Weight Loss With Yoga – Possible Or Not?


The ancient practice of yoga combines different postures, meditation and breathing patterns and it works miracles when it comes to losing weight. Scientists are puzzled by the fact that sweating so little can influence our body weight. On top of that, controversial benefits of yoga are scientifically proven.

According to a latest study published in the July/August issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, participants, both men and women who were of normal weight at the age of 45 and regularly did yoga gained about 3 fewer pounds during the next 10-year period than those who did not practice yoga. Let’s see whether weight loss with yoga is possible or not?

Types Of Yoga

There are different types of yoga and some of them are more focused on physical activity, while some types have slow, meditative approach. If your aim is burning calories, you should join a class where power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga, Surya Namaskar, or Kapalbhati Pranayama are practiced.

Power yoga is an Americanized version of traditional yoga, combining breathing and faster movements. Ashtanga yoga also uses fast-paced postures, but sequences are set unlike in power yoga, where postures depends on the teacher. Bikram yoga includes doing a set of 26 sequences performed in a room heated to 40C.

Doing 12 sets of Surya Namaskar yoga is the same as doing 288 yoga poses in a time period of 12 to 15 minutes. Kapalbhati Pranayama is a breathing exercise recommended for losing belly fat.

Healthy Eating Habits

One of more subtle ways yoga can help you shed pounds lies in the fact that yoga encourages you to be in tune with your body.

Three months after starting doing yoga, I noticed I became more aware of my body’s requirements in terms of food portions. In addition, I noticed that by practicing meditation I became more mindful during mealtimes and more aware of food preparation and especially eating speed.

Check Out These: 6 Yoga Poses to Boost Digestion

That I am not alone in this, shows research during which 20 personal journals of women who were obese and who took up a 12-week yoga treatment program were analyzed. The results of the study indicate the program encouraged “a healthy reconnection to food, as well as the development of physical self-empowerment, through cultivating present-moment awareness”.

All in all, yoga can encourage healthy eating habits, including counting your calories as well as eating balanced meals consisting of proteins, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. Do know that most spiritual retreats, apart from the advice on regular exercises, offer recommendations for healthy diet.

Proper Breathing

Proper breathing in yoga implies inhaling and exhaling in a three-part way. When inhaling, you should first fill up the lower abdomen with air, then the middle abdomen and finally the chest. When exhaling, you exhale in the same way just in the opposite direction.

In contrast, most people fill only the upper part of the lungs. When taking a deep breath as in yoga, the oxygen intake is increased, your metabolism works faster and muscle growth is stimulated.

Stress

A study published in 2013 showed that yoga can fight depression and sleep disorders. Depression is known to trigger high levels of a stress hormone, cortisol. When you are stressed, cortisol increases blood sugar levels, which eventually store as fat.

Deep breathing techniques as well as practicing of mindfulness meditation are one of the core aspects of yoga. After one hour of yoga, my heart rate decreases, I breathe slower and deeper, my blood pressure stabilizes and my muscles relax. I am relaxed and peaceful.

In the first study I mentioned, regular yoga was defined as practicing at least 30 minutes once a week for four or more years. If you want to take up yoga as a weight loss program, you should engage in this type of physical activity 4 to 5 times a week.

High-intensity yoga such as power yoga may last 60 minutes, while other slower types of yoga classes can run 75 to 90 minutes.

Yoga is not just a stretching exercise, it is a way of life, which is maybe the best explanation why it lends itself as a perfect weight loss regime.

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