For many years, people have debated whether yoga is an effective tool for weight loss. Some people believe that the practice is not fast-paced enough to burn calories, while others swear by yoga to help them shed the pounds. While there is no clear-cut answer, there is research to suggest that hitting the yoga mat can help you to lose weight. In this article, we explore whether yoga is good for losing weight in more detail.
There are two elements to weight loss with yoga: physical and mental. The practice offers hundreds of physical poses contained within countless flows or sequences. While each posture boasts its own benefits, almost every pose is designed to detoxify the body on some level. As we detox, we encourage the purification of the body and mind. In turn, this can promote weight loss as it removes stagnant waste and toxins from the body. While all types of yoga are effective when it comes to detoxing and purification, certain practices are more effective than others when it comes to losing weight.
If you want to burn fat, it’s best to focus on dynamic styles such as power yoga and vinyasa flow. As these styles are fast-paced, they offer a mixture of both strength-training and cardio. This powerful combination is perfect for burning fat and increasing lean muscle mass. When practiced correctly, power yoga and vinyasa flow can help the body to burn between 400 and 600 calories per hour. To give you a frame of reference, this is equivalent to the number of calories burned during an intense workout at the gym.
To burn fat and keep it off, you’ll need to have the right mindset. When you start your yoga journey, you will start to see things in a new light. A great yoga class won’t just transform your physical body, it will transform your entire being from the inside out.
If you let it, yoga will lead you down a path of truth, connectedness, and consciousness and ultimately help you to find your true self. Many yogis describe it as the process of becoming aware. With time, you’ll disconnect from your ego and be able to see the real you. As the ego holds onto unhealthy attachments, it’s responsible for bad decision making. As your soul is set free, you’ll be able to make decisions without listening to your ego. As a result, unconscious and destructive habits can be revealed and eliminated, allowing you to make choices that please your true self. This can have a drastic effect on weight loss, as you can make positive, healthy decisions instead of acting on behalf of the ego. These lifestyle changes and healthier food choices won’t only help you to lose weight, but they’ll also help you to keep it off.
To burn calories and lose weight, flow through the below sequence regularly.
To practice Plank Pose, begin lying on your stomach. Place your hands on the mat underneath your shoulders and tuck your toes under. Next, use the strength in your arms to lift yourself off the mat. Your back should be parallel to the ground and your shoulders should be over your wrists. Draw your triceps inwards and draw your belly button towards your spine. Extend your heels and draw your tailbone back. To keep the back of your neck long, softly gaze at the top of your mat. You are in Plank Pose. Hold the asana for as long as you can before lowering yourself back down to the mat.
From Plank Pose, sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Next, place your hands on the floor just a little behind your hips, ensuring that your fingertips are pointing towards your feet. Press your palms firmly into the ground as you strengthen your arms. Keeping your back straight, gently lean back and lift your feet off the floor. Your shins should now be parallel to the ground. As you lift your chest, lengthen the front of your torso. Finally, extend both arms forward until they are in line with your shoulders. You are in Boat Pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
From Boat Pose, lay face down on your mat with the tops of your feet on the floor. Next, move your palms underneath your shoulders and point your elbows towards the sky. Press firmly through your hands to lift your head and shoulders off the mat, then press the tops of your feet into the ground to raise your quads. Finally, gaze forward and keep your neck neutral. You are in Upward Facing Dog. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before lowering yourself back down to the mat.
From Upward Facing Dog, stand tall on your mat with your big toes touching. Taking a deep breath in, raise your arms above your head and point your fingertips toward the ceiling. Draw both your shoulders back as you lengthen your neck. As you exhale, bend your knees and begin to lower your bottom down and back, much like you would when sitting on a chair. At this stage, it’s important to not let your knees extend past your toes. Each time you inhale, lengthen your spine a little more. With each exhale, deepen the stretch by lowering your bottom further toward the floor. You are in Chair Pose. Hold the posture for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
From Chair Pose, move back into a standing position. Take a big step forward with your right leg, keeping both legs straight. Next, turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in 45 degrees. Finally, bend your right knee and stretch your arms out to the sides. You are in Warrior Two. Hold the asana for 1 minute before repeating on the opposite side.
Providing that you put on your yoga pants regularly, yoga can certainly help you to lose weight. In addition to helping you shed pounds physically, welcoming yoga into your life will promote a positive mindset. In turn, this will encourage healthy lifestyle changes and food choices, helping you to lose weight and keep it off for good.