There’s no debating that yoga can deliver major peace of mind, but what does it do for the body? Is yoga good for weight loss? When you think of exercise that burns a lot of calories, you’d think about aerobics before you thought about yoga, and you’d be right. Whether it’s a brisk walk or a jog, aerobic exercise burns significantly more calories than a traditional yoga session would but yoga can still benefit your weight loss tremendously.
Weight Loss Through Yoga
When you think about how intense yoga is as an exercise, images of relaxing stretches and deep breathing – nothing taxing at all – run through your head. True, yoga isn’t a high intensity exercise but the classes typically run 75 to 90 minutes of continual activity. Your muscles are working all the while, strengthening and lengthening and doing core work through balance and chaturanga poses. The constant motion is a workout, even if it is a traditional yoga class.
If you really wanted to reap the benefits of yoga for weight loss, you would check out the lively, flowing styles of yoga, like Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga. These classes typically last 90 minutes and can definitely have a cardiovascular benefit. You’ll be burning calories, toning and stretching your muscles and providing weight bearing exercise for your bones.
Why Yoga Benefits Weight Loss?
There might be another reason why yoga helps with weight loss. It may be that regular practice is influencing weight loss through yoga, just not in the traditional sense of how we think. Yoga increases mindfulness and the way one relates to their body. When your mind is tuned to your body, you start to care about what you put in it, causing a healthy change in diet.
The buzzword you’re hearing is mindfulness, which is the ability to watch what is happening internally in a non-reactive fashion. It changes the relationship of body to mind, and eventually to food and eating.
With regular yoga practice comes greatly reduced stress, which also leads to weight loss – stress causes most of us to overeat.
Your Mind + Your Body = Best Friends Forever
Yoga makes you more likely to influence for change. If you are thinking you want to change your lifestyle, you would like to change the way you think about food, or put destructive eating patterns to rest, yoga will give you the spiritual connection to the body that can help you start changing.
When your mind and body are in tune, you become aware of what you eat, and how it feels to be full.
You learn your body is not your enemy, and being consciously aware of your body translates into better appetite control.
So is yoga good for weight loss? The answer is: yes, but for a different reason than you may have thought.