Is Yoga an Effective Tool for Weight Loss?
There is much debate over whether yoga is an activity that can contribute to effective weight loss or not – with strong arguments on both sides of the discussion.
On the one hand, some people believe that because yoga is not a fast paced physical activity it can therefore not be considered a serious weight loss tool. This follows the belief that you must be directly burning calories at a serious rate in order to lose weight.
On the other hand, it can be argued that practicing yoga is a great way to build muscle, tone the body and strengthen the mind – all of which can then contribute to weight maintenance and weight loss.
This misconception of a yoga class predominantly consisting of stretching and seated meditation is perhaps the reason that many people feel that yoga is not an effective way to lose weight. However, if you have ever taken part in a class then you will know that this is not the case!
Yoga requires a commitment to developing both your physical and mental strength, and as this happens your stamina, flexibility and focus will improve also.
Yoga consists of hundreds of different asanas, all of which have varying physical benefits. Although it is true to say that some of these poses are more concerned with flexibility than they are with physical strength, this is certainly not true of all of the poses! As you work to hold each pose for longer periods of time you will be building your overall strength and increasing your muscle mass.
As you continue to burn fat and replace it with muscle, you will naturally lose weight and you will also burn more calories when you are not directly engaging in exercise. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat does.
Although the benefits of this can be felt with the majority of different yoga types, you may want to go for a more physically demanding variety to enhance your results and get the most out of your session. Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga and Bikram Yoga are thought to be the best choices when it comes to yoga for weight loss. This is largely due to their intense pace and challenging poses.
When it comes to how yoga can benefit you emotionally to support weight loss, you have to consider the reasons that you are not currently reaching your weight loss goals. Do you make unhealthy, emotionally charged food choices? Are you currently lacking the motivation to lead an active lifestyle? Perhaps you are simply stuck in a fitness rut and need to refresh your mindset to find your focus?
One of the most amazing things about yoga is how it encourages you to look inside of yourself, and to better understand your choices, your thought processes and your understanding of the self. When this begins to happens you will likely develop a greater understanding and appreciation of how you can care for yourself.
This process will often lead people to make more positive choices in terms of their self-care, their lifestyle, their diet and other connected concepts. Recognising negative habits and distancing yourself from them will soon follow, and this can be beneficial for both overall health and reaching desired weight loss goals.
Yoga For Weight Loss
Deciding to embrace yoga as a new part of your workout routine can be an exciting way to mix things up. As well as supporting and boosting your weight loss efforts, yoga can also benefit both your body and mind in other ways, such as keeping your mood up!