Written by Emily Brathen
There are a number of different ways that yoga can improve your health, and weight loss is one of them. Apart from helping your shed those extra pounds, yoga is known for toning your muscles, making your more flexible, increasing your strength, and reducing your stress levels.
Although this ancient form of exercise will help you achieve your weight loss goals, this won’t happen in the traditional way that physical activity does. Namely, you won’t be burning a lot of calories during a yoga workout. In fact, you’ll only be burning three to six calories per minute, which is significantly less than activities like jogging or brisk walking.
If you’ve ever attempted to lose weight before, then you already know that the only way to do it is by burning more calories than you consume. Men consume around 2,500 calories on any given day, while women consume 2,000 calories. When attempting to lose weight, this number can be reduced. However, women shouldn’t consume less than 1,200 calories a day, while men should consume at least 1,800 calories on a daily basis to maintain proper health. The average yoga class lasts for 60 minutes, which means that you will burn only 180 to 360 calories during each class.
How Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
Once you take all of this into consideration, you might wonder how you’ll actually lose weight if you start doing yoga. One of the main reasons this ancient practice will help you shed those extra pounds is by reducing your stress levels. This will lower the chances of overeating when you’re stressed out. Although there are people who eat less when they are dealing with negative emotions, most overeat to suppress them. Once you start dealing with stress in a healthier way, you will instantly find a solution to your poor eating habits.
Apart from lowering your stress levels, yoga will also increase your body awareness. With increased body awareness, you will be able to tell exactly when you’re hungry or full. Even though this may sound like it’s not that impressive of a skill, most people have a hard time telling when they’re actually hungry or full. For example, you most likely often experience thirst and mistake it for hunger. Because of this, you may end up eating more than you need to, which can ultimately make it harder for you to achieve your weight loss goals.
A lot of people lack the ability to tell when they’re full. However, by practicing yoga, you will learn how to tell when you’ve had enough. Keep in mind that most people eat bigger meals than they should. They also tend to eat so fast that it becomes impossible for them to realize when they’re full. Once you start doing yoga regularly, you will learn more about mindful eating. You will appreciate the food you eat more and will likely start chewing thoroughly and engaging all of you senses, which will help you determine exactly when you’re full.
Toning Your Abdominal Muscles
Losing weight is one thing, but toning your abdominal muscles so that they look great is something completely different. When most people think about weight loss, they envision themselves having a six pack. Even though yoga will help tone your muscles, there are ways to achieve results quicker with minimal effort.
A lot of the fitness gadgets that are on the market today have a bad reputation, but there are a few that actually work. For example, the Flexbelt is the first FDA-cleared fitness gadget that helps tone your abdominal muscles by sending gentle electrical impulses. You may be a bit skeptical about devices like this and you may be asking yourself: “is Flexbelt effective?” Well, the truth is that you probably won’t see a lot of results if you don’t do any type of physical exercise on the side.
If you use the Flexbelt, but eat unhealthy and don’t exercise, then you won’t achieve your desired results. However, if you improve your eating habits and engage in some type of physical activity like yoga, then you will see surely notice a difference in how your abs look.
What Kind of Yoga Should You Do?
There are a lot of different types of yoga that you can do. While most are suitable for beginners, there are some yoga classes that are filled with strenuous exercises. In case you’re looking to burn as many calories as possible, then your best bet would be to enroll in an athletic vinyasa class. You can also try ashtanga yoga, which represents a very vigorous style of practice.
There are also a few interesting types of this practice, including hot yoga. This is essentially vinyasa yoga that is done in a hot room to increase sweating and help you burn more calories. If you would prefer something a bit gentler, then you can try hatha, kripalu, or integral yoga.