That's what I always wondered whenever someone mentioned they lost a 'ton of weight' by doing Yoga. But wait a minute, isn't Yoga all about those poses and stuff? How would that help in losing weight?
So technically, most Yoga exercises lead to the burning of about 300-350 calories in a session that lasts about 70-80 minutes.
Although that sounds wonderful, remember that doing Yoga for that long requires much experience and expertise, however, a session lasting about 30 minutes is very much possible and will help you burn about 100-150 calories. Anyone who wants to lose weight with Yoga needs to consider this fact before they begin...
Those who are a little on the heavier side, or are beginners should start off by going to (local) classes. Usually, beginners are taught warm-up poses that include saluting the sun and standing back up, followed by backbends and stretches.
Also, you need to bear in mind that yoga should be practiced under the supervision of trainers or experienced tutors.
Now let's see how yoga can benefit us.
How Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight
All types of yoga programs tone the body and strengthen a person's core and sense of balance.
The many positions in a Yoga program improve upper body strength, posture, and general health.
One of the core factor that makes Yoga so useful is its ability to quickly heat up your body and loosen your muscles. The increase in body temperature also promotes secretion of adrenaline, which helps you better maintain and/or hold certain poses for more extended periods of time.
Sweat Off Water Weight and Get to the Fat
Water weight gain is typical for someone who is obese. Hatha yoga programs help people lose excess water from their bodies. The body learns how to use water without needlessly storing it.
This is a chance for people to burn fat more quickly and to prevent issues like bloating. A hathayoga session before a big event ensures that you look lean and fit because all of the 'extra' liquids stored in your body will have been 'burned' off. This is a chance to improve your body's overall functioning levels, so fat burn can happen efficiently.
Speed Up Your Metabolism
The temperature and intensity of hatha yoga help people not just improve their overall digestive and circulatory systems, but also their metabolism.
This means that the body understands how to efficiently use nutrients from food, store what it (really) needs, and get rid of the rest. A revved up metabolism is a very natural way to lose fat and to ensure you feel energetic and lively. However, remember that Yoga was never just about losing weight.
Instead, the core of the Yoga philosophy is improving the health of both, your mind and body.
For e.g. rather than consuming that cup of morning joe to 'get that jolt', weekly doses of hatha yoga can have a lasting impact on energy levels, happiness, and fitness.
In short, hatha yoga is an ideal option for people who want to improve their mind and body. It is a chance to strengthen muscles, meditate and enhance the body's internal systems like maintaining an effective energy balance, raising metabolism, etc.
The Mind/Body Connection
As we saw before, Yoga puts your mind in touch with your body. When you do yoga, you discipline yourself naturally, and most people like this change. A lot. The time you invest in yoga and meditation, sets a belief in your subconscious mind that you are capable of taking care of yourself, in a way boosting your confidence and self-control levels.
Regular yoga practitioners, on the other hand, are more disciplined; they can recognize genuine hunger pangs and will only give in to the urge to eat when hungry. This is only because of the increased self-control that Yoga instills.
The Muscle FactorSome yoga poses including the plank pose help build muscle all over your upper and core body. In fact, if you only want a way to tone your arms, shoulders, chest, and abs, the plank pose itself will do that for you.
"The good news about building muscle is that the more muscle mass you have, the less fat you have."Read that again! For every pound of muscle you build, you burn extra 10-12 calories every day by doing… nothing! So if you gain even 7-8lb of pure muscle (not very difficult for most men), you start burning about 80-100 calories every day just maintaining those muscles!
Now, there are various yoga types which are very helpful for losing weight. However, there are mainly two yoga 'branches' which have been proven to be the most successful and beneficial to lose weight and improve bodily strength. These two methods are:
The Two Main Yoga Branches Are:Bikram YogaBikram yoga is the leading yoga method for burning calories. This is the reason it is practiced by many celebrities, sports stars, and athletes. It requires repeating the same exercises about ten times a month. Bikram yoga involves cardiovascular exercise, burning of fats and aerobics. It consists of a set of 26 postures. This exercise does not allow time for rest, and it has to be done regularly.
Bikram yoga also helps to increase concentration power. It helps to lose weight, making you look good and even feel better. This will help regain the confidence which many people lose due to a fatty, sort of “unstructured” body. You will also develop more patience and self-control.
Ashtanga YogaAnother type of yoga to lose weight with is Ashtanga yoga. Compared to hatha yoga, this one is relatively easier to perform.
Ashtanga yoga is basically about synchronization of your 'breath' with various yoga postures.
Now here are the top three Yoga programs we recommend for beginners:
- Yoga Burn (By Zoe-Bray Cotton) – Yoga Burn is a fantastic beginner's program for losing weight and getting fit(ter). It comes as a DVD set, and you can also follow it online. The trainer, Zoe, is a very good teacher and guides you through the various phases of the program. You can read more about the Yoga Burn program in this review.
- The Journey Junkie - This is a free program on YouTube by yogi Allie, the yoga channel offers a free weekly yoga class that varies from 20-minute gentle stretching to a 60-minute power flow type class. You can learn poses like crow pose yoga flow to build strength and confidence, restorative yin yoga flow, and vinyasa flow to make you feel empowered and inspired. Check it out here.
- YogaGlo – This is is one of the big names on the block and for a good reason. The online yoga site is affordable, the design is streamlined, appealing, and their content is super high quality, plus the teachers are the cream of the crop. Find more here.
If you can take up a yoga program and combine it with a good diet plan, the results would definitely be next to… awesome! I wish you all the best.