Updated: Jan 4
Seems to be the question on everyone’s mind atm.
You hear all these great things about yoga
it’s the exercise for longevity,
it calms the mind,
it reduces stress, anxiety
and couldn’t we all use some of that?
But what about those of us that need to workout for weight loss?
Or even just to maintain our weight?
Does yoga help you lose weight?
Is yoga good for weight loss?
Well, as you can imagine it’s not a simple answer.
Yoga Calorie Burner?
Now, depending on the type of yoga you practise, yoga can actually build muscle and tone you up.
When we build muscle mass, this actually has a positive effect on weight loss and insulin resistance.
This, in turn, speeds up our metabolism and increases fat burning.
The more muscle mass we have, the easier it is to burn off fat.
That’s because muscle requires more fuel, and guess where your fuel comes from?
That’s right, after the first 20 minutes it comes from your fat stores. So if you are looking to lose weight then make sure you workout longer than 20 minutes.
The more muscle mass we have, the higher our resting metabolism is, and also lowers insulin resistance.
How Long Should You Work Out For?
Sorry but if you want to lose weight, and/or be healthy you need longer than a 20 minute session. The real fat burning doesn’t even begin until 20 minutes in. That’s because fuel is used from your diet first. Then once that's used up, the fat stores start to be accessed and burned off for fuel.
The combination of high intensity intermittent exercise - i.e. pushing up the heart rate, respiration and workload, broken up with short periods of low workload or rest, have been found to be the most effective for fitness and weight loss, according to current research.
Does Yoga Lower Blood Pressure?
Is it possible to use yoga to ease anxiety?
It is possible to do yoga to relieve stress and anxiety.
When practicing daily yoga anxiety blood pressure and depression has been shown to reduce. Well this is an interesting bonus.
But what does it have to do with yoga for weight loss?
Well, what do you do when you are down and troubled?
Not everyone of course, but I am under the assumption if you are reading this that you want/need to lose weight, and you most likely turn to food in times of trouble.
So, if yoga reduces anxiety and depression what will happen to our comfort bingeing?
dare we say,
maybe even happy?
Do we need that, go to, comfort food or drink?
Not at all.
Another tick for yoga and weight loss. Didn’t think of that one hey?
It is so important for our long term weight loss and maintenance though, don’t you think?
Mind Body Connection
Yoga makes us more body conscious.
Making us more aware of our posture, even when we are not doing yoga.
This has an amazing effect on how we hold ourselves, and also how we look and feel.
We start to -
and actually calm our eating impulses.
It’s that mind and body connection - you knew it was coming - don’t roll your eyes!
therefore we think better,
and then we do better.
Meditation and Weight Loss
There is a meditative element that helps us bring our attention into the now.
The consciousness that yoga brings not only to the class but to our lives can also help in a big way for weight loss.
Let’s take a step back and think about it…
Why do we overeat? Or, for that matter, over indulge in anything - food, drink, drugs, gambling, sex.
Basically we have lost control.
Our ability to moderate ourselves.
So what does meditation bring to our lives?
Besides a sense of calm and relaxation it helps us to achieve mindfulness.
In this way we become more “in control” of our mind and, therefore, our actions.
So yes, this is an integral part of losing weight, dieting and, importantly, actually being able to keep the weight off.
How many diets have we started?
How hard is it to stick to a diet?
Why do we put it back on?
The mindfulness we achieve in yoga is one of the major reasons why most yogis we know are quite slim.
As it’s the whole shebang.
It’s the physical and the mental exercise!
So will yoga reduce weight?
The short answer is yes.
Yoga can reduce weight.
If you are doing yoga but not losing weight, you might try these yoga styles -
Vinyasa flow yoga
Being mindful that weight loss or weight maintenance is not based on just one thing, it is a conscious work in progress.
Wake up every morning,
Meditate on our goals for the day,
Include a workout/yoga session for 1 hour or more
Be kind to ourselves! :)
By Sienna Wolke