Is Yoga Good for Weight Loss?
We could respond to the question, ‘Is Yoga Good With Weight Loss?’ with a simple ‘Yes,’ and leave it at that, but that would not fully answer it, and it would also be a huge disservice to yoga. While it can, and does, help with weight loss, the extent to which it does so is often underestimated, and that is before we take into account all the additional benefits for your well-being yoga can provide.
Let us be upfront and say that yoga is no panacea in relation to weight loss. What that means is that yoga on its own cannot help you lose weight, if everything else that you do has the opposite effect. For example, yoga, nor any other physical activity for that matter, cannot help you lose weight if you continue to overeat, and eat the wrong foods. In other words, yoga is not an activity that gives you the green light to maintain an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle.
A Word for Beginners
Before we look at some of the specific ways that yoga can help with weight loss, it is only right that we pause for moment for those who are completely new to yoga. If that is you, you may be somewhat confused, given that there are so many types of yoga, and beyond that there are the multitude of yoga poses and workouts that can be done.
It can be confusing trying to determine which yoga type and which specific poses to start with, especially if your goal is to lose weight using yoga. This is why we suggest that beginners who may feel somewhat daunted by all the options, should try a home yoga program, before signing up for yoga classes.
The benefit of such a program is you can get started in the comfort of your own home and can progress at a pace which feels comfortable to you. One of the most popular programs, especially in relation to losing weight, is Yoga Burn Challenge by Zoe Bray-Cotton. As the name suggests, it’s an ideal program for burning calories, which is vital if you are going to lose weight.
Being Mentally Equipped to Lose Weight
One of the misconceptions about losing weight, and often a reason why people fail to do so, is that they assume it is purely a physical activity. In other words, they think it is all about the body in respect of what you feed it, and how much physical activity you do. While these are important, they are not the only factors at play.
Another very important element to losing weight is your mental state. Losing weight draws on several mental and emotional faculties such as motivation, determination, being focused and staying positive, to name but four. To have these qualities, your mind must be healthy, and that is where yoga can be important in helping you lose weight.
Yoga has long been known to induce positive psychological benefits such as calmness, relaxation, focus and is also very effective at reducing stress. By doing so, yoga can help keep your mind healthy, and your emotional state on an even keel. These will be essential in those moments when you have doubts about your weight loss program, or your motivation diminishes slightly.
So, while there are many physical benefits in respect to weight loss that yoga can give, there should be no doubting that the mental and emotional benefits are every bit as important. These are required to build the foundation for you starting, following and completing any weight loss program.
Burning Calories With Yoga
To lose weight, one of the key tasks you have is to enable your body to burn more calories. Now, before you think otherwise, calories are good for you, as they provide the energy you need for everything you do, including walking, breathing, talking, and even as you read these words, you are using energy.
The problems start when you take in more calories than your body needs, as it starts to store them in the form of fat, and increasing amounts of body fat, means weight gain. So, to help you lose weight you need the means to burn calories so that your body fat levels diminish, and one of the ways to burn them is yoga.
Yoga workouts require you to move just about every part of your body, and each time you do, you burn calories. It also stretches muscles and joints which uses energy, and obviously makes your body more supple. The easier it is for your body to move, the more likely it is you’ll be able participate in other physical activity, which only adds to your calorie burning efforts.
In Zoe Bray-Cotton’s ‘Yoga Burn Challenge,’ the yoga workouts are specifically designed to burn calories, and in doing so negates the need for diet pills, potions or powders. You also can follow the program at home, and at your pace should you wish to do so, albeit the most benefit will be derived, if you follow Zoe’s ‘Dynamic Sequencing.’
Yoga Versus Other Physical Activities
There are lots of yoga poses and workouts that enable you to achieve calorie burning, and while they may not seem particularly energetic compared to jogging for 10 miles, they can still be effective. The fact is that not everyone who wants to lose weight is able to run 10 miles, nor take part in any of the more traditional physical activities normally associated with weight loss, such as going to the gym.
For these people, and many others, yoga is not only a proven way of burning calories and losing weight, it is often the only one they can participate in. Bear in mind, not everyone who wants to lose weight is under 30, and capable of gym work. There’s also the fact that many people simply hate the idea of jogging or going to the gym.
Those who may be older in years or have some physical ailment that prevents them from participating in certain activities, can use yoga as means of getting some exercise, and in relation to weight loss it can help them burn those excess calories. For others it is an activity which they simply enjoy more than pounding the treadmill or pumping iron.