- 1 Can you use yoga for weight loss?
- 2 Yoga and stress
- 3 Yoga and mindfulness
- 4 Yoga as an exercise for weight loss
- 4.1 Poses to get you started.
- 4.2 Yoga for weight loss: tips for success
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Easy yoga poses to do to lose weight
Can you use yoga for weight loss?
Yes, and in more ways, than you would expect exercise to help with weight loss.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that has been around for over 5,000 years. The practice focuses on the internal to bring out the best version of you in terms of physical, mental and spiritual
All these aspects that yoga teaches can help you lose weight and here’s how
Yoga and stress
Yoga has often been recognized as one of the best weight loss exercises you can do daily. Not only can it help you burn calories, but it also focuses on better breathing techniques and meditation that are both useful ways to cope with stress.
Stress is often one of the many factors that can trigger weight gain
Your body helps you cope with stress at hand by increasing your appetite and cravings. This is why to effectively lose weight, you need to find a productive way to cope with stress.
Related: Best ways to lose weight
Yoga and mindfulness
Most often than not, weight gain occurs when you’re eating more food than your body needs. The excess of which is stored as fat and results in extra pounds on the scale
Many people struggle with eating too much and it’s never just as simple as stop eating.
This is where using yoga for weight loss can also be effective. Yoga as a mental and spiritual practice focuses on making you more aware of your self, your experiences
Overeating and temptation of constant cravings can delay your weight loss goals, using the mindfulness learned in yoga can help you lose weight. You are more in tune with your body.
Even though I used intermittent fasting to lose weight, overeating is something that heavily contributed to my constant weight gain.
Besides, developing a sense of mindfulness can also help know your food limits. You stop eating when you’re full and even with healthy snacks, you only snack when you’re hungry and not bored.
Yoga as an exercise for weight loss
With yoga for weight loss, you want to opt for the vigorous forms of yoga. These include forms such as power yoga, Bikram yoga, ashtanga, and vinyasa yoga.
These physical forms of yoga will help you burn most calories
However intense Bikram, vinyasa, and power yoga can only be done in a heated room. It is estimated that you can burn as much as 330 calories per session of Bikram yoga according to this study
If you have access to such facilities, do these yoga forms to lose weight.
Poses to get you started.
1. Sun salutations
Also known as Surya namaskars the purpose of this pose is to create heat in your body.
Sun salutations are a great way to warm up for yoga. Because typical sun salutations are done over 24 variations, you can make them effective weight loss tools by speeding up your pace and hold the positions for longer.
As a beginner, you can start with 5-6 repetitions and gradually increase to about 12 repetitions. Another good way to make them effective is to use a timer and start with 3-minutes and gradually add in minutes
As a fat-burning pose, you want to move quickly to get your heart rate up and stimulate your body.
Watch now: How to do sun salutations
2. Boat pose
The boat pose provides a great workout for your core area. It requires your body to work overtime to support you especially your core area. That is the chest, hips, and spine.
How to do it.
Sit on the floor, legs together, and extended in front of you. Next, bend your knees and lift your legs.
You want your thigs parallel to the ground while the back of your calf or shin area is parallel to the floor. Find your balance and extend your arms in front so that they are parallel to the floor. Hold and repeat several times
3. Plank pose
The plank poses offer a great workout that strengthens your core and upper muscles. This is in addition to your back muscles as they have to work to support your body weight.
This pose is also a great way to strengthen your arms, shoulders, and wrists.
To deepen the intensity, trying lifting one leg at a time and hold for five breaths or more. Alternative with the other leg for an intense workout.
How to do it.
The goal is to keep your body off the ground and only support it with your hands. Lying down in a pushup position, with your hands and knees directly below your shoulder.
With your feet back and heels lifted, bring yourself off the ground.
Your fingers should be spread to support the weight of your body Your body should be in a straight line with your butt not too high and your chest not too low.
Watch now: How to do a plank pose
4. Warrior II
The warrior II pose is another standing pose that can be a great addition to your yoga routine. It’s also a great way to improve your balance and stamina.
It works by stretching your abdominal region in addition to your chest and lungs.
For beginners, if you struggle to get into this pose, you can support one of your legs with a folding chair to maintain the pose.
To deepen this pose for weight loss and make it more challenging. Increase the length of your arms as you turn your palm and inner elbow towards the ceiling with your shoulder blades down.
Watch now: Warrior II yoga pose
5. Warrior III
Another standing pose, warrior III aims to improve balance throughout the whole body by working out all the muscles in your body.
As you engage in this pose, you will strengthen your whole back area. Starting with your shoulders and back down to your calves, hamstrings, and ankles.
This pose will also strengthen and tones your abdominal muscles.
For easy success with this pose, engage your leg muscles to support you, and take care not to lock your ankles. At the same time, focus on the stretch and not the lift.
Your raised leg should not go higher than your head and hips.
6. Triangle pose
The triangle pose also known as trikonasana aims to improve your flexibility, balance, and strength.
Even though it’s one of the most basic yoga poses, doing it the right way can help you burn some extra calories. To get started with this pose, extend your arms with your legs spread apart.
With one foot turned to a 90-degree angle. Turn your upper body towards the leading foot not necessarily touching the ground and with the other arm stretching towards the sky.
7. Downward dog
Perhaps one of the most popular yoga poses. The downward dog is a basic pose that you should master as it’s used in almost all yoga routines.
The pose works to stretch your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, and spine. At the same time, it strengthens your arms, legs, and shoulders. This pose also works great as a stress reliever
You can deepen it by raising your right leg and hold for 30 seconds or more. Your raised leg should be parallel to your torso. Exhale and draw the leg back in and repeat with the left leg.
8. Bridge pose
At a glance, the bridge pose looks more difficult and strenuous than it is. Adding this pose to your weight loss routine is a great way to open up your heart, chest, and shoulders.
It will also help stretch your spine, thighs, back of the neck, and hip joints. In addition to stimulating the abdominal organs.
If you want to burn some serious fat, consider doing a one-legged bridge pose. The pose can easily cause injury when done the wrong way, don’t push yourself too much. Only work within your limits.
Watch now: How to do a bridge pose
9. Twisted chair
A more challenging variation of the chair pose is the twisted chair pose that will test and improve your balance.
Doing this yoga pose will strengthen your hips, butt, and thighs. Besides, it will also stretch your chest, shoulders, and spine. If you want to improve your endurance and posture, this is the pose to start with.
If you want to deepen this pose for weight loss, support yourself on the balls of your feet with your heels lifted while maintaining the pose.
Yoga for weight loss: tips for success
1. Best forms of yoga for weight loss
To make your yoga poses effective for weight loss always consider the pace and intensity. The more intense it is, the more calories you will burn.
2. Combine yoga with other forms of exercise for weight loss
To get the full benefits of exercising for weight loss, combine your yoga with other exercises such as swimming, walking, or running. Mix both cardio and weight lifting exercises to your routine.
3. Always choose vigorous forms of yoga
When doing yoga for weight loss, vigorous forms such as power yoga are best.
They allow you to burn the most calories and in a session. More relaxing forms such as hatha yoga don’t do much for weight loss.
4. 3- 5 times per week is best.
Also, consider the length of your yoga class. Classes that run longer will help you burn more calories as compared to a short 30-minutes class.
Do this at least 3 times weekly to make your yoga workouts effective for weight loss.
Yoga can be a holistic approach to weight loss. Not only does it offer a great way to burn extra calories by exercising, but other aspects you learn in yoga will also boost your weight loss.
As a weight loss exercise, use vigorous forms and more physical poses to burn at for quick weight loss. Do these exercises several times weekly to help you lose weight.
In addition, when using yoga for weight loss, consider your pace and intensity to make your workouts count.
Aspects such as mindfulness can help you better control your relationship with food while aspects such as breathing and meditation can help you cope with stress.
Both factors contribute to weight gain. Using all these aspects learned thought yoga for weight loss can help you manage your weight not just short term but long term as well.