When it comes to workouts that are good for both the mind and the body, yoga is the best option for this. Practicing it helps our physical, mental and spiritual development, which will allow us to create the best “version” of ourselves.
Yoga can also be an effective way to lose weight, especially when you practice its more active forms. Many experts agree that yoga works in many different ways to successfully achieve a healthy weight. It is important to mention that regular yoga practice can affect the release of unnecessary body fat, but not in the “traditional” sense.
Weight loss usually occurs when a person’s energy intake (ie the food and drink they consume) is less than their energy expenditure (ie when more energy is expended during exercise). Most people need to change both their energy intake and energy expenditure to lose weight to a healthy level.
How exactly does yoga work and is it really possible to lose weight with it?
In 2005, medical researcher and yoga practitioner Alan Crystal, DPH, MPH, began a medical study of the effects of yoga on weight loss.
With funding from the National Cancer Institute, Crystal and colleagues at the Center for Cancer Research conducted a study involving 15,500 healthy middle-aged men and women. All participants between the ages of 45 and 55 completed the study with a variety of physical activities, including yoga practice. The researchers then analyzed the data, extracting other factors that could affect weight change, such as diet or other forms of exercise.
The end result of the study
It found that yoga really helps to lose weight or at least prevent us from gaining weight. Overweight people who practiced yoga during the study lost about 2 kg. During the same period, those who did not practice yoga gained 6 kg.
Why is yoga useful for weight loss?
Here are many ways that yoga can help you lose weight:
- Reduces stress – yoga is known for its ability to cope very well with stress. Reducing stress is of great importance for the health of your body and mind
Yoga can lower stress levels by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. The Cortisol is the culprit for weight gain. It sends glucose signals to the brain in order to fight the low blood sugar levels caused by stress. This in turn can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Stress can also make you retain more belly fat. Lowering cortisol levels through yoga can help you stop gaining weight and maintain a healthy weight.
- Strengthens muscles – Anyone who has ever practiced yoga knows that keeping your body in these positions is not easy because they really depend on your muscle mass. Yoga improves overall strength and flexibility. The more flexible you are, the better you will cope with other exercises that are good to try for weight loss.
- Stimulates the liver – the liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It performs more than 2000 functions, and one of the most important is the detoxification and purification of your body. It purifies the blood and releases harmful chemicals and toxins from it. A healthy and strong liver can also eliminate bad fats from the body.
Yoga also helps to increase the vitality of the liver, for its better functioning. The liver can be cleared effectively when you follow a detox plan with fruits and vegetables
The benefits of yoga to reduce stress can lead to a significant improvement in sleep and better eating habits, which can contribute to more weight loss. Regardless of the exercises you do, good nutrition is very essential.
If you do not pay attention to your diet, you will not see the results you want. Do the exercises you need – yoga asanas – for your needs, eat healthy and you will achieve a healthy weight.
Who is yoga for?
People experiencing high levels of stress in their lives, overweight and / or other related problems should definitely incorporate yoga into their lives. But if you have physical disabilities, problems with the spine, knees or other similar medical conditions, consult a doctor before starting the practice.
Yoga is definitely helpful for the problems mentioned above, but there may be some specific poses that you should not do. Find out in advance and make sure that what you intend to do, such as exercise, is really right for you.
How long does it take for an effect to appear?
The debate over whether yoga is an effective weight loss tool and how long it takes before the results are seen has been debated for years. Many believe that yoga is not fast enough to burn the number of calories needed for true weight loss.
However, weight loss depends on the individual person, as everyone’s body and goals are different from each other. If you start exercising three times a week and eating a healthy diet, you may find that you lose weight fast. But do not strive for sudden weight loss, so as not to suffer the appearance of your skin.
A yoga session can burn between 180 and 460 calories depending on several factors:
- The type of yoga exercise
- The length and intensity of the session
- And whether you are a man or a woman
If the individual person is significantly overweight, he can lose weight faster.
It just depends.
Yoga asanas for weight loss
This asana is one of the best yoga poses for weight loss. It strengthens and tones the muscles of the arms, shoulders, thighs and back – all at the same time.
The pose is also effective for people with back problems
To do the Veerabhadrasana asana, you have to stand with your legs apart, the right knee should be slightly bent. Then raise your arms above your head and stretch them. Touch both hands in Namaste. Close your eyes and count from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then bend the left knee, stretch the right leg behind you and repeat the same 2 to 3 times on both sides.
The next asana strengthens and tones the muscles of the thighs, buttocks, back and chest. In this asana, the body looks a bit like a chair and requires a lot of endurance. You may feel pain in your legs for the first few days when you practice it. However, do the pose regularly. It will help you gain flexibility and after a few exercises the pain will disappear.
Stand up straight without walking. Inhale as you raise your arms above your head. Stretch them and bend your knees slightly, inhale while bending your knees.
Now stay in this position for at least 60 seconds while breathing normally. It may be difficult to stay that way at first, but try to keep it as long as possible. Stand up if you feel too much pain.
This asana is very easy to perform. It can be performed perfectly by beginners in yoga. The posture tones the lower body by stimulating the abdominal muscles. It also helps treat infertility, asthma, depression and anxiety.
To perform Baddha Konasana, you must sit with your spine straight. Your knees should be bent and the soles of your feet should be facing each other. Press your feet together and hold this position for at least a minute.