Jul 24, 2019 | Article, Health, Must Reads

Does Yoga Actually Work For Weight Loss?

In the last couple of decades, the practice of yoga has become synonymous with weight loss and fitness thanks to its growing popularity. This ancient Indian practice is known for its many uses when it comes to physical, mental, and even spiritual growth and improvement. In fact, if you are looking for workout options that work on your body’s physical and mental well-being, there is no better option than yoga. However, one question that many people have is, ‘Does yoga work for weight loss?’

In a single word – yes. Yoga certainly has a host of benefits to offer those who are looking to lose weight and keep it off. Let’s take a look at how Yoga can aid you in shedding those extra pounds.

Reduces Stress Levels

Stress is one of the biggest hindrances in a weight loss journey. The main reason for this is that stress triggers cortisol production in the body, encouraging you to eat more sugary and salty food. Over time, increasing stress levels lead to poor eating habits that prevent you from losing weight. Additionally, such stress is responsible for the stubborn belly fat that won’t come off easily.

Yoga is a lifesaver when it comes to lowering stress levels or being more mindful throughout the day. With regular practice, you’ll be able to lower your stress levels and boost your weight loss.

Improves Muscle Mass

If you think muscle mass can only be gained by spending hours in the gym, think again. Yoga helps your body become more flexible with time, and it also makes you stronger. Advanced yoga poses make for a great workout as they engage important muscle groups and unlock their full potential. 

In fact, many modern exercise programs and even workout videos employ elements of yoga to help you with a lean muscle workout, read more about muscle building yoga programs. 

Tones Abdominals

Everyone wants flat bellies and toned abs. However, it feels practically impossible to get these without specialist training and guidance. With yoga, you’ll find that your goals of getting toned abs become much simpler. Surprisingly, it’s not all about the crunches! Yoga poses that engage the core muscles are extremely helpful when it comes to tone abdominal muscles and to keep a check on your midsection.

If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods during the day, such poses will certainly help you strengthen your abdominal muscles. 

Improves Sleep Patterns

It is a well-known fact that restful and adequate sleep is integral to weight loss. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it may be hindering all your efforts in the gym and kitchen. With yoga, your body and mind are in a restful state, aiding you in emptying your mind and falling asleep easily. Additionally, people who practice yoga regularly as less susceptible to problems like insomnia. 

Regularly practicing poses like Balasana and Adho Mukho Svanashana can aid you in falling asleep faster and more restfully. This goes a long way in aiding your weight loss efforts by providing your body with the right rest and recuperation.

Helps Burn Calories

Yoga may not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to aerobic exercises. However, the more active forms of yoga such as hot yoga are excellent and aerobic in nature, making them the right choice for a calorie-burning workout. A yoga workout may sound daunting at first, but it is easy to undertake at any fitness level. 

Restorative yoga, on the other hand, may not be ideal for breaking into a sweat. However, it still has a great deal to contribute to your weight loss efforts. 

Helps You Become More Mindful

Mindfulness is very important when it comes to mental, spiritual and even physical development. This 2016 study found that individuals who were able to develop a habit of mindfulness with yoga were more successful at resisting unhealthy foods. They were also less likely to indulge in comfort foods. The main reason for this is that mindful people can recognize what is good or bad for the goal they’ve set and act accordingly.

With regular yoga practice, you’ll be able to identify harmful eating and behavioral patterns for what they are and consequently, work on diminishing the effect they have on you. 

Final Thoughts

Yoga can help you in more ways than one on your weight loss journey or towards your health goals. However, with that being said, it is necessary that you practice regularly and with the right guidance. It is best if you can go for a class and get instructed by a certified professional. However, if you aren’t able to do so, the next best thing would be to invest in a good-quality home workout video that is specially created to help achieve your fitness or health goals.

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