“Strength does not come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”
– Nikki Rogers
The moment yoga gained mainstream popularity, numerous health benefits associated with the practice, such as increased flexibility, strength, concentration, etc. But can yoga help to lose weight?
I have good news for you: Yoga can help you shed pounds if that's your goal.
How much weight you lose depends on a few factors, including sleep, lifestyle habits and what you’re putting into your body.
It’s thought that weight loss is associated with longer periods of mindfulness training. A 2016 study suggested that people who develop mindfulness through a yoga practice may be better able to resist unhealthy foods and comfort eating. They may also become more in tune with their body so that they notice when they’re full.
Breathwork and Meditation
Breathwork and meditation are the cornerstones to yoga practice. And both contribute to boosting energy, improving mood, and lowering stress levels. Studies have shown how mindfulness exercises reduce the amount of cortisol in our bodies.
Practicing yoga can help improve the quality of your sleep. Quality sleep is often associated with weight loss. The neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin are thought to be central to appetite. A lack of sleep may affect the body’s regulation of these neurotransmitters.
While yoga isn’t traditionally considered an aerobic exercise, there are certain types of yoga that are more physical than others.Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. This may help prevent weight gain. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga. When you’re holding a posture for an extended period of time, you’re connecting with how your body feels. In yoga, we’re using our own body weight as a form of resistance. Your whole body is working to keep you in balance so everything gets a workout. Think of holding your body in place in a plank pose. You’re using the muscles of the shoulders, core, hips, and legs to hold your body up. After coming out of a plank, you may flow into a Downward-Facing Dog pose, activating another set of muscles in your forearms, shoulders, and back.
Practice active yoga 3-5 times a week, adding slow and gentle stretchy classes in between. If you are new to yoga I highly recommend seeking private sessions, where you can get in depth knowledge on the practice and that would be designed to meet your goals. Researchers has found that even slower, restorative yoga classes improved fasting glucose levels in people who were overweight or obese — a sign of improved metabolic health.
Combine your yoga practice with activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming for added cardiovascular benefits. As you deepen your practice and awareness, you may find yourself naturally attracted to healthy foods and ways of living.
Unroll your mat and let’s practice together!