Living a healthy life, eating right, and practicing mindfulness has become the goal of many people. Mindful living not only promotes an active and healthy lifestyle but also relieves one of the worries of life. Many people worldwide make a resolution every year to include meditation and practice mindfulness through working out, the most common being yoga.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice of mindfulness that originated from India and includes several breathing and movement techniques that relieve stress and promote mental, spiritual as well as physical well-being. Yoga should be included as an essential part of the routine as it has a litany of benefits for the mind and body.
Practicing yoga refreshes the body and loosens the knots in the muscles. It also helps one in alleviating anxiety and depression. Yoga not only brings calmness but also aids in improving posture, strength, flexibility, endurance, sleep, and weight loss.
Yoga for Weight Loss
Yoga looks very opposite to the traditional weight loss workout routines as it calms the body and does not include rigorous strength training, but there are several types of yoga practices that require active movement and physical exertion to help on burning calories.
Want to lose weight with the help of yoga? Then consider the following yoga practices:
1. Vinyasa Yoga
The powerhouse of calorie-burning, the class of Vinyasa Yoga, is an intense session of rapid movements and change in body postures as one goes from plank to pushup and then to upward facing dog posture. The main focus is on controlling breathing according to the posture.
Vinyasa Yoga actively engages the core and strengthens the muscles of the hand and feet, which aid in burning calories and building muscle mass. The plank posture helps in burning calories in the core and strengthening it; the pushup engages the arm muscles and the upward-facing dog puts pressure on the hands and feet. Building muscle helps in burning calories even after yoga has been done.
2. Power Yoga
Even more intense than Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga focuses on burning calories more actively than breathing and meditation. This yoga is mainly practiced in gyms and comprises standing poses and rapid movements that increase the heart rate, which ultimately leads to weight loss.
3. Bikram Yoga
Hot yoga, also called Bikram Yoga, named after the founder Bikram Chaudhry is carried out in a hot room heated to about 105 degrees Fahrenheit and has about 35 to 40% of humidity level. This yoga’s purpose is to make people sweat intensively to release toxins and pollutants.
Before starting hot yoga, it is essential to know that the initial classes might make one feel lightheaded therefore it is advised to drink plenty of water to retain balance. The hot yoga class continues for about 90 minutes, and taking a single class can burn up to 500 calories so it is perfect for those who like to sweat it out in a workout routine and want to lose weight quickly.
Yoga Poses to do to at Home for Weight Loss
If you have recently started or have not joined a yoga class yet, you can practice the following yoga poses to strengthen your muscles and lose weight:
1. The Plank Pose
Also known as Chaturangadandasana, the plank pose focuses on strengthening your abdominal muscles by actively engaging the core. Start by lying on the floor and raising your body on elbows and feet. Hold your body in a straight line with the help of elbows and the tips of the feet. Make sure your core muscles feel the pressure.
Keep the position for at least a minute. Continue this pose for about ten minutes with variations.
2. The Bridge Pose
Also known as Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana, this yoga pose helps engage the glutes, lower back muscles, and thigh muscles that not only strengthen them but also helps in burning calories. Start by lying on the floor facing upward. Tuck in your legs and start to raise your back slowly in an upward manner.
Use your glutes and legs to push upward. Repeat this pose ten to 15 times. The bridge pose also helps in improving thyroid level, digestion and alleviating back pain.
3. The Bow Pose
Also known as Dhanurasana, this yoga pose effectively loses belly fat, strengthening the abdominal, thigh, and chest muscles. Start by lying on the floor facing forward. Raise your legs and body on two feet and pull your arms backward to hold the legs in the air.
Keep this position for about a minute and repeat seven to eight times.
Can Yoga Lose Weight?
The journey of weight loss requires certain precautions and steps to take to burn adamant fat. Relying solely on yoga would not reap results instantly. For best results, yoga should be combined with other exercise routines and a caloric deficit diet, as one cannot lose weight by eating an unhealthy diet.
Living a healthy and active lifestyle with a balanced diet is a surefire way to lose weight and gain strength. Since yoga helps in increasing mindfulness, you will become more cautious of the food you consume so you will avoid binge eating and consuming a healthy diet.
How Often Should Yoga be done to Lose Weight?
For best results, fat-burning yoga should be done at least three to five times a week for about an hour combined with other relaxing or restorative yoga practices. On days where you are not practicing yoga, you can do any outdoor activity such as walking, sprinting, cycling, or swimming.
Side Effects of Yoga
Yoga does not have any side effects or potential dangers but indulging in an intense yoga routine would be a little harmful to pregnant women or those who have recently given birth as it might trigger complications.
Such women can practice post-natal yoga to relieve their bodies. People suffering from blood pressure-related issues should start yoga on a slower pitch to adjust their bodies to the rapid movements of power yoga.