Did you know that yoga is a form of aerobic exercise? Did you ever think it could help you lose weight quickly? Well, yoga doesn’t work like your regular gym workouts or other forms of strenuous exercises that stress your body.
Yoga has a lot of health benefits and this is how it helps you in losing weight. Thinking how?
Do you know – Yoga works on all the parts of your body, unlike those gym exercises that only target a specific part of your body? You need to learn to listen to your body’s needs and focus on the most essential things like having a healthy mind and body, which is possible through yoga.
Yoga helps in weight loss by fixing all the underlying health problems that ruin your efforts or stop you from achieving your weight loss goal. Most of us just focus on our physical health to lose weight.
Mental & Spiritual Health:
But did you know that mental health and spiritual development are equally important? Both of these fall in the first place if you’re planning to lose weight effectively. Confused?
Well, yoga does so many wonderful things to your mind and body. You learn to respect your body and have control over everything you do.
Yes! Yoga can make you physically, mentally and spiritually a better version of yourself if practiced with devotion regularly. It helps in releasing stress which may be the reason for your weight loss.
Switch-On Your Conscious Mind:
Yoga also makes you more conscious about your body, mind and the food you eat. Not only that, but it also improves your capability to resist overeating or eating unhealthy food.
When you go for crash diets and heavy exercises to lose weight quickly, you’re putting a lot of pressure on both your mind and body. This may make you shed those extra pounds but you will eventually gain them back once you stop practicing them. What’s the use then?
You need something that can give you long-term results and remember, you don’t want anything at the cost of your health!
Yoga Poses – Examples:
Yoga poses like angle pose, boat pose, child’s pose and bridge pose help in weight loss and toning your muscles. All these poses cleanse your body’s mechanism and increase your stamina.
Let’s learn how yoga helps in effective weight loss.
1. Promotes healthy lifestyle
You may finally lose weight by dieting and working out, but the question is how will you maintain your current weight and avoid putting on the weight that you just lost? Good question right?
The answer is by practicing yoga regularly. Yoga trains your mind to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Studies show that people who practice yoga regularly are mentally strong, make healthy food choices and also get proper uninterrupted sleep.
Yoga helps a lot in preventing weight gain in middle-aged people, which is quite an issue, as they can be prone to more diseases with growing age. However, it is important that you keep practicing yoga consistently or you might get back to your unhealthy lifestyle.
The best thing about yoga is that you don’t need any expensive equipment at home to perform. All you need is some space, a yoga mat and a video that you like to follow the yoga poses.
2. Lowers down the stress level :
For many people, yoga is a stress buster. Yoga reduces stress levels by decreasing the production of a hormone called cortisol. Often cortisol is the main culprit of weight gain.
When you are prone to severe stress, the stress hormone, cortisol is released and sends signals to the brain for glucose (which are sugars).
People who start a new routine – train way harder than they should and end up getting overstressed. This leads to overeating and thereby result in weight gain. Stress is also the main cause of belly fat, so a decrease in stress can prevent retaining fat in the belly area.
Yoga is a gentle practice that can be performed by individuals of any age group. It also helps in stabilizing the blood glucose levels, which can be responsible for weight gain.
It is also effective in people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes. The blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetic patients were stabilized by practicing yoga for at least three months. A healthy person also needs to practice yoga to release everyday stress that can occur at work or in their family and relationships.
3. Improves muscle strength and flexibility :
We all know that people who practice yoga daily are very much flexible than those who do not. Yoga helps in relaxing and opening up the muscles to give a free and flowy body.
When it comes to muscle strength, many people think that it can be attained only by doing strength training like lifting heavyweights. But only a few people know that yoga can also offer muscle strength with certain poses. Holding yoga poses is not a very easy task, the poses might look simple, but they are not.
Almost all yoga poses to engage the muscles and works them out well. This is the reason people who do yoga every day can perform better at any other workout.
Certain yoga poses trigger your abs, which can help you improve your abdominal muscle strength. Not only these poses improve the strength of abdominal muscles, but they also tone that particular region, improve blood circulation and facilitate easy digestion to prevent the storage of any excess fat.
But remember that you should not just copy the pose, you should engage your core muscles for the maximum time you can.
4. Improves mind and body connection
It is well known that yoga is not just for physical fitness but also for mental fitness. There is a strong connection between the mind and body of people who practice yoga daily.
They have a balance over their emotions and reactions. They are very much conscious of their life and their choices. People who suffer from mental illnesses like anxiety and depression can benefit a lot from doing yoga every day. It keeps the mind calm and releases endorphins, commonly known as happy hormones, after each session and helps in relieving anxiety to a great extent.
Yoga includes certain poses that involve the horizontal, vertical and cyclic movements which provide energy by directing the supply of blood to certain parts of body and mind. Every cell in the body and mind is attended with a fresh blood flow which helps in better functioning. The brain gets into an activated state and regulates the hormones better than before. This is the reason why people who practice yoga stay happy and calm throughout the day. They practice self-love along with yoga and bring a positive vibe along with them.
An when you are Positive, then only you can reach your goals of weight loss well.
5. Activates multiple body parts
When you take a gym membership, you get a workout plan for each day like a leg day, arm day and so on. But when it comes to yoga, you perform multiple poses in each of your sessions which engages the muscles of almost all your body parts.
Not only in the intermediate and advanced levels, but even the beginner’s level also involves working up the muscles of all your body parts. Yoga poses are planned in a particular sequence which opens ups the muscles of each body part.
Activating each part of your body improves the circulation of the blood in your entire body, which is very beneficial in terms of loosening the muscles, maintaining blood sugar levels, fat loss, toning, etc.
As yoga is an aerobic exercise, it involves your cardiorespiratory system for an extended period which utilizes more energy.
So the more intense your yoga session is, the more calories you burn.
6. Improves energy levels
We feel energetic after performing any physical activity. The same happens with yoga. But there are certain postures in yoga that can increases your energy levels even more. They can also help to reduce fatigue.
Many people tend to get tired if they are working for extra hours, which can be physically and mentally exhausting. Your energy can eventually increase when your stress levels go down. This can be possible by certain yoga poses.
- Yoga poses like cobra pose, downward dog, bow pose, tree pose, wheel pose, bridge pose, shoulder stand, fish pose, camel pose, king pigeon poses, lord of the dance pose, one leg king pigeon pose, upward facing dog pose and sphinx poses contribute in improving your energy levels.
You can practice any of the given poses the next time you feel tired and you can instantly see your energy levels boosting up by relaxing all your muscles in the body.
7. Improves insulin sensitivity :
Insulin sensitivity can be a major cause of weight gain. Insulin hormone helps in absorbing the sugar from the food you eat and use it as glucose to fuel up your daily activities or workouts.
- People who are sensitive to insulin cannot absorb the sugar from their food and end up eating more to fulfill the glucose requirements of their bodies. Even if they resist eating, the brain sends signals like sugar craving which are hard to control.
In some cases, these people may even faint as they do not get enough glucose. The sugars that are left un-absorbed enter into the bloodstream or pass out through the urine.
This can lead to weight gain and sometimes obesity. Studies show that practicing yoga daily at least for 15-20 minutes can help in improving insulin sensitivity.
- The body can gradually get used to the benefits of yoga and aid in weight loss and increase the absorption of sugars from the food.
With constant practice, the diabetes people can benefit a lot and it is even observed in some cases that the dosage of insulin was lowered due to a natural recovery process which is yoga. That is the reason people say yoga is a healing process.
8. Boosts metabolism
Many people look out for fat burning supplements to lose weight. But instead of these artificial supplements, fat can be burned by simple yoga poses.
Fat burning is associated with metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the faster your fat is burned.
Metabolism is a thermogenic process that is carried out in the body to burn the stored fat. When you get used to comforting foods, your metabolism gets lowered thereby depositing fat in unwanted areas. Yoga will not only boost your metabolism but also give a younger-looking skin and body.
- You can boost your metabolism by practicing yoga poses like suptavirasana, salambasarvangasana, salabhasana, pawanmuktasana, etc. These are the original names of the yoga poses in Sanskrit ( Indian language) as it was first practiced in India during the ancient days.
- Other poses to boost your metabolism are anuvittasana, vrksasana, ardhachandrasana, halasana and virabhadrasana III. So you can now shed those extra calories by practicing these yoga poses daily.
Now that you have a clarity on how yoga helps in weight loss, don’t delay any more! Almost all the yoga poses are effective in maintaining healthy body weight and the bonus is, you get a healthy and glowing skin too. What else do you need? Yoga has so much to offer and remember, if you practice yoga regularly, you can lose weight easily!
Make yoga a part of your lifestyle. There are several benefits of yoga apart from weight loss. Each pose comes with its benefits. There are also poses specifically designed to deal with different kinds of disorders.
However, there are different forms of yoga-like power yoga, vinyasa yoga, ashtanga yoga, Iyengar yoga, bikram yoga, etc. Choose a form of yoga depending on your needs and start practicing it.