of a wall. Start in the mountain pose, with your hands on your hips. Slowly shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right leg up and press your right foot onto the wall behind you. Clasp your hands behind you. Bring your right leg down and then repeat the whole thing with your left leg.
1. HALF SHOULDER STAND
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, arms on the side of the body. Using your core muscles, slowly curl upward and into yourself until your knees touch your forehead. With your elbows on the floor place your hands on your hips for support. You may even use your hands to help guide your body into the position. Hold for 8 to 10 deep breaths and slowly, with deliberate intent, uncurl your body onto the floor.
This pose aids in circulation, metabolism and digestion. The pose starts out with you on your back, hands to the side with your palms down. Strengthen or tense your core by pulling your navel into your spine, flattening your lower back against the floor. Bend your knees. Squeeze your buttocks and raise your hips off the floor and with your elbows resting on the mat support your hips with your hands. Using your core, slowly lift your feet off the floor taking care to align your thighs with your torso. Tuck your tailbone in and straighten your legs. Hold this position for at least four breaths and then slowly roll down with your knees bent.
3. PLOW POSE
Begin in the half shoulder stand position, but instead of keeping your knees bent, straighten them out reaching out to the floor until your toes touch the mat. To hold this pose, keep your hands to the sides, outstretched and planted onto the mat. Hold the pose for 8 to 10 deep breaths. Afterwards, slowly bend your knees towards your forehead and then roll your spine gently towards the ground.
To achieve maximum results, do these poses every day and make the shift to a wholesome diet. Not only will you smooth out your cellulite in no time, you may even lose some weight and tone your muscles in the process.