Yoga for Weight Loss – Yes, It’s a Thing!

The benefits of yoga are well documented, from relieving stress to helping build strength and increased flexibility. But did you also know that yoga can actually help you lose weight? In fact, it is one of the most effective workouts for trimming down and getting rid of those pesky love handles. This is due to numerous reasons – but namely because yoga works to lower levels of stress hormones and increase insulin sensitivity, which is what lets your body know it’s OK to burn calories, rather than store them as backup fat. Depending on what style of yoga you are practicing, you will likely be getting your heart rate going, which signifies an excellent cardio workout and fat burner.

You may not think of yoga as a calorie burning fitness routine in comparison to the likes of Body Attack or Body Pump, but it certainly has a lot of the same benefits. Even yoga’s sometimes-slow poses can contribute to trimming and toning the body, believe it or not. As yoga aims to improve your mind, body, and overall spirit, it is important to recognize what a favor you will be doing yourself by incorporating a yoga class into your exercise routine.

Keep in mind that if your main goal is to lose weight quickly, a yoga practice by itself may not be the best option. Try mixing things up by attending a range of group exercise classes, as this will keep you from getting bored and will help you maintain a regular fitness routine. Now let’s take a look at how, exactly, yoga can help you lose weight:

  • Do your best to attend a variety of yoga classes. There are numerous different styles of yoga, including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, hot yoga, and forms of “power yoga”. By changing things up and not getting hung up on just one style, you will be helping to workout different parts of the body. Generally speaking, power or hot yoga classes will help you burn fat quicker, but there is something to be said about the benefits of the slower-paced types of yoga as well.
  • Learn which poses are better for burning calories. There are many, many different poses – or asanas – in yoga, all of which serve different purposes. Some poses that are great for weight loss or stimulating the metabolism and helping with digestion include:
    • Shoulder stand and fish poses
    • Spinal twist (Valrasana)
    • Downward-facing dog
    • Crescent lunge
    • Goddess pose

Be sure and consult a certified yoga teacher or even your physician before performing any of these poses on your own.

  • Don’t expect results overnight. Yoga has tons of long-term benefits, that being said, it is important to remember that you won’t see immediate results. Yoga makes you more aware of your body and encourages you to act mindfully. If you deepen your yoga practice over time and attend classes on a regular basis, you are guaranteed to see results and feel better overall.

Yoga works by speeding up the metabolism and stimulating glands that regulate the metabolic rate, which is why it can be considered a weight loss practice. To learn more about our Arlington or Bedford yoga offerings, please contact Fitness Nation today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our class schedule at either location, or what you can expect from our yoga instructions.