In today’s times, a lot of attention is given to fitness and looks. More and more the health gurus are recommending different trends and creating a stir in the general public. Some of them do work wonderfully, while some don’t hold up to the praise. However, using yoga for weight loss is a tried-and-tested method that has been prevalent for a long time and effectively.
Yoga, in general, does not focus entirely on the weight loss aspect. This ancient practice focuses on the mental, physical and spiritual growth of the individual. However, there are some parts of this health plan that can help you in losing weight.
What are the benefits of Yoga for weight loss?
Yoga is one of the best methods available for losing weight- aiming to improve the body and the overall health of the individual. There are many benefits of including yoga in the workout plan.
Loss of weight
People use yoga for weight loss purposes highly. Yoga, at its most basic, is a type of aerobic exercise, focusing mainly on improving the internal functions of the body. It focuses on improving the muscle tone and flexibility of an individual. Yoga is mostly of a slower pace, but some versions of it are fast with the main purpose of burning calories. Some of these physical types of yoga are power yoga, vinyasa, and ashtanga.
Power yoga, for example, is highly popular with today’s generation as a form of weight loss process. Fitness studios worldwide use these types of Yoga, collectively termed ‘hot yoga’, as a feature in their weight loss strategies.
One of the main factors that yoga affects is improving your metabolism. This type of exercise works from within the human body, thereby affecting their weight loss goals as well.
It is often seen that a person eating lots of food throughout the day doesn’t gain weight, whereas some who eat in moderate quantity does. This occurs because the metabolism rate of the former, i.e. the ability to digest food properly, is higher than the latter. Thus, you can still gain weight even if you exercise a lot. This occurs because of low metabolism. Yoga helps in this regard by improving your metabolic process, stopping you from gaining excess weight.
Improvement in flexibility
Using yoga for weight loss is very helpful in many regards, one of them being flexibility. Most of the poses that are taught under Yoga require a person to move their body in different directions. They need to hold the said position for a certain degree of time and then slowly relax. Most of the time, these positions can be very uncomfortable at first, but they start feeling easier with time. Thereby, your flexibility shows improvement, making your body movement easier.
Better sleep cycle
Sleep plays a major role in someone who is trying to lose weight. Especially if you are a beginner in using yoga for weight loss, this is a very important factor. This method of exercise can show a huge difference in your sleep cycle. Studies have shown that people who get a regular and healthy amount of sleep lose weight faster and more than those who sleep less. This causes an adverse effect on the health and weight of a person.
Thus, it is very important to ensure that you have a good and restful sleep at night positively. Certain types of yoga like yoga Nidra help in improving a person’s sleep cycle. In this type of Yoga, the person is made to lie and sown and guided into a relaxed state. It helps with the sleeping pattern of the person, and further affects the person to lose weight. A huge change can be seen between the before and after body of the people who changed their sleeping structure.
Another major feature factor that affects the weight loss journey of an individual through Yoga is a sharpness of the mind. Practicing yoga helps improve brain functions. A sharper brain causes a person to feel more awake and be able to function better. This improvement in the focusing strength of a person means that they would be able to focus better on their weight loss. You would be more aware of what food products to avoid and what to put inside your body. This would bring a huge change in the before and after stages of weight loss in your life.
Types of Yoga for weight loss
There are various types of yoga that you can use for weight loss. However, the forms of weight loss through yoga that have shown to be the most effective are the ones that fall under the ‘hot yoga’ territory, as mentioned. These types of yoga encourage the person to move their body constantly, which burns calories.
This type of yoga is often confused with power yoga but is highly different. Commonly touted as ‘flow yoga’, Vinyasa includes a serious of yoga poses that string together in a continuous and constant motion. A lot of the focus of this type of yoga is on the person’s breathing and control. Each class of Vinyasa differs from the previous one, which helps in creating a balanced body. In the types of yoga that focuses on following a fixed sequence every day, the chances of getting repetitive movement injuries. This problem does not occur if you try this method of yoga.
This type of yoga is very popular among fitness gurus, because of its high effectiveness. There are various mobile apps that show how to perform these steps. However, most people do not understand the intricacies of Vinyasa yoga and the importance of each posture. Even the transition movement between the different movements is very important and is a form of a posture in itself.
One of the most popular forms of Yoga that helps a person lose their weight is Power yoga. This type of yoga focuses on the aspect of fitness and is a blend of certain features of the Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga routines. It is popularly referred to as the ‘gym yoga.’ Power yoga is an energetic version of yoga that focuses highly on the cardio aspect of its formula. A modernized version of the mellow exercise method, Power yoga moves its focus from the tried-and-tested yoga features. Because of the fast and athletic feature of this workout, much of the current generation abides by this form of yoga.
The main tenants of the yoga philosophy-for example, meditation- are ditched in these exercise methods. It, however, varies from person to person on the level of intensity of the workout. Unlike the Vinyasa form of yoga, Power yoga does not wait in a particular position and moves forward to the next one quickly. The focus of the workout lies in building your strength, each part of the routine focused holding your body up. The philosophy of this type of yoga has been inspired in most parts from the Ashtanga method of yoga. Increasing your energy too is a major feature of this form of yoga.
This type of yoga is the most grueling of the three main types of yoga for weight loss. Beginners would not be able to perform this form of yoga at the first try. It is highly different from that of the Vinyasa yoga is the sequencing of the positions. A person needs to maintain synchronization between breathing with the continuous change in posture. The main aims of this type of yoga are to improve the stamina, flexibility as well as strength of the person, while simultaneously improving their mental health ad overall body.
Using this yoga for weight loss is very effective. The exercise follows through six levels, each increasing in intensity. The positions in this method do not vary in each session and are all performed in a single stretch. This increases their chances to get injured because of the repetitive motion. The transition between the levels is fast and the can cause serious stress to the body. It begins with a salutation or form of meditation, and progresses to seated, standing, back-bending, and inverted motions.
Things to keep in mind for beginners
Yoga as an exercise tool is very helpful for all types of people. However, in the case of beginners, these methods can sometimes be difficult and sometimes easy. It is important to know which methods would suit the person before trying out just any position. Maintaining caution can prevent them from injuring themselves. Also, it is very important to keep in mind that one requires a lot of rest, and maintaining this would help in the long run. Taking a day of rest each week can significantly help improve the health and stamina of the person.
Overexerting at the beginning can seriously hurt a person because of having no practice and body flexibility yet. Thus, it is essential to build up the pace over time after starting small and slow. This shows a positive effect on the endurance of the individual. There are various workout apps available for people to download, which shows the different yoga positions and what they target. These are a great boon to you if you do not have the time to go to a proper yoga class, and instead, doing it at home. Bringing fun activities to the practice also helps beginner use yoga for weight loss in a positive way. Pairing the workout with activities like swimming or cycling can help reduce the monotonous feeling.
Is Yoga for weight loss an effective method?
Using yoga for weight loss can be highly useful and work wonders on your overall weight. This type of exercise method does not overexert your body and make you feel drained at the end of it. Instead, it uses light balanced methods that affect you from your core and build up your body health instead of breaking it down.
However, if you should try including yoga as a weight-loss method depends on what you desire from the workout. Including yoga into your regular workout can help your body breathe, and can provide certain other health benefits.
Frequency of doing yoga for weight loss
While incorporating yoga for weight loss purposes, it is important to maintain a rhythm and duration for the exercise. Effectiveness in improving strength, endurance, body weight percentage, and flexibility can be seen more prominently if one follows the workout plan diligently and regularly. Using the more intense yoga practices for an hour a few days a week can prove to be highly beneficial.
While the hardcore and intensive yoga practices are very helpful in creating a huge before and after difference, overdoing them is harmful. Repeating every day can also affect a person’s enthusiasm. Including gentler yoga forms can help to create a balance in your body and not allow it to fall in stagnation.
Things to note
While using yoga for weight loss is an effective measure, there are certainly other factors that need to be maintained for it to work. They are as follows.
Diet- Having a proper diet plan can balance out the physical workout effectively. Working out non-stop would not give you the desired results if you eat the wrong types of food. A balanced diet can make you feel stronger and more energetic-thereby, making the workout feel easier to do.
Rest- Having a good night’s sleep is very important for your body. Sleeping less can cause your muscles to feel taut and hard to move. You would also feel unwell and would not be able to perform well. If you are planning on using yoga for weight loss, taking time to relax before and after a workout is essential.
As you may have surmised, doing yoga regularly has serious profits-not just in a person’s weight but their entire well-being. There are different types of yoga- both gentle and hardcore-that can help you lose weight easily. However, you need to make certain changes in your lifestyle for the process to work to your satisfaction. Set everyday goals for you to reach, and see the benefits for yourself over time.