Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Yoga is a type of practice and philosophy that unites the mind, body and spirit. This practice was developed in India, but it was perceived as a branch of Tantrism. But in the west, yoga is a physical exercise that increases strength and flexibility. Although yoga is not typically associated with weight loss, some health experts believe that it can improve a person’s weight loss potentials. And in today’s post, we are listing down ways yoga can help you stay strong and maintain a slender frame:

Discipline and Mindful Eating

According to Beth A. Lewis, Associate Professor at the University Of Minnesota School Of Kinesiology, practicing yoga can lead to weight loss but not in the traditional sense. Usually, we link weight loss with controlled calorie intake. If we control what we eat, we minimize the chances of weight gain. Exercising regularly also helps a person slim down and yoga is an excellent calorie burner.

Sure, yoga burns fewer calories compared to other high-intensity workout, but it can boost a person’s discipline and this manifests in the everyday choices a person makes. If an individual becomes mindful as far as making sensible food choices goes, he will lose weight. Dr. Lewis adds that yoga eases tension, anxiety and stress, factors that usually lead overeating. When the body and mind are relaxed, a person is less likely to blindly nosh on unhealthy foods.

Torches More Calories

According to Dr. Lewis Maharam of the American College of Sports Medicine, there are two types of yoga. One is geared towards relaxing the mind and the other is geared toward conditioning the body, similar to an exercise. Dr. Lewis said that although aerobic exercise remains the best calorie-burner, yoga can’t be far behind.

He said that to lose weight through yoga, you have to keep your mind and body active. You need to turn yoga into more than a mind experience but a physical one too. And when you do, you will burn off more calories despite the less intensive moves.

Boost Muscle Strength

According to Jen Cassetty, a certified fitness specialist, yoga can help you lose weight because the muscles are constantly on the move. Usually, a yoga class can run up to 90 minutes and during this period, the muscles are in constant state of movement. When the muscles are working hard, the muscle fibers become longer, leaner and stronger. It takes a lot of work to achieve balance and strength without bulking up. Cassetty noted that yoga is far from a high-intensity workout but over time, it can lead to significant weight loss. And just like weight training, you can also sculpt targeted areas of the body through yoga.

Promotes Healthier Lifestyle and Diet

For nutritionist, Annie Kay, yoga helps facilitate weight loss in various ways. And if done correctly, yoga is an effective weight loss method. The practice involves uniting the mind with the body and this can improve all aspects of lifestyle – including diet and mental attitude. If you are hyperaware of your own lifestyle sins, you are more likely to change for the better. Kay said yoga triggers attention inward, allowing a person to see and observe himself with an attitude of compassion. As a yoga practitioner becomes adept at performing every position, he becomes less influenced by external forces of modern culture. That includes indulgent eating and a sedentary lifestyle. Through yoga, a person becomes more motivated to work out.


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