Yoga For Weight Loss Yoga for weight loss can be a very beneficial tool for…
Is Yoga Helpful For Weight Loss?
- Is Yoga Helpful For Weight Loss?
Yoga is a practice that can help with weight loss, but it’s important to note that it’s not an instant weight-loss solution.
Practicing yoga regularly can increase your flexibility, strength, and mental focus, helping you to lose weight in the long run. To reap the benefits, choose a class or style that fits your needs and schedule.
1. Increased Flexibility
Flexibility training is an important part of any weight loss program. It helps you burn calories more efficiently by encouraging a higher level of daily movement. It also improves your overall health and well-being, which is why you should include it in your routine if possible.
Flexibility is a crucial aspect of fitness that can have a dramatic impact on your workouts and life in general. It allows you to move your body with ease and without pain, says Ellen Barrett, women’s wellness expert, group exercise instructor and yoga teacher in Connecticut.
However, many people find that they have poor flexibility and don’t know how to increase it. This can make it difficult to participate in certain activities or even daily tasks, such as getting out of a car seat or moving furniture.
To improve your flexibility, you should start slowly and work up to a point where you can do more challenging exercises that require more strength. It’s also important to stretch regularly, at least twice a week.
Regular stretching can help you improve your flexibility by increasing the elasticity of your muscles and ligaments, says chartered physiotherapist Katie Knapton. It also helps you avoid injury by reducing inflammation and improving muscle health.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), flexibility refers to the range of motion of a joint or group of joints per the skeletal muscles that surround it. This can vary from joint to joint, but it’s an important part of fitness and athletic performance for every type of activity.
For example, a golfer might need more flexibility in the backswing than a runner does. Similarly, a dancer might need more flexibility in the legs and hips than a baseball pitcher does.
A person’s level of flexibility is determined by their genetics and varies for each individual. In addition, a variety of factors can influence it, such as age and physical activity levels.
One way to improve your flexibility is to perform static stretching, which involves holding poses that increase the length of your muscles and joints. This is a great form of flexibility exercise to perform before or after a workout, particularly for those who are new to stretching.
2. Increased Strength
Yoga may not be the first exercise you think of when it comes to strength training, but it can actually be just as effective as traditional weight-training exercises. While weight training involves progressively heavier resistance, yoga uses your own bodyweight for the bulk of the workout. This makes it more effective for building muscle and sculpting your body, especially because yoga allows you to add repetitions to your routine without having to lift the same amount of weight over and over again.
In fact, yoga can be a powerful tool for increasing your muscle mass and improving your overall strength, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This is because stretching between periods of intense workout can encourage the growth of new muscles, a process known as hypertrophy.
However, you need to be careful about the type of yoga you do when trying to increase your strength. Certain styles of yoga, like vinyasa and power yoga, can be particularly challenging and will push you harder than beginner-friendly flows.
The key is to choose classes that are both challenging and low-impact, says Janda Numbers, a certified instructor in NYC. She suggests starting with gentle beginner’s flow classes to get you used to moving your body and breathing hard and then incorporating more strength- or sculpting-based yoga flows as you become more familiar with the practice.
You can also combine a yoga practice with other forms of exercise to maximize your calorie burn and improve your endurance. For example, yogis in the LYT Method program practice yoga with other forms of high-intensity activity like racquetball or a vigorous run, so their yoga routine becomes a complete workout that incorporates both strength and cardio elements.
Another benefit of adding yoga to your weight-loss regimen is its ability to increase your energy levels, which can help you make better decisions when it comes to what you eat and how much you work out. A consistent yoga practice can also help you manage stress, which is linked to weight gain and poor mental health.
3. Increased Mental Focus
Yoga can increase your mental focus and awareness, which can help you stay focused on your diet and exercise plan. It can also make you more mindful of your body’s cues when it comes to hunger and when you’re full. This can help you stick to your weight loss goals over the long term, says Tamara Teragawa, 500 RYT-registered yoga teacher and Master Trainer for YogaSix.
In addition, mindfulness training may help you resist unhealthy food and comfort eating. A 2017 study found that people who did mindfulness training had a lower tendency to binge eat and were more likely to be physically active.
Another way that yoga can help you lose weight is by boosting your metabolism. Research has shown that yoga can help reduce cortisol levels, which are linked to weight gain.
It can also help your liver and kidneys clear out toxins that contribute to obesity, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. This improves your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, which helps you lose weight as well.
However, remember that you need to choose the right kind of yoga to see the best results from it. It’s important to find a style, class and instructor that fits your needs and goals, says Ram Khalsa, author of Yoga for Life: A Guide to Personal Health and Happiness.
He advises trying out a few different styles, classes and instructors before you settle on the one that works for you. If you’re unsure about which type of yoga to try, ask a professional like a physical therapist for advice.
A good yoga class will include breathing exercises, postures and meditation. Some focus more on strengthening and stretching; others are slower-paced and calming.
The key is to find a style that fits your lifestyle and schedule, so you can practice regularly. Ideally, you should do it at least three days per week.
It’s also important to practice yoga in the evenings, so that you can sleep well. In addition, you should make a conscious effort to eat healthy foods and avoid processed or refined carbs. This will allow you to feel fuller and more satisfied after a yoga session, which will lead to less consumption throughout the day.
4. Reduced Stress
Yoga is a mind-body practice that helps to improve stress and anxiety. It is also beneficial for improving health and preventing chronic diseases.
Yoga helps to reduce stress by promoting mindfulness and improving concentration, focus, and emotional regulation. It also promotes relaxation and helps to relieve stress-related headaches, insomnia, and fatigue.
Research suggests that practicing yoga may decrease feelings of depression and help people to deal with the symptoms of chronic stress, including irritability, anger, and anxiety.
This is because the practices increase the release of natural hormones such as serotonin and endorphins, which help you feel good and reduce your stress levels.
It also increases the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which can help to relax you and calm your brain. This is important for weight loss because it can reduce your cravings and help you stick to a healthier diet.
Another benefit of practicing yoga is that it can help to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can be a factor in heart disease. It can also improve the function of the arteries that supply your heart with blood, which can help to lower your risk for a stroke.
There are many different types of yoga, which vary in style and intensity. Fast-paced Vinyasa or flow classes are often considered aerobic exercise, while slower Yin and restorative styles can be more gentle.
The style of yoga you choose can be very important to its ability to affect your body and mind. The most gentle forms of yoga can help to kick on the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating breathing, digestion, and hormones.
These effects can help to reduce your stress levels, which can in turn help to aid weight loss by increasing the number of calories you burn.
While it is not necessary to do yoga to lose weight, practicing yoga regularly can help to keep you on track with your goals, especially if you combine it with other activities such as walking.
It is best to practice yoga at least five times a week. This will help to strengthen the muscles in your body and boost your metabolism, which will burn more calories throughout the day.