Did you know that you don’t have to kill yourself on a treadmill to achieve great weight-loss results? Contrary to popular belief, you can do yoga to loose weight with your favorite yoga mat!
While great to support mental health and relax your body, yoga also offers several intensive poses that can aid you on your weight loss journey.
Curious how relaxing, quiet yoga could ever help you lose weight? We’ll take a dive into the science and mental aspects, so get your mats ready.
Best yoga for weight loss
The key to yoga for weight loss is getting your heart rate up for a short amount of time before dropping it again, then repeating the process. This keeps your nervous system from getting too stressed, and is perfectly achievable in yoga!
Yoga puts an intense focus on breath, and the classic three-part breath can help regulate your heart rate. If your heart rate jumps up in yoga (and if you’re active, it absolutely will), take some time in between poses to reconnect with your heart and breath. Then, do the process all over again!
If you’re looking for specific poses, though, you’re in luck!
Weight issues can sometimes be contributed to thyroid illnesses or malfunctions, and yoga is full of shoulder stands and handstands. These are fantastic ways to activate your thyroid.
If you really want to delve deeper, check out fish pose!
Sometimes, if our body’s pH is off balance, that can contribute to weight gain as well. Simple poses like a seated forward fold can help raise your pH, as can head-to-knee poses.
But if you just want to get down into it, here’s a list of poses that will help those pounds melt away. The great thing about yoga is that it’s often focused on specific muscle groups, allowing you to tone whatever problem areas you have.
- Plank pose: works the arms and the core
- Lion pose: don’t forget about the face! This pose can help slim down your face and bust your double chin woes.
- Upward facing dog: works your arm muscles and stretches your back
- Boat pose: challenging and amazing for the core!
- Cobra pose: helps take down tough belly fat
- Garland pose: tones your thighs
- Fire pose: helps clean your colon
- Peacock pose: same as fire pose! Alternate between the two for optimal results
- Crescent pose: aids you in getting those lean, toned legs
- Locust pose: tones your abdominal muscles
- Frog pose: improves your posture, automatically making you look slimmer!
How does yoga help you lose weight?
When you’re struggling on your weight loss journey, it may be difficult to believe that yoga can help you shed those pounds.
Sure, some specific yoga poses may help you lose weight, but why should you consider practicing yoga for weight loss when you can pump iron?
Yoga brings you the whole package! There are several elements that contribute to weight gain, and yoga can help tackle all of them.
There’s more to yoga than light stretching. There’s actual science behind yoga for weight loss, and we’re here to explore some of the ways it can help.
One program that I would recommend is a beachbody yoga program called PiYo. It’s great for any skill set and the trainer is awesome.
Do an experiment with me. Sit up straighter and suck your belly in – not all the way, just enough to hold it comfortably.
You already look slimmer, don’t you?
Did you know you can drop up to a clothing size just by correcting your posture? In office culture, we’re often hunched over desks while our bottom halves are completely relaxed.
Our shoulders are slumping and our spines are curved, and this often translates to weight gain and discomfort.
Even the simplest, most relaxing forms of yoga require correct posture to perform stances without injury. This can translate outside the studio as you just carry yourself better.
Balancing and activating your nervous system
Are you suffering from a crushing amount of stress?
Stress is a common culprit when it comes to weight gain. Many people eat to comfort themselves and take their mind off of the stress they’re under.
Even without eating, weight gain can be influenced by office culture. When you’re spending 8 or more hours seated at a desk in front of a computer screen, you’re not getting healthy amounts of fresh air and sunlight.
This puts undue stress on your nervous system, which goes on to affect the entire body. The key to solving this is by relaxing the body and finding the balance between your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.
Though Savasana, or corpse pose, may not seem like it’s accomplishing much (other than giving you an alternative to naptime), it allows you to relax all the muscles in your body. This lets the stress on your body literally melt away.
Even the lightest type of yoga requires that you be active and stretch your muscles. Just the movement alone can help you with weight loss.
In turn, this increases your metabolism. It also helps you build muscle strength using only your body weight – no iron required!
As your strength builds, your fat will decrease as your body eats it up for more energy to fuel your muscles.
If you want to build optimal strength while you do yoga for weight loss, you’ll want to check into crane pose, feathered peacock pose, and scale pose.
Plank pose is a fantastic way to build strength as well, and you can never go wrong with arm balancing.
The key to strength training in yoga for weight loss is to find poses that engage several muscles at once. If you’re more adventurous, try an aerial boat pose to engage your abs!
If you’re feeling bloated, the problem may be traced back to your colon. It’s common to have food backed up in your colon, and this does have the potential to poison your blood.
If your colon is blocked, it’s important to be careful with the type of poses you do. Inversions will lead to poisoned blood rushing up your body and potentially harming your brain.
Overall, yoga for weight loss teaches self-acceptance and self-love. Regardless of where you are on your weight loss journey, it’s important to love and support yourself every step of the way.
Yoga can help improve your mindset and self-esteem and can give you the confidence to keep going when the going gets tough.
Does yoga for weight loss work?
Yoga for weight loss is absolutely effective, provided the right poses and sequences are performed. It’s important to pay attention to the areas of your body that need improvement and focus on those.
Remember that yoga doesn’t focus only on your body. Yoga for weight loss is also a state of mind and is a great step when it comes to self-improvement.
Any poses you know that have helped you on your weight loss journey? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to drop us a line.