When doing a quick search on yoga, the first thing that pops out is the definition of it: a type of exercise in which you move your body into various positions to become more fit or flexible, improve your breathing and relax your mind.
Yoga is said to be a body and mind practice as it involves movement, meditation and breathing techniques to promote mental and physical well-being. However, not so much is mentioned as to how it contributes to weight loss.
You may be in the middle of a hot yoga class thinking, ‘wow, yoga is intense! But can it really be a path to weight loss?’
Well, the simple answer to this is yes! Yoga does have its own way of helping you lose weight. However, it’s not as direct as you think.
Below are a few benefits of yoga that might just help you get a better grasp of how it can contribute towards weight loss — as well as a healthier mind and body
Benefits of Yoga for Weight Loss
Stress comes in many forms, two being physical pain and psychological feelings such as anxiety. When left unnoticed, this essentially leads to an increase in cortisol — a hormone linked to increased abdominal fat and reduction of muscles. Stress also causes cravings for various foods, most of which are rich in fat and sugar which will eventually result in you eating more than you should.
Yoga is one prime example of an activity that helps you manage such stress and in turn, also contributes to your weight loss. Because of its aspect of involving a lot of movements, this exercise initially makes a great case of helping with the regulation of hormones given its active approach.
Besides managing stress, Yoga also helps you develop your mindfulness. Doing such exercise increases your awareness because it affects your mind, body and spirit. You’re all the more conscious of how different things contribute to your overall being when incorporating yoga as a form of exercise.
More so, several studies show that mindfulness eventually leads to better practices when it comes to eating and doing physical activities. Being mindful of your mind, body and spirit helps you become more aware of what is a need versus a want for someone who wants to be healthy.
As if the above-mentioned benefits weren’t enough, yoga can also improve the quality of your sleep. Doing this exercise will have you sleeping a lot more easily and deeply when done consistently. This is because yoga itself is relaxing and the movements involved often target relaxing one’s mind.
And with better sleep, comes better chances of weight loss too. Getting adequate and quality sleep is essentially important to keeping oneself healthy. Insufficient sleep is said to lead to a lot of metabolic irregularities which later on translates to inconsistent eating patterns.
Yoga → relaxes the mind → prepares the mind for quality sleep → quality sleep → better relationships with food
So to say yoga doesn’t contribute to weight loss at all is definitely not true, because it really does! If yoga is your only physical activity, you may consider doing it as often as three to five times per week. However, if you do cardio or strength training, yoga makes for a great active rest day activity. Whatever you do, remember that the key is consistency!
With a yoga mat, a balanced diet and an active and progressive yoga workout plan, yoga can help you shed a few pounds this season!