Yoga is often seen as a relaxation and stretching exercise and not always viewed as a reliable method to lose weight.
While it’s true that some forms of Yoga are focused on relaxation and the mind, there are many poses and types of Yoga that burn calories and strengthen the body to encourage weight loss.
Even restorative Yoga can be credited with assisting in loose weight. But how can we claim that when Restorative Yoga really is relaxation and gentle stretching?
The answer is the many benefits of Yoga have side effects and depending on the stage of fitness and type of lifestyle that you currently have, all types of Yoga have the potential to assist in weight loss.
So stick around to see how yoga can assist you in losing weight and, more importantly, maintaining that weight loss.
How does Yoga help you lose weight when it’s almost the complete opposite of Cardio?
Yoga, when practiced regularly, inevitably will become more than just an enjoyable exercise routine.
More often than not, once you start to feel the glow and benefits from your mindset to your new calm self and the physical improvements, you will realize that you have developed a lifestyle change.
You will be sleeping better, feeling better, and doing things naturally, like saying yes to a walk with the dog or being more sociable because you feel happier, which will lead to greater activity.
This will lead to a healthier and more mindful person who will naturally move and live better. All things that assist in living a healthier lifestyle.
Yoga is suitable for all shapes, all sizes and all levels of fitness
In the last few years, starting in 2019 with the introduction of restrictions, lockdowns, homeschooling, and working from home, many people went from an active lifestyle to a very sentry lifestyle.
Once out and about, going to the gym and socializing at sporting events went very quickly to spending weeks or months at a time locked down or having gyms and sports canceled due to the risk of catching illnesses.
You are not alone if you have gone from quite fit to very unfit and uncomfortable in the last few years. Maybe even packing on a few extra unwelcome pounds that now have you feeling self-conscious and unwilling to go to the gym.
But, on the other hand, maybe you were not fit to start with, lockdowns and restrictions made it worse, or you are recovering from injury.
The most significant benefit of Yoga is that you can do it anywhere and start at a very gentle and kind level.
Even the restorative, a resting form of Yoga may assist you in losing weight by reducing stress, improving sleep, and restoring digestion.
You can start Yoga in the comfort of your own home. With time you can move to a class, or you can start in classes with others recovering from injury and slowly improve and learn until you are ready to move faster with more challenging Yoga Flows.
The point is that while some forms of weight loss need to be worked up to and take time to master, Yoga is a habit that you can start today, without judgment, and start feeling the benefits of almost straight away.
Yoga will tone your whole body. It involves a mixture of Cardio and weight training to assist you in losing weight
While Yoga may be viewed as an easy exercise or simply a stretching relaxing habit, it is far from it.
Even professional athletes can struggle, sweat, and find it difficult if they think they can walk into an hour Vinyasa class for the first time and think it will be a breeze.
If you have never done Yoga, you may not realize that there are several forms of Yoga. While they all included Asana (poses) and Pranayama ( Breathwork), they can be very different.
Restorative Yoga uses ballast, pillows, and props to assist you in stretching and relaxing. This is focused on stress relief, Injury recovery, and improving the ability to relax.
This improves sleep which allows you to heal more, the body to rest, improves tone and relaxation of tight and painful muscles, and reduces cortisol.
Cortisol can be responsible for inflammation of joints, decreased gut health leading to weight gain, and interrupted sleep, which again causes weight gain.
There are then the other forms of Yoga that are slow but teach you over time to relax, gaining the same benefits as Restorative Yoga, with the added benefit of weight training.
How many do you know that can lift their own body weight or hold a forward lunge for up to five minutes?
So while a simple Warrior I may look like a relaxing pose, holding that for even forty-five seconds can burn some serious calories while toning muscles and building strength.
Up to Vinyasa Yoga, a fast and continuous flow of Asana, from one pose to another, for 45 minutes.
You are moving and sweating and doing cardio and weight training ( with your own body weight ) while building a leaner, stronger, and healthier physical appearance.
Yoga’s natural encouragement of healthy eating and mindful choices will naturally assist you in losing weight
When you feel better, you make better choices. For example, yoga improves your sleep, meaning that you wake up feeling more rested.
Instead of lounging around all day, you might choose to go for a walk or do something active.
In addition, you will feel more motivated in many areas of life, so rather than reaching for takeaway. You might start to feel like cooking again, or starting to stick to that meal plan and eat healthier, fresher choices.
All these choices for a better lifestyle lead to health improvements and weight loss.
Feeling more active means that you will go to your yoga class rather than letting all the excuses win you over.
You will be able to quieten that voice in your head that tells you to skip class and stay in bed or on the lounge.
What type of yoga will help me lose weight faster?
The more active Yoga Classes that are aimed at raising the heart rate, moving faster, and are a combination of cardio and weight training.
For example, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, and sixty-minute intermediate Hatha classes, will all assist you in losing weight faster than, say a restorative or slower Yin Yoga class.
However, it is essential to start at a level that is suitable for you and build up to these classes.
The benefits of the slower classes will still help you start a weight loss journey and reduce the chances of injury through inexperience.
Like any choice to lose weight, the primary battle is the battle in the head.
By starting slower and learning the mindset and relaxation techniques as well as the physical aspects, you are more likely to stick it out and other healthy choices you are making.
Choosing the suitable class for you will bring you a greater chance of success in creating a new lifestyle that promotes weight loss and healthier choices.
It will also increase your chances of maintaining a healthy weight once you reach your goal.
When starting out in Yoga, you may need to use some props, such as Yoga Blocks and meditation cushions.