Before answering the question, “Does yoga help with weight loss?”, it’s worth thinking about commitment. Not just to yoga but to your weight loss journey.
You see, if you’re think all you have to do is a few easy poses then relax in Shavasana, (corpse pose), then think again. You do have to show up and make an effort. Read on to find out more about how yoga can help with weight loss.
Yoga Will Make You More Mindful About Your Body
Weight loss really comes down to three factors, calories in, calories out and your metabolism. There are ways to boost your metabolism which work for some people, but for most, weight loss is about decreasing the calories you eat and increasing the calories you burn through exercise.
A big benefit of yoga is that it makes you think about the needs of your body. Yoga isn’t just an exercise regime. It covers all lifestyle choices including diet and your mental attitude.
Developing self love through yoga helps you stop and question why you’re filling your body with junk food. You’ll learn to choose healthy food options and only eat when you’re hungry.
There are not many people who leap up at the end of a yoga session and think “I could just eat a Big Mac right now”. Yoga guides you towards a better relationship with food and making wiser life choices.
Increasingly we have a distorted view of weight. The cult of celebrity, retouched images, give us an unrealistic view of how we should look. Yoga can help us accept the bodies we have.
I’ve had too many anorexic friends to know how weight loss, taken to extremes, can destroy lives. Rather than fall into the trap of excessive dieting, yoga can help you rediscover your natural relationship with food. Eating to fuel your body.
Yoga Helps To Combat Stress
Stress and poor sleep patterns are big contributors to weight gain. I’m the first to crack and say yes to cake when I’ve had a bad night’s sleep!
Yoga and meditation can help to reduce stress and make it more manageable. (Other good stress busters are getting some fresh air by walking or running).
This is where meditation really helps. Developing a daily meditation practice can have tremendous health benefits.
If you’re not sure where to begin, try this Meditation Journey from My YogaWorks. It’s a 7 day program to start a regular meditation practice. Ideal for beginners and people like me who struggle to empty their mind and be still for more than a couple of minutes!
Yoga Will Strengthen Your Body
A regular yoga practice is an excellent way to strengthen your body. This doesn’t mean you’ll end up looking like a body builder, but you will improve your muscle definition.
The good thing about building muscle tone? Muscle tissue burns more calories, even at rest, than body fat. This doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight. Muscles are denser and weigh more than fat, but you should lose inches.
The emphasis here is on a regular practice and you’ll need to combine yoga with a healthy diet to see results.
Yoga Can Burn Calories
There are many different styles of yoga. You need to choose one of the more intense flowing styles of yoga such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga if you want to lose weight.
These classes will give you a good workout and burn calories. Unlike some activities, such as running, yoga is unlikely to increase your appetite. It may even curb your appetite. A big plus if your aim is weight loss.
Just remember, the more powerful poses burn the most calories. You have to earn it!
Regular Yoga Practice Is Important For Losing Weight
If you’re intending to use yoga as your main choice of exercise, you’ll need to practice regularly if you want to lose weight. Once a week just won’t cut it. Follow these tips to start a daily yoga practice.
Attending yoga classes is the ideal way to practice, but very few of us can afford, (or have the time), to attend more than once or twice a week. Instead you can practice at home.
It’s possible to put together your own yoga routines, particularly if you’re experienced. If you’re like me, you’ll do a few sun salutations and then run out of ideas.
Online yoga classes have made my home practice so much better. You can find classes on YouTube or subscribe to an online yoga channel. I’ve been using My YogaWorks for the last few weeks and I love their journey series. I committed to the 14 day Heart Opening Challenge and it’s making such a difference to my progress! I’m following the intermediate level, but you can also choose Beginner (or Advanced!)
I love the consistency of the My YogaWorks classes. YogaWorks actually train yoga teachers and their professionalism really shows. They really take the trouble to explain and demonstrate the poses. It’s just like being in a yoga studio. The cost is just $15/month but you can sign up and try out their 14 day trial for FREE!
OFFER: Love Life Be Fit readers can enjoy 3 month subscription to My YogaWorks for just $1/month with the special code Vertive3 . Subscription starts AFTER your FREE 14 day trial. 3 months for $1/mo w/ code Vertive3
Commit to a regular practice, burn calories in more intense classes and develop a healthy attitude to food and yoga will certainly help with weight loss. the benefits of yoga go beyond weightloss. Read about my favorite reasons “Why Yoga Is Good For You”. I’d love to hear your views…