- Diet & Weight Loss
10 Ways to Lose Weight through Yoga
Yoga has become the preferred exercise routine of some of the most fit women in Hollywood. Stars such as Mila Kunis, Jennifer Anniston, Reese Weatherspoon, and Heidi Klum, to name a few, have bodies sculpted by Yoga. Many of these women and other fit women throughout the world have utilized yoga to get fit, stay fit, and maintain fitness through pregnancy. Even more impressive, these women are using Yoga to lose weight during many stages of life, including after giving birth.
Yoga has actually been a part of the fitness world for as far back as 10,000 years ago. Developed in India as steps to spiritual enlightenment, it grew into a series of steps to rejuvenate one’s body and mind. The modern day Yoga is several variations of the original forms of yoga and is now practiced all over the world. The principals behind all forms of modern yoga is to utilize your inner strength to strengthen your core and your muscles to create a continuous flow of energy throughout the body.
While it is not the traditional aerobic activity designed for weight loss, it is possible and even probable to lose weight through Yoga. Here are ten ways to lose weight through Yoga.
Choose the Best Style for Weight Loss
As discussed above, there are different forms of Yoga designed to help people accomplish different goals. Some Yoga classes focus on the mind while others focus on the body. Some are more vigorous than others and, in the end, burn more calories than others. Find the style meant to challenge your body and burn more calories. Some of the better weight loss styles of Yoga include Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga, which typically consist of 90 minute vigorous classes that help burn calories.
Based on the general principals of Yoga, the mind is becoming one with the body, allowing for the constant flow of energy to release stress and become at ease with itself. Science has shown that people who are constantly stressed will turn to substances such as food or alcohol to relieve the stress, both of which will put weight on. By utilizing the ideals behind Yoga and releasing your daily stress, you will less inclined to turn to fatty or sugary foods and drinks to maintain your sanity.
Building muscle burns fat, plain and simple. It is not necessary to workout with heavy machinery and weights to build and sculpt muscle. Your body is actually an amazing machine, designed to utilize itself as a weight training machine. The idea of strength training is not a new idea, however, it is often forgotten when considering weight loss exercises. Yoga combines meditation of the mind with core training and strength training of the body. Try and hold a Yoga pose with no strength in your core and no muscles in your arms or legs and see how it works. The probability is that the pose fell quickly. Therefore, part of Yoga is building your core and strength throughout your body, thereby allowing your body to become a fat burning machine, even when you sleep.
No matter the type of exercise one does, there is a technique of breathing associated to allow optimal results. Yoga is no different in this concept. Breathing is crucial to health, fitness, and weight loss. The main reason it is so important is it allows the release of air from your body that may cause bloating or cramping. However, the secondary reason for its importance is providing a focal point. By practicing breathing techniques, you are focused on you, your body, and your overall being, as opposed to what you are making for dinner and where you have to go after your Yoga class is over. This technique can be carried into other parts of your life to help cope with daily stresses that may cause you to turn to unhealthy habits.
The Liver and Detoxification
The liver, as most of us know, stores toxins that can upset the balance of the body. The more weight you hold onto, the less efficiently your liver works to rid the body of toxins. While it may seem unbelievable, certain Yoga poses actually strengthen the force of the liver, helping to improve the detoxification process.
As stated several times above, Yoga creates a flow of energy between the mind, spirit, and body. Therefore, the mindset of an individual practicing Yoga is in-tune with his or her body’s wants and needs. As a result, people who practice Yoga diligently tend to practice Mindful Eating. Mindful Eating is simply making decisions about food that are healthy for the body and mind. Mindful Eating means eating a diet full of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains as opposed to hamburgers, French fires, and milkshakes on a daily basis.
Workout Your Thyroid
The beauty of Yoga is it has a way of working out your internal organs as well as you muscles, joints, and limbs. The thyroid and weight gain have a direct correlation, wherein many people who experience weight gain suffer from hypothyroidism. Yet Yoga has several poses that can help kick your thyroid back into gear, such as the shoulder stand and the fish pose.
Unblock That Colon
Food passes through the colon and out through the bowels in a healthy body. However, as you gain weight, food may block the colon, making it more difficult to pass excess fat and foods out of the body. Because Yoga is not simply about raising the heart rate, there are actually poses that help cleanse the colon without going on a Goopy type detox. The bellow’s pose, peacock pose, and fire pose are just a few of these poses that actually help the body cleanse the colon to return to normal working order.
Balance Your Metabolism
Weight loss and a balanced metabolism go hand in hand. A slow metabolism means that the body does not process food as quickly as it is ingested and therefore the food sits and is stored in the body and overtime builds fat. On the flip side, a fast metabolism may mean that the body is processing the food faster than it is being ingested, leaving a person constantly hungry and feeling malnourished. Yet a balanced metabolism means that the body is processing food at the rate of ingestion, leaving the body full and satisfied. Yoga helps the body balance the metabolism to create a unit that is efficient at nourishing the body.
Hot Yoga (Bikram)
Finally, one of the most popular tools for weight loss involving Yoga is Bikram Yoga or hot Yoga. Hot Yoga is doing Yoga in a room set at 110 degrees for 60 to 90 minutes. As a result of the extreme temperatures, the body is forced to sweet, releasing toxins and burning more than the average amount of calories. Bikram Yoga is not recommended for daily use, however, done two to three times a week in combination with other types of Yoga can help the body cleanse and burn calories effectively, while still uniting the mind, body, and spirit.
There are numerous benefits to Yoga, including building self-confidence, strengthening the muscles in your body, connecting your mind, body, and spirit, detoxification, stress relief, and even weight loss. It is important to remember, Yoga should always be done on an empty stomach, especially to receive the full benefit of weight loss and detoxification. In addition, Yoga should always be led by a trained instructor to ensure you are not putting more pressure on your body than necessary. If properly executed and combines with an overall healthy life style, not only will you see success in weight loss, but you will see success in living a less stressful life.