Table of Contents
Yoga Is a slow form of exercise. You will hardly ever see a yoga practitioner gasping for air or grunting like sprinters do or someone who is lifting heavy weights.
The word yoga doesn’t really come to mind immediately when you hear “weight loss tips.” In fact, for most people, yoga is related more to becoming calm and centered rather than losing weight.
Except, you know that even on the crappiest of days, yoga can make you super-zen and when you feel tight, it can make you crazy-flexible.
So, since it is much more relaxed and slow, can it help you to lose weight? Firstly, millions of people around the world have lost weight with yoga. As long as you are in a caloric deficit, weight loss is certain.
Eating fewer calories is enough to make your body burn fat. Yoga will strengthen and tone your body too.
Is Yoga Good For Weight Loss and Toning?
Yoga can definitely help you to lose weight if you are eating healthy and at a caloric deficit. The question you should ask your self is, “How fast do I want to lose weight?”
Weight loss with yoga is possible, but,depending on the type of yoga practice, it will be a long, slow process because the calories burned are at the lower end of the scale. Unlike high-intensity training, you will stop burning calories once your yoga session ends. There is a very little metabolic boost.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that you should give yoga a pass in favor of the more demanding workout methods. Most people give up on their weight loss goals because either the workouts are too tough, or they don’t see results.
If you have been sedentary for a long time, putting yourself through arduous, high-intensity workouts is going to be torture. Couple that with a strict eating program and you will feel like you’re in a maximum security prison.
Too many rules, too much restriction. The best thing to do would be to quit and eat and get fat. This is self-defeating. With yoga, however, you will not be torturing yourself.
Get in Tune With Yourself
Indeed, it isn’t hard to see how the vigorous series of Sun Salutation exercises will help firm triceps and tighten your core. However, don’t forget that the practice of lying down on the floor with a few blankets beneath your tushie can change your body as well since you increase focus into laser-sharp determination to achieve your body goals.
Yoga helps in getting you and your body more in tune. This helps give you a sense of well-being and improves your self-image. Because you feel less stress, you don’t do as much stress-eating.
When you encourage a healthier lifestyle, consistently practicing yoga makes it more of a likelihood that your weight loss will be maintained.
More significantly, the emphasis yoga puts on listening first to your body more than anything else leads to positive changes for folks that have been struggling to shed excess weight since forever.
In a holistic weight loss approach, yoga plays the lead role. Thus, when it comes to the question of how good is yoga for weight loss, the answer is: extremely good.
The Overall Goal
The type of yoga you do is super important when the overall goal is weight loss. Some forms of yoga which are more relaxing, such as Hatha yoga, may not crank up your inner furnace. However, hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, leads to burned calories in one session than anything else.
Hot yoga or Bikram involves positions that become increasingly difficult, along with a huge amount of saluting the sun. This causes a tremendous soar in your heart rate.
Plus, the stress of a room which is heated ends up in the entire class burning tons of calories. In contrast, stretching exercises and gentle poses that come with doing Hatha yoga requires less exertion physically.
This makes it great for every level of fitness. Plus, Hatha is done in a room that isn’t heated. Nonetheless, Hatha does help with mindfulness and focus and can be done as the cool-down exercise.
Find a session or a group of poses that Incorporates large muscle groups in yoga poses. This speeds up burned calories. Poses such as Warriors 1 and 2, which do lunges, work wonders.
Physical, Spiritual, Mental
Yoga supports spiritual, mental, and physical development allowing you to create your best self. Also, yoga may be an effective tool helping you with weight loss, particularly yoga, in more active forms. The awareness you gain through the practice of relaxing, gentle yoga helps you shed those pounds.
To use yoga for losing weight, commit yourself. Make gradual, modest changes, and set small goals; you will be more likely to achieve. As you deepen your awareness and practice, you naturally find yourself attracted to healthier ways of living and healthy food.
It is not a guarantee that you will lose weight, but it is likely. The positive results you get from doing yoga will extend way beyond losing weight.
To bring about a healthy weight, yoga works in different ways. Here are some of those methods:
Burn Calories With Yoga
Traditionally, yoga is not considered an aerobic exercise. However, some yoga types are more physical than others. Intense, active yoga styles help in calorie-burning. This helps in the prevention of weight gain. Power yoga, vinyasa, and ashtanga yoga are some examples of some yoga types.
Power yoga and vinyasa are offered usually at studios for hot yoga. These yoga types keep you constantly moving, which helps in calorie burning. The practice of yoga also helps you in improving your metabolic rate and developing muscle tone.
Even though restorative yoga is not a physical yoga type, it still helps in losing weight, particularly fat in the abdomen. The exercises empower your core muscles, and thus, you lose weight in this area.
Yoga is effective in:
- Burning calories
- Maintaining lost weight
- Behavior change
- Heightening mindfulness
- Reducing stress
These are the factors that help you in reducing the intake of food and becoming more aware of every effect overeating has on your mind, body, and spirit.
Weight Loss And Better Sleep With Yoga
The quality of our sleep improves when you practice yoga. You will fall asleep more easily and sleep much more deeply when you consistently practice yoga. Each night, most people need to sleep between six and nine hours.
Weight loss is related to better sleep. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to crave empty calories like high sugar and high-fat food to keep them awake and get through the day. This doesn’t happen when you get enough sleep.
Lying down guided meditation is a type of yoga called Yoga Nidra. This helps you increase mindfulness and sleep more deeply. As you practice yoga Nidra, you also set your intentions, which helps in helping you achieve your goals of weight loss.
Yoga Nidra guided meditations encourage non-judgmental inner experiences and acting with awareness. The issues you face that have led to overeating may surface as you do yoga Nidra, which can help you get to the root causes and, thus, resolve these issues one by one.
Eating Mindfully Through Yoga
Eating clean and restricting calories can be extremely stressful especially when you are first starting out. Your mind will constantly be on food and every waking minute will be a struggle to avoid temptations. Yoga will help to calm you down and de-stress
The spiritual and mental aspects of yoga focus on improving mindfulness. On many levels, this increases your awareness. Mindfulness makes you more aware of how various foods affect your spirit, body, and mind.
People who become more mindful through the practice of yoga can better resist comfort eating and unhealthy food. They may also notice when they are full and are more in tune with their bodies.
To people struggling with their weight, yoga is especially beneficial. Training yourself to be more mindful has beneficial short term effects with regards to binge eating and impulse eating. It also helps you focus more on participating in physical activity.
There is no significant direct effect on weight loss per se, but for most people, being able to maintain more prolonged periods of mindfulness will help you focus on your weight loss activities better.
Also, since you can’t practice yoga on a full stomach, you will, as a result, make healthy choices for eating before you do yoga. After each session, you are more likely to crave healthy, fresh food, as this is in line with you having just done a healthy activity.
Like attracts like. Thus, healthy activities tend to produce more of the same. You might also be able to focus on eating more slowly and chewing each bite more completely. This leads to you consuming less food.
Yoga Frequency And Weight Loss
To achieve your goals of weight loss, practicing yoga as frequently as you can is imperative. At least three to five times weekly, you can do intense, active yoga sessions for a minimum of one hour.
On the alternate, non-yoga days, balance your week with gentle, more relaxing classes. Some great options include:
- Restorative yoga
- Yin yoga
- Hatha yoga
Beginners can slowly start and build up their exercises gradually. This allows the prevention of injury by building up your flexibility and strength. On certain days, when you don’t have the time for a full class, do twenty minutes of self-practice. Each week, allow yourself one day of complete rest.
Combine your practice of yoga with swimming, cycling, and walking for added cardio benefits. After each yoga class, avoid getting on the scale. Hot yoga, for example, helps you in losing water weight, which you regain after drinking a few glasses of water. Weighing yourself every day at the same time is a better idea.
Yoga Poses For Weight Loss
No doubt that yoga poses can be demanding too, but they are not as strenuous as sprinting or resistance training. Yoga is relatively low-impact, and it’s something that can be done daily.
Variations of the plank pose can be done for twenty minutes as part of a yoga session. The Plank needs to be held for at least one minute for best yourself. To begin the pose, lift your heels while stepping your feet back from the tabletop position. Your body then needs to be aligned. Check the mirror to see if it is in a straight line. Engage your leg, arm, and core muscles.
Engage your whole body into a boat pose. Start by doing this pose at least five times per session. This yoga pose reduces stress and strengthens your core.
To accomplish the boat pose, extend your legs together in front of you as you sit on the floor. Lift each foot off the floor as you bend your knees.
Your shins need to be parallel to the floor as your thighs need to be at an angle. While keeping your torso lifted, straighten your legs. In front of you, extend your arms parallel to the floor. This pose needs to be held for thirty seconds.
At least ten sun salutations that increase in intensity is recommended for weight loss. Holding each position for longer periods as you progress will increase fat and calorie-burning results.
To do a sun salutation, inhale as you stand straight. When you inhale, bring both arms up. As you exhale, swan dive into bending forward. Walk, step or jump your feet back into the pose called Plank. For at least 5 breaths.
Hold the Plank pose. Lower your body to the floor by dropping your knees down. Turn the tops of your feet to the mat, extend your legs and put each hand under on the floor around in the same line as your shoulders. Lift halfway as you inhale and do the pose called Cobra.
Lower back down as you exhale and then push upwards into the pose called Downward Dog. For at least five breaths, hold this pose. Walk, step or jump as you exhale to the mat top and stand into a forward bend. Lift your arms overhead as you inhale. Lower back your arms by your body as you exhale.
Yoga Gets You In Shape
When you execute challenging poses using your body weight, this helps tone and strengthens muscles. If all you’ve done is cardio and train with weights, adding yoga once or twice each week poses a new challenge for your body to help adapt. This gets you in better shape overall as your body adapts to the new stretches.
Getting Into Great Shape
Of course, for one person, getting into ‘great shape’ means something completely different than to somebody else. Consider mixing up your yoga routine to incorporate cardiovascular, endurance, and strength.
Adults that increase muscular strength and cardio-respiratory fitness have tremendous benefits to health. When you get into great shape, this also helps decrease symptoms of depression. Other benefits include:
- Clear Thinking
- A Sound Mind
- Better Decision-Making
- A Better Body
- More Circulation
- More Confidence
- A Feeling Of Being In Control
- Body Awareness
- Stress Relief
- Mindful Eating
- Better Eating Decisions
How good is yoga for weight loss? Yoga is very good for weight loss. From getting the most out of a workout to curbing emotional eating, yoga helps you become present fully and enjoy the full capacity and strength of your mind and body.
If you’re a beginner, there are beginner DVDs for yoga. Unlike Crossfit or Tabata, which require a relatively high level of fitness, anybody can do yoga. You just need to give it time and do it daily.
Yoga also makes you more flexible, strengthens your body and establishes the mind, body and spirit connection. This is something that no other form of exercise does.
Once you have done yoga for a few months and lost some weight, your body will be used to exercise, and you’ll be more active. It will be much easier to transition to higher impact sports that are more demanding. You’ll also have the habit of exercising and be less prone to quitting.
The mind and body connection that results from the holistic approach of yoga is the key reason that weight loss is a result of yoga. Unlike one-sided purely physical exercises and rigid weight loss methods, yoga gives you a holistic, full body, mind, and spirit weight loss method that helps you lose all the excess weight and keep it off for life.