how yoga can help you lose weight

Can yoga help you lose weight?

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If you’ve decided to take the road towards weight loss in the New Year, there are a wide range of options to choose from. Regardless of whether getting in shape is part of your New Year’s resolution or is already an essential piece of your life, it is one of the best ways to guarantee that you are living a healthy and active life. Staying in shape won’t only make you feel beautiful and young, it also plays an important role in physical and mental health. 

Depending on your preferences, body shape, and end goals, there is so much to choose from that it may be a challenge difficult to resolve. The best way to stay away from confusion and ensure you are making the right choice is to do your homework in advance and research all of the activities you may be interested in undertaking. You could also arrange a consultation with a professional who works in the field and has experience of helping others transform their bodies and lose weight. 

For those of you who are fond of high-intensity workouts and are in search of adrenaline, one of the options is hitting the gym either solo or with a personal trainer. However, for the people that are more interested in a more relaxing and calm method that will still make you sweat and will tone up your body – yoga is the answer

Burning calories with yoga

Although yoga is not necessarily considered a highly aerobic exercise that will lead to calorie burning, it does have such an effect on the body. Different types of yoga have their own individual focus and losing weight is certainly on the agenda of some yoga styles. For instance, Bikram, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa, which we will look at later in this article, are great examples. 

Before turning a blind eye to this great practice, which has the ability to successfully work on your mental, physical, and spiritual condition, let’s look at how it affects the body in more detail.

Yoga increases your heart rate

A good yoga session is bound to make your heart “skip a beat” and an increased rate is a symptom of calorie burning. For those of you who have experience with sports, it is likely that you are already familiar with the fat-burning heart rate zone. If not, it may be useful for you to do some digging to discover where you want your heart rate to be if you are looking to lose weight.

yoga can increase and improve your heart rate

 Every yoga style will influence your heart rate in a different way. During yoga asanas, which usually involve standing, kneeling, sitting, or lying, it is normal to feel your heart rate raise, similar to any other type of exercise. The heart can change its rhythm as a result of:

  • A challenging yoga pose, requiring balance and concentration
  • A posture involving no movement but requires the arms to be lifted overhead
  • A sequence of movements, involving repetition of bending forward and standing straight
  • Any pose requiring the yogi to be upside down

Practising yoga for a longer time period will also result in a stronger and more flexible body, a target beyond just simple calorie burning.

Improved energy thanks to yoga

Keeping a positive energy balance in your body is another important ingredient to staying fit and reaching a satisfactory weight loss result. Yoga requires a lot of breathwork and a number of emotional transitions, which naturally increase and improve the energy levels found organically in your body. The more yoga practice you get, the higher the chance of you becoming more motivated and inspired to stay active for longer periods of time and more often than before. This change may occur at a slow pace at first but the change will surely bring some amazing results. 

Yoga can make you feel more excited to wake up in the morning and take on the day with joy and a smile on your face. There is a positive correlation between staying active and burning calories. In other words, raising your energy through yoga is another way it helps you achieve your target and slim down. To top it all up, you will feel good in the process and it won’t be a traumatic and physically exhausting journey. 

Yoga can boost your metabolism

Why would we want to improve our metabolism in the first place and how is this related to burning fat and losing weight?

Well, the biochemical process of metabolism is the body’s way of transforming what we consume as food and beverages into energy, which can later be used for physical or mental activities. The speed of metabolism is highly dependable on factors such as age, gender, and physical activity, making it unique for every person. In order for the body to function at its best, it is essential to have a quick and free metabolism. 

The interesting part is that it is, in fact, physical activity, which stimulates our body’s metabolism and yoga is no exception. Yoga has the ability to improve digestion and circulation, create lean muscle mass and is a seamless method for giving your metabolism the boost it needs.

The motivation for better eating choices

Once you sign up for yoga, it is difficult to stay away from practising due to the vast number of advantages that can easily be seen. It is likely that you find yourself communicating more with people who also practice yoga, you read related blogs, hear others’ stories. In other words, the yoga community around the world is a very welcoming, warm, and positive place. If you have set your mind on losing weight, a social circle like this can certainly help!

clean eating helps you reach your weight goals

Yoga doesn’t only include certain movements or asanas. It is not only related to increasing your flexibility and becoming more balanced. Rather, yoga is a way of living, reaching out to different aspects of your life. Those who introduce yoga in their lives often change their eating habits and make a choice to put a priority on healthy foods. In no time you are likely to find yourself craving fresh juices, vegetables, and raw nuts. These are important steps towards keeping weight off your body.

Muscle toning through yoga

When we say we’re going to the gym, for the majority of society the first association is likely to be related to muscles. And while that’s true, yoga also has a brilliant influence on the body’s muscles, making them more toned and making your body look more fit and healthy. 

Yoga involves movements with a lot of lengthening action, which certainly plays a role in shaping the muscles in a unique way. The end result will be quite different from the one achieved thanks to running, bodybuilding, or cycling. If you are looking to create a body with long, lean, and toned muscles, yoga is definitely worth the try. On the way, be sure that you will lose any extra fat and get the body you’ve been dreaming of. 

Full body awareness

Last but not least, yoga will help you lose weight by making you conscious of your own body and aware of what it is in need of at all times. The yoga movements associated with keeping balance and concentration are just one example of how this can happen. Yoga as a philosophy inspires people to carefully listen to what their bodies have to say and make a distinction between an instinct desire and an actual need. 

This relates both to the consumption of food and the amount of pressure that should be put on a body. It is important to know when it is time to say “no” and when it will be of use if you jump all-in. Let’s remember that our bodies are unique. You are the only person fully capable of understanding what your body needs at any given time. Practice this ability with yoga and let your full potential unfold.

Yoga styles for losing weight

Earlier we mentioned that there are some yoga types that are specifically designed for weight loss. Although you can burn calories with any yoga style, let’s look at three of the most popular choices for keeping fit and saying goodbye to that extra weight.

  • Ashtanga – Ashtanga may not be a great choice for yoga beginners but when it comes to weight loss, it can certainly work wonders. This yoga style involves strength training with arm balances and core strengthening exercises. 
  • Bikram – Bikram is also known as hot yoga and offers 26 poses, which are done in rooms with temperatures beyond 100 degrees. The heat stimulates your muscles to stretch further than normal. Be prepared to sweat a lot.
  • Vinyasa – Vinyasa offers smooth transitions from one pose to the next. Some of the movements involve low pushups, which are normally placed between the sequences. Vinyasa classes are a great way to burn extra calories and at the same time avoid falling in the pitfall of routine.

Now that we’ve covered a number of factors demonstrating how yoga can help you lose weight, we hope that you are more familiar with the topic and more excited to try it yourself. Get your favourite pair of leggings out, match them with a comfy sports bra and hit the yoga studio.

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