While it's not entirely a fitness practice, yoga can be a great way to stay fit. It is phenomenal at helping procure better health and certain types of yoga are a great way to lose weight.
Some examples of yoga styles that can produce these weight loss effects more than others would be Vinyasa, Bikram, Power, and all those hybrids that are out there these days, like “Yoga Sculpt,” “Yoga Cycle,” “Paddle Yoga,” “Pool Yoga,” “Yoga Boot Camp” and “Yoga Hiking.”
But if you're not fond of experimenting with styles of asana, you can always go with the traditional yoga styles you love! Here are 6 ways yoga helps you lose weight.
1. Raised Heart Rate
The Sun Salutations at the start of any flow class are a great way to get your heart pumping. This is considered “cardio” which is great for your heart health. All that movement helps to burn calories, which in turn decreases weight gain.
2. Improved Energy
In general, the breath work and emotional shifts that happen in a yoga practice raise your natural energy levels. This encourages your desire to get up and be active in your daily life. It curbs depression and helps us wake up earlier and make the most of our day!
The more active you are, the more calories you burn naturally throughout the day—not to mention, the better your outlook on life is, the more likely you are to maintain a healthy weight.
3. Better Choices
Yoga encourages practitioners into a healthier diet, lifestyle, and wellness regimen. The same lift in energy described above makes you want to make healthier choices about food and daily lifestyle.
Active people, including yogis, often end up craving fresh juices and vegetables more than fried foods and sugars. This shift in perspective is what ultimately keeps the weight off, as it is a more permanent change than a very restrictive diet that collapses after two weeks.
4. Toned Muscles
The lengthening action of all the yoga movements helps shape the muscles in a different way than, say, bodybuilding or running might. While all of these together provide a juicy complement to each other, yoga alone is well-known for helping you build long, lean muscles with lots of tone to them.
Becoming aware of your body’s needs versus wants is a huge step towards better health and a more balanced weight. Yoga encourages your ability to listen to your body and understand the difference between a craving and a need, a tender muscle or a sore or lethargic muscle.
Exercising this ability on a regular basis can prevent all kinds of injuries and health concerns including weight gain or loss.
Each yoga posture is designed to activate more than one body part. There's lots more going on in Warrior II than you might think, and there are a lot more muscles being engaged than just the ones in your legs and thighs.
None of the postures work on just one thing or body part, unlike some of the machines at the gym. In this sense, adding yoga to your healthy lifestyle regimen will double your efforts to shed pounds.
So there you have it. If you’re trying to lose weight, add in more yoga asana to your daily rituals to heighten your results!