Yoga and Weight Loss
Yoga teachers are often asked about the link between yoga and weight loss. After all, yoga has a tendency to be marketed as being for fit, thin individuals with excellent lean muscular strength. In reality, yoga is for all people, regardless of their level of physical fitness, experience, weight, or ability. While, like any form of exercise, yoga can help with weight loss, it also offers physical and mental benefits far beyond this.
If your intention is to lose weight, particularly for health purposes, it’s best to start your journey by speaking to a medical professional. They’ll be able to advise you on forms of exercise that are appropriate to your abilities and will help you reach your weight loss goal in a safe manner.
If you’re keen to incorporate yoga as part of a well-rounded weight loss strategy, educating yourself on the different types of yoga and how the movements stretch and strengthen your muscles will help you find a studio offering “yoga near me” that supports your weight loss goals and fitness aspirations.
The Australian government recommends that adults engage in some form of physical activity every day. Every week, adults should perform between 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity and 1.25 to 1.5 hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity. These guidelines promote physical and mental health and help individuals to maintain a healthy weight.
Whether yoga falls under “moderate” or “vigorous” intensity physical activity really depends on what type of yoga you are engaging in. Most likely it will be the former, meaning you should be aiming to get a few hours of practice per week.
In addition to helping you on your weight loss journey, yoga promotes a wide range of physical benefits. It helps you to build lean muscle, increase flexibility, and improve balance. Moreover, yoga exercises like Surya Namaskar help to reduce belly fat and plays a major role in weight loss.
Yoga is actually an umbrella term for a group of closely related practices that have the design to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. There are several different types of yoga, each of which aims to improve wellbeing in different ways.
If your goal is to lose weight and you are relying on yoga to help you achieve this, your best option is to try a vigorous form of this exercise. Bikram yoga, for example, is performed in a room heated to 40ºC with a high degree of humidity. Certainly, it is one of the more high-intensity forms of yoga. Ashtanga yoga is another type of dynamic exercise that will raise your heart rate. Also, it potentially helps with weight loss goals.
Of course, it’s not the only high-intensity activity that links to weight loss. Oftentimes, improving your physical fitness and shedding a few extra kilos is a long-term goal. Regularly engaging in moderate forms of yoga, including Hatha yoga, can help achieve weight loss goals over a long period of time.
Benefits of thinking mindfully
Diet and Weight Loss
The process of gaining or losing weight tends to be very complex. Two people can eat exactly the same diet and engage in exactly the same level of exercise. Yet, they still have different results based on their genetics and the impact of pre-existing health conditions.
For many people, the goal of losing weight ties with the desire to have more energy. What we eat plays a significant role in this. A balanced diet full of whole, natural fruits, veggies, and grains is always going to help put an extra spring in your step.
Mindfulness and Diet
Following such a diet is not always easy. There is another important lesson that yoga teaches us. It is how to think mindfully about any and all decisions we face, including those relating to food. We may define Mindfulness as the ability to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Mindful eating refers to the state of being fully attentive to your food — when you’re buying it, preparing it, and eating it. This practice encourages us to think carefully about the connection between what we eat and how we feel.
Yoga actively encourages mindful thinking. It teaches you to remain in the moment and focus only on what is happening around you. Applying these skills to the process of preparing and eating food can have a positive impact on your weight, diet, and overall health and wellbeing. In this sense, yoga can certainly help with weight loss.
There is no one magic trick to losing weight. Often it requires a complete overhaul to your lifestyle. For instance, taking steps to improve your diet, quality sleep, work-life balance, and engagement with exercise. If you’re interested in learning more about the connection between yoga and weight loss, or more generally how yoga can improve your physical and mental wellbeing, search for a studio offering “yoga near me” today.
Bridget is a writer and editor, currently living in Melbourne. She is a copywriter for Newpath Web and loves working with words of all shapes and sizes. When not playing around with punctuation and grammar, she enjoys traveling and curating her Spotify playlists