What Is Yoga and Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
Yoga, a practice that has endured for centuries, offers physical benefits and a profound connection between the mind, body, and spirit.
When our minds are constantly stimulated, yoga offers a space for us to slow down and balance our nervous systems.
In this blog post, we explore the essence of yoga and its potential for weight loss and explore specific yoga poses that can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
What is Yoga?
Yoga, originating from ancient India, is a practice that combines physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation to nurture harmony between the mind, body, and soul.
“Yoga” means union, emphasizing the integration of various aspects of our being.
Indeed, yoga is often associated with physical exercise, but it’s about cultivating a balanced and conscious lifestyle.
You can build good habits through yoga, like discipline, self-inquiry, and letting go.
Yuj, from which yoga derives, is often understood to refer to states of inner clarity, peace, and happiness.
Yoga for Weight Loss
Losing weight with yoga takes commitment and practice – more physically active yoga burns the most calories.
Practicing yoga regularly can:
- Boost metabolism.
- Burn calories.
- Build lean muscle mass.
- Improve flexibility.
- Heighten body awareness.
Also, yoga encourages mindfulness and self-acceptance, which can positively influence your relationship with food and emotional well-being.
Let’s explore how.
Yoga and Mindfulness
Through yoga, you develop a deep awareness of your physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions in the present moment.
When it comes to weight loss, mindfulness plays an important role.
It fosters awareness and can positively influence one’s relationship with food, allowing you to make conscious and healthier choices.
A study from 2016 indicates that practicing yoga increases resistance to unhealthy foods and comfort eating.
Further, yoga can benefit people facing weight loss difficulties through other methods.
Yoga and Sound Sleep
Yoga can help you sleep better.
When you practice yoga regularly, you may find that you sleep deeper and easier.
In a study from 2018, participants who consistently had restricted sleep lost less fat compared to those who maintained their normal sleep patterns.
Even when both groups were following calorie restrictions, sleep loss had a negative impact on body composition, specifically fat loss.
Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
Some yoga poses will help boost your metabolism, engage your core muscles, and make you more robust and flexible.
Plank Pose (Phalakasana)
This pose targets your abs, arms, and shoulders, strengthening your core and improving your posture.
In a push-up position, place your hands directly under your shoulders and hold the pose while engaging your abdominal muscles.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
The Boat Pose activates the abdominal muscles and tones the core.
- Sit on the mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Lean back slightly and lift your legs, straightening them while keeping your torso engaged.
- Hold the pose while maintaining balance and a straight spine.
Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
The Warrior II Pose targets the legs, hips, and core muscles.
- From a standing position, step one foot back, aligning the front heel with the back arch.
- Extend your arms parallel to the floor and gaze over the front fingertips.
This pose strengthens the lower body while building stamina and focus.
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)
Sun Salutations are a series of dynamic poses that create heat in the body, improve cardiovascular fitness, and engage multiple muscle groups.
They involve a sequence of forward folds, lunges, and downward-facing dog poses, promoting strength, flexibility, and overall vitality.
Make sure you do at least 10 Sun Salutations.
You can make them more intense by holding some positions longer or speeding up.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from Yoga?
Everyone’s experience with yoga is different – it’s all about consistency.
The person’s body composition and commitment play a role as well.
Changes may happen in a few weeks for some people, but others may need more time.
How Often Should You Do Yoga to Lose Weight?
Practice as often as possible for effective weight loss with yoga, aiming for 3 to 5 active sessions per week, each lasting at least 1 hour.
Balance with gentle classes on other days.
Start gradually if you’re a beginner, and incorporate rest days. Also, combine yoga with cardio activities like walking and cycling.
Yoga for Overweight Beginners
It’s an inclusive practice that welcomes everyone.
As a low-impact and gentle way to start a fitness regimen, yoga is ideal for overweight beginners.
It helps build strength gradually, improves flexibility, and gives you more self-confidence.
When starting yoga as an overweight beginner, you should listen to your body and modify poses accordingly.
Support and alignment can be achieved with yoga props like blocks, straps, and bolsters.
It’s a good idea to start with beginner-friendly classes or get guidance from a yoga instructor who specializes in modifications for a larger body type, to ensure safety.
You can slowly progress to more challenging poses as you build strength and confidence.
Respecting your body’s abilities and limitations throughout your yoga journey is important.
Yoga Weights – For Strength & Tone
Using yoga weights, such as dumbbells or resistance bands, adds challenge and enhances strength and muscle tone.
Maintaining proper form and alignment is essential when using yoga weights.
Start with lighter weights and gradually increase resistance as you build strength and confidence.
To maximize the benefits, focus on controlled movements and mindful breathing.
Consult with a yoga instructor or fitness professional for guidance on incorporating yoga weights safely and effectively.
Transform Your Life with Yoga
Yoga is a powerful practice that helps you get fit, feel better, and discover yourself.
With Awaken Telepsychiatry, you can venture on your yoga journey from home with online yoga classes.
Learn how yoga can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.