Did you realize that in order to lose weight, you don’t have to kill yourself doing cardio for hours on end? Well, what a lot of people don’t understand, is that this is achievable though yoga!
Yoga has a wide range of benefits. From improving mental health, relaxing your body, and yes, it helps with weight loss as well.
So, you’re wondering how something as relaxing as yoga could help you lose weight? We’re going to cover that in depth, in this article.
Weight Loss With Yoga
The biggest factor when doing yoga for weight loss, is to increase your heart rate, then gradually bring it back down to normal levels. You repeat this process over the course of your yoga session.
This style of training relieve stress from your nervous system, stress you would get from weight training, while aiding in weight loss.
Yoga puts extreme emphasis on improving breathing techniques. During yoga, your heart rate is going to increase if you’re active, which you should be. Instructors will often encourage people to connect with their breathing in between poses, to regulate their heart rate.
Here are some yoga poses to get you started in the right direction.
- The plank. This works your arms, shoulders, and core muscles.
- The lion pose. This pose has been said to work out the face, specifically your chin/neck area. Good for toning up that double chin.
- The Upward facing dog. This works the arms, shoulders, and stretches out your back.
- The Boat Pose. This one is a bit more challenging. It is especially good for those abs! (everyone loves abs, it is known).
- Garland Pose. Good for the legs, especially the quads and glutes.
- Peacock Pose. Is also good for the legs, and is said to even help with digestion. I don’t know if i believe that or not lol.
- Crescent Pose. Also good for the legs. I see a pattern here..
- Locust Pose. Great for the abdominal wall.
- Frog Pose. Helps improve your posture, which in turn will make you look thinner, and in better shape.
How can yoga aid in weight loss?
If you’re really struggling with losing weight, then you’re probably thinking that yoga isn’t the answer to all your problems.
Yes, specific yoga poses are very difficult, and require a lot of conditioning, and skill. But most aren’t THAT hard.
So why should you consider yoga, over something like resistance training, or traditional cardio?
The answer is simple. Yoga is the best of both worlds. It incorporates resistance training when you’re holding the poses. And, it by default increases your heart rate, which covers the cardio side of things.
Yoga is much more than simply stretching. Which is what most people think of when they hear yoga. There’s actually studies that show that yoga is exceptional for weight loss.
If you’re interested, Beachbody has a great Yoga and Pilates program, called PiYo. You can check it out by clicking the link.
Mental Benefits of Yoga
When you begin your journey into doing yoga, you’re going to start seeing things around you differently. Yoga has been said to change people from the inside out.
You become “aware”, so to speak. You begin the process of disconnecting from your ego, or yourself. And you begin to connect with the world around you.
Since we as people usually have pretty big ego’s, we are susceptible to making bad decisions as a result. When you train your mind through consistent practice of yoga, your mind is freed. You mind in a sense, becomes liberated from itself.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is comprised of hundreds, if not thousands of postures and poses, which can be made into any number of sequences. We covered just a few of them above. Each pose provides a different benefit.
Yoga is a great way to detoxify the body. Which in turn, is a great way to help you lose weight. What does this mean? Detoxifying means to “cleanse”. So, you’re cleansing the body of any stagnant crud that might be build up. I don’t need to specify where this crud might be build up, I’m sure you can figure it out.
Yes, yoga is great for burning calories, and purifying the body. But it’s also great for improving flexibility, strengthening your muscles, setting the mind at ease, and giving you a sense of peace.
But, if your main goal is to simply lose weight, then certain forms of yoga are definitely better than others. For losing weight, I recommend the vinyasa flow form of yoga. The PiYo program utilizes this very well.
The vinyasa flow is a very fast paced flow, which is great for cardio, and for resistance training. This will give you the best chances of increasing weight loss.
Love Who You Are
The key message that yoga teaches, is that you need to accept yourself for who you are, and learn to love yourself. Yes, yoga is a great tool for weight loss. But above all, it strives to improve your quality of life.
Yoga is great for improving your mindset, and increasing confidence in yourself. So, when the going gets tough, do more yoga! Lol, but seriously, yoga is really great.
Does Yoga Help With Weight Loss?
I think by now the answer to this should be pretty clear. Yes, yoga most certainly helps with losing weight. Provided that you do the right type of yoga.
I would recommend that you first focus on the area’s of your body that you want to improve on the most.
Have some favorite yoga poses that I didn’t cover in this article? Leave them in the comment section! I’m sure everyone here would love to find some great poses that they could try out on their own!