Yoga Lunge

Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Health Writer

Exercise and Weight Loss

You’ve heard it before – if you want to lose weight you have to exercise. As a result, many people turn to running and other high intensity exercises in an attempt to shed extra pounds. However, cardio and weight lifting are not the only ways to get into shape. Yoga, which is a type of exercise that focuses on breathing, building strength, flexibility, and improving your mental health, may help you reach your fitness goals. While stretching and downward facing dog may not seem like enough to get you in shape, Yoga can be just the thing to shed those extra pounds, but not in the way you might expect.

Your Body and Yoga

Yoga is a popular form of exercise, and with good reason. Long before it became mainstream, Yoga originated in India as a spiritual practice that centered around mindfulness and engaging the body. Today, there are dozens of practices and flows, each with a different physical or spiritual purpose. The combination of breathing exercises, movements, and relaxing poses makes Yoga great for your emotional and mental health. In fact, numerous studies show how the restorative nature of Yoga can help you cope with your emotions, stress, and help you feel clearer mentally after you.

The benefits of Yoga don’t stop there. Many people report that a regular Yoga routine made them more conscious of how they felt, how they treated their body and the foods they ate. A regular Yoga practice is also great for your body as it encourages better sleep and keeps you flexible, limber, and mobile.

Lose Weight With Yoga

So, can Yoga help you lose weight? The answer – it depends. Yoga helps the body holistically, or as a whole. The mental health benefits of regular Yoga combined with the physical activity of a Yoga practice can lead to less stress, better emotional control, and better, healthier habits. This can help influence most people to lose weight. However, that doesn’t mean Yoga can’t help you shed pounds in the traditional sense. It is a diverse exercise with many different variations and paces. Each has a different purpose and flow, so if weight loss is your goal than you should try a more intense routine. The three most popular calorie-blasting Yoga practices are called Ashtanga, Hot Yoga, and Power Yoga.

1. Ashtanga

Not only is this Yoga practice engaging, it is also challenging. Ashtanga synchronizes breathing with movement and Yoga poses for a mentally and physically engaging workout. The combination of quick powerful movements will surely burn calories and cause you to break a sweat.

2. Hot Yoga

The name says it all: hot Yoga is hot. This Yoga practice is performed in a warm and humid room. Some studios are even heated to scorching 105 degrees. The combination of heat, challenging movements, stretches, and poses that engage major muscle groups is enough to get your heart pumping and burn calories quickly.

3. Power Yoga

You don’t need weights to do strength training. Instead, try power Yoga. Power Yoga incorporates the poses of other Yoga styles like Ashtanga and Vinyasa but intensifies them. This stimulating Yoga flow improves your balance, flexibility, and strength all in one workout for an engaging and effective exercise.

Yoga One Leg Pose

The Final Consensus

When it comes to losing weight, intense Yoga flows are the way to go. Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, and Ashtanga are just a few options to help you lose weight. While the previously mentioned Yoga practices are great workouts, for the most part, Yoga influences weight loss rather than causing weight loss in the traditional sense. For most people Yoga encourages and inspires them to make better lifestyle choices, prioritize their emotional well-being, and get active. These lifestyle changes then lead to weight loss. So, if you are looking to simply burn calories more conventional exercises like running or swimming may be better for you.

However, if you would like to reap the health benefits of a physically and mentally uplifting exercise, then Yoga may be the way to go. Add some variety to you fitness routine. Try some intense forms of Yoga like Bikram (another type of Hot Yoga) twice a week along with resistance training, or try adding a 30 minute relaxing Yoga session after you jog. The key is to gradually incorporate Yoga into your routine so that you can slowly build up your flexibility and strength. This way you can safely enjoy the numerous health benefits of Yoga and become healthier mentally and physically.

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