Yoga is a practice that not only helps you lose weight but also supports your physical and mental health.
The practice of yoga will allow for personal development, helping you to be the best version of yourself. This includes helping you lose weight, gaining muscle, and improving your metabolism.
Practicing yoga for weight loss has other great health benefits as well.
We’ll explore all of the ways practicing yoga can improve your health and help you lose that stubborn weight.
Yoga for Weight Loss
Yoga works in many amazing ways to help you lose weight.
Choosing different forms of yoga can help you with different goals. More active forms of yoga will help you burn fat, while other forms create a body awareness that’s also essential for losing weight.
Yoga is a restorative practice that can help you feel more balanced. Being mindful of your body is actually one of the ways in which practicing yoga can help with weight loss.
A 2017 study shows how mindfulness can help curb your impulse to eat unhealthy foods or binge eat.
The Benefits of Yoga
In terms of weight loss and overall health, practicing yoga has numerous physical benefits.
By regularly practicing yoga you’ll see increases in flexibility as well as muscle strength and mass. When you increase your muscle mass, you’ll also boost your resting metabolism.
You’ll also notice an improvement in respiration, energy, and vitality. Combine all of these with improved cardio and circulatory health and you’ll see and feel your weight loss results.
Yoga and Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is essentially being more conscious and aware of your inner self as well as others. Think of mindfulness as a sense of awareness.
While practicing yoga you’re constantly focused on your body and your movements.
Mindfulness is just as important as the physical benefits of yoga.
This is something that will come in handy outside of the yoga studio as well.
For instance, being mindful in this way might make you think twice about eating an entire bag of potato chips.
Being mindful during yoga can also help with your breathing. You’ll be concentrating on taking nice deep breaths while practicing yoga.
Better breathing means better cardio and a boosted lung capacity. Also, breathing habits acquired through yoga can help improve your performance while swimming or running.
Practicing Yoga Improves Sleep
Practicing yoga has been shown to improve the quality of your sleep. So you may find yourself falling asleep faster and more easily when you practice regular yoga.
The combination of exercise and mindfulness will boost your overall mood. Better mood means better sleep.
If you’re lying awake at night due to stress or physical discomfort, you’re likely not able to get the restorative sleep you need. Being in a better physical and mental state will help you fall asleep easier.
An Oxford Academic sleep study shows that there’s a direct correlation between sleep and weight loss.
In the study, researchers found that people who five times per week had restricted sleep lost less fat than the group who slept normally. Both groups studied were limiting calories.
Yoga Nidra is a form of yoga in which you practice a guided relaxation lying down. This form of yoga can greatly help those who are having trouble falling asleep.
Burning Calories: Yoga for Fat Loss
While yoga nidra is great for promoting sleep, there are other forms of yoga that are a higher intensity that will help with burning fat and calories.
Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are all examples of more physically demanding types of yoga. These are great yoga practices for getting your heart rate up and helping you break a sweat.
Vinyasa and power yoga are also offered in hot yoga studios. In these studios, the temperature is turned up to help you break a sweat, increase your breathing, and make your body work a little harder with every pose.
You’ll come out of a hot yoga studio feeling like you just ran a race and swam laps all at the same time. Your sweat and heart rate levels will give you similar benefits to running, while the breathing practices are as good for your lungs as swimming.
Yoga is also a great core workout. Having a more trimmed core will help with your posture and your cardiovascular health.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga for Losing Weight?
To lose weight while doing yoga, you should practice as often as possible. Choosing a more intense form of yoga and doing it three to five days a week for an hour will set you on a nice weight loss path.
On other days you can alternate between some of the more relaxing classes such as Hatha, yin and restorative yoga.
You could also mix in running, walking, biking or swimming. The combination of toning and cardio will do wonders for your heart and muscles.
When you’re first starting out, start slow and mix in more yoga practices per week as you go. Even if you don’t have time to go to a full class, you can practice at home or look for shorter classes in the early morning before work.
It’s a good idea to give yourself a day of rest each week as well. You can let your body and muscles get a breather.
Yoga Poses for Weight Loss at Home
If you’re just starting out with the practice of yoga or you’ve done it before but you’re not finding enough time to get to a class, there are plenty of yoga practices you can do at home in between classes.
Whether you go to class or not, it’s always beneficial to practice mindfulness and some yoga at home. You can do these before or after bed and you don’t even need any expensive home equipment.
Just you and your yoga mat are all you need to get some quick yoga in at home.
Sun salutations are a great series of poses to practice at home. Others include boat pose, plank pose, downward dog, child’s pose, and chaturanga.
The combination of all of these is great for your core, limbs, and flexibility. Doing a circuit of these for 20 minutes can be really beneficial.
Yoga to Lose Weight
Yoga does wonders for your mind, body, and soul. There’s more to losing weight than just running on a treadmill and yoga provides a well-balanced workout for all physical levels.
Practicing yoga for weight loss in any form will help build your muscle tone, increase mindfulness, and give your body the cardio and respiratory boost it needs.
If you’re interested in learning more about the practice of yoga, get started here.