If you are new to yoga, while at the same time looking for an effective way to support your weight loss program, then the fact that there are so many types of yoga may be somewhat confusing. While we can’t explain yoga in all its forms, what we can do is show you how it can help weight loss and highlight some yoga workouts to get you started.
If you are eager to get started, one the best ways is to follow a yoga program at home, as you can literally be doing your first yoga exercises within minutes. Downloadable videos can help you do so, such as those that form part of the Yoga Burn Program.
Although this is a comprehensive yoga program, it is sequential, so beginners can get started, and within 12 weeks you could progress while implementing more advanced phases.
Yoga and Weight Loss
If you are already following a weight loss program, then congratulations. Now that you are looking at yoga as a way of furthering your weight loss efforts. There may be other physical activities and sports that can produce higher calorie burning each session, but yoga’s benefits regarding losing weight can also be significant.
There are many slow but resistive movements that make yoga so effective, and this will undoubtedly lead to you being able to burn calories. Add the enhanced levels of mobility and suppleness that yoga can provide, which can enhance your participation in other physical activities. By doing so, your ability to take part at a more intense and sustained level in these will allow you to burn an even greater number of calories.
We must not overlook the many mental benefits of yoga such as calmness, relaxation, improved moods, mindfulness and concentration, to name but a few. It is important to note that losing weight relies as much on your mental state of mind, as it does on any physical activity you undertake, so having a healthy mind, supported by yoga, is crucial to your weight loss.
One thing that many enthusiasts claim to be a huge attraction of yoga is the vast variety of ways with which it can be practiced. There are many types of yoga, which differ in several ways. Some follow a more ancient methodologies and others are more modern. Certain yoga routines can be done anywhere, whereas others take place within a specific environment such as rooms at high temperatures.
The other differences relate to the fluidity of the movements, how fast the instructor moves, the number of poses that are undertaken, and there are also some which are more suited to certain fitness levels than others. One last note of difference is even in how many types of yoga there are, which will depend on who you ask; some say 8, others 11, and there are those who say 14.
With all these options it can be confusing for beginners, and the thought of signing up for a yoga class can be daunting if you do not know which to choose. For this reason, we recommend you start with a home yoga program so you can get started in familiar surroundings and follow a program that follows a flow.
One of the best available is Zoe Bray-Cotton’s Yoga Burn Challenge’ which you can download and start almost immediately. It is effectively a ‘done-for-you’ program that allows beginners to follow phases in a progressive manner, and the yoga it teaches is ideal for weight loss.
Weight Loss Yoga Workouts For Beginners
As you learn more about yoga, you will soon come to realize that there are literally dozens of workouts and poses you can do, and almost all of them will help with weight loss. To describe all would be impossible so we will focus on just five of the most popular, which you can combine into a 10 minute workout, and then repeat if you wish to continue for longer.
We start you off gently by simply standing straight with your feet together, but spreading your toes, and pressing the soles of your feet into your yoga mat. Breathe in deeply, close your eyes and bring your hands together in front of your chest. Count to three, breathe out and repeat. The parts of your body this is working most are your thighs and core.
Downward Facing Dog
Go down on all fours, with your legs and arms in line with each other at body width apart. With your toes curled into the mat, lift your hips up and pull in your belly at the same time. You should also be pushing down with your hands in front. Your pose should see you in an upside-down V-shape as you hold your breath for 5 seconds and relax. This is a good workout for your arms and legs.
We continue with our animal theme by lying on the mat, facedown. Your arms should be to your sides with your elbows bent, and your hands on the floor, in line with your chest. As you inhale, press your fingertips, pelvis and toes into the floor, while raising your chest and head upwards as far as you can. Hold this position for 10 breaths and then relax. This pose is great for your back.
Standing Side Lean
This is another great workout for your core. Standing upright, raise above your arms straight above you and interlock your fingers, apart from your thumb and index fingers. As you inhale, stretch up and to your left, and on exhaling, return to the center position. Do this movement to your right next. You should repeat a full cycle at least 4 times.
We finish with the boat pose, which is a great workout for your abdomen. Sitting on your mat, you raise both legs by bringing your knees towards you. As you do so, bring both hands forwards so they are touching the sides of your calf muscles. Your lower legs should be straight out in front and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your back straight and hold this pose for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
Don’t forget to check out our 10 Best Yoga Products You Should have. You can read the post by clicking here.