The ancient tradition of yoga has finally made it into the weight loss regime. The practice of yoga is holistic, it focuses on spiritual development and becoming the best version of yourself. Yoga for weight loss not only helps in the physical front but also supports mental development and mindfulness.
Yoga can be an effective tool for weight loss if done properly. There are many yoga asanas for weight loss that can help you lose weight gradually. However, you should opt for a more active yoga regimen than a more relaxed and composed yoga routine.
Weight loss yoga
Yoga experts have claimed that the right yoga asanas for weight loss can be as effective as lifting weights at the gym. Yoga works in a variety of ways to bring about a healthy weight, that is, lose fat, gain and tone muscles, and maintain a healthy weight.
In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about yoga for weight loss.
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If you want to practice weight loss yoga, there are three factors that you should keep in mind.
- Yoga and calorie burning:
Traditionally yoga isn’t considered to be an aerobic exercise. However, there are certain types of yoga asanas for weight loss that can burn calories. Active and intense yoga styles can burn a lot of calories and help to tone muscles. They also prevent weight gain. These yoga styles include ashtanga yoga, vinyasa, and power yoga.
These yoga styles keep you moving constantly and thus, are considered weight loss yoga. Practicing yoga also boosts your metabolism. A survey study conducted in 2013 found out that yoga is a promising way to help with behavioral change, weight loss, and maintenance of weight by burning calories. It enhances mindfulness, and thus, reduces stress. Yoga can also make you mindful about the food you eat and this can contribute towards intuitive eating.
- Yoga and sleep
As you may already know, sleep is essential for healthy weight loss. Practicing yoga can enhance your sleep quality. It can help you fall asleep faster and sleep consistently without being interrupted. Ideally, every adult should get around 8 to 9 hours of sleep every day.
Good quality sleep is important for weight loss. In a study conducted in 2018, it was found out that those people who had restricted sleep five times in one week lost less weight as compared to others who followed a healthy sleeping pattern.
There is a form of yoga known as yoga Nidra which is a guided relaxation procedure. It increases mindfulness and helps you to sleep better. Thus, if you are practicing yoga for weight loss, you should practice yoga Nidra.
- Yoga and mindfulness
So far we discussed the physical aspect of yoga for weight loss. However, the spiritual and mental aspects of yoga develop mindfulness. Mindfulness can be a helpful guide when you are trying to lose weight. It can develop a positive attitude towards weight loss, prevent overeating, fights cravings, etc.
All in all, mindfulness helps you become more conscious about the food you eat and how that food affects your mind, body, and weight loss journey. A study conducted in 2016 found out that those who practiced mindfulness during their weight loss journey were able to resist unhealthy foods and fights cravings.
Therefore, incorporating mental and spiritual mindfulness activities in your yoga for weight loss regiment can be effective in losing weight.
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Benefits of yoga for weight loss
As we said, yoga when combined with healthy eating, proper sleep, and mindfulness can be beneficial for weight loss. Besides yoga for weight loss, these are some of the other benefits that yoga can have for the body and the mind.
- Improved metabolism and digestion
- Increased flexibility
- Improved breathing ability (may help to treat respiratory disorders)
- Improved cardio and athletic health
- Tones muscles
- Weight loss and weight management
- Increased energy and vitality
- Stress management
Stress has devastating effects on the body and the mind, and more than often, it can lead to rapid weight gain and weight loss. Therefore, to maintain a healthy weight, one needs to manage stress. The physical and spiritual benefits of yoga help to manage and reduce stress. It also helps to maintain good mental health.
Now, let us look at the yoga asanas targeted towards weight loss.
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5 Yoga asanas for weight loss
These are some of the most effective yoga asanas for weight loss.
- Chaturangadandasana or Plank pose
The plank pose, known as Chaturangadandasana is one of the best yoga asanas for weight loss. It helps in strengthening the core, and the intensity of the exercise is felt in the abdominal muscles.
- Virabhadrasana or the Warrior pose
The Virabhadrasana or the Warrior pose is a lunge pose that helps in toning your back and thigh muscles. It can also tone your stomach by strengthening the core and giving you a flat belly. Try to contract your abdominal and gluteus muscles when you practice this pose.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Dog pose
The Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the essential yoga asanas for weight loss and it can also help in relieving back and joint pain. This pose tones your body while strengthening your arms, hamstring, thighs, and back. While holding this pose, concentrate on your breathing and try to contract your muscles. This will lead to better blood circulation and effective weight loss.
- Dhanurasana or Bow pose
The Dhanurasana or Bow Pose is one of the best asanas related to yoga for weight loss. It is the best way to lose stubborn belly fat. It improves digestion, strengthens your thighs, back, and chest. It is also great for improving blood circulation as it stretches your entire body.
- Surya Namaskara or Sun salutation
We saved the best for the last. The famous Surya Namaskara is an entire package of good health and weight loss. A whole-body exercise, stretches your arms, back, trims the waist, and stimulates metabolism. It is single handedly the best pose for yoga for weight loss.
This is all you needed to know about yoga for weight loss. Keep in mind that consistency is key when it comes to any weight loss regimen.
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