Yoga has enormous benefits on the mind and the body. It is a workout for your body and mind that demands both physical and mental strength, focus, endurance, and flexibility. According to experts, one of the many benefits of yoga is that your time on the mat helps you to lose weight in multiple ways.
Here are 5 reasons why yoga sheds that kilos:
1. Yoga burns calories
Especially active and challenging yoga classes such as Ashtanga, vinyasa, hot yoga or other forms of power yoga get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. These forms of yoga provide the perfect mixture of strength, flexibility, and cardio. By moving constantly from one asana to the next one, you burn up to 500 calories in a yoga class while toning your muscles. Namasté boys and girls!
2. Yoga creates mindfulness
Yoga is all about the mind-body connection. Our thoughts, feelings and emotions affect the body and vice versa. Practicing yoga does not only positively affect your body but also your brain chemistry which leads to improved mental health. Yoga teaches us to be more mindful and more aware not only on your mat, but also when you step off it in your everyday life. Building mindfulness gets you in tune with your body, so you notice quicker when you are full and when you are overeating. You will begin to recognize destructive eating habits, but also learn to differentiate between emotional hunger and physical hunger. Furthermore, through practicing mindfulness you will be more able to resist unhealthy foods and comfort eating so you can nature the fit body you desire.
3. Yoga combats stress
Yoga is the Nr. 1 enemy of stress. Yoga reduces stress by reducing the stress hormone cortisol, a fight or flight hormone leading to your belly holding on to more fat and your brain to crave more sugar. Therefore, being stressed can lead to poor food choices, overeating and weight gain. Through yoga our sympathetic nervous system is calmed and more brain cells in the regions that regulate stress are developed. Asanas such as Plow Pose or Triangle Pose have especially stress relieving effects letting you easily resist stress eating and to cope with stress in different, weight friendly ways.
4. Improves sleep
Not only stress can lead to poor food choices and weight gain, but also not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is linked with obesity and weight gain due to several reasons: Lack of sleep impacts the hunger hormones increasing your appetite and signaling you less fullness after a meal. When you do not get adequate sleep, your brain’s frontal lobe, the area of decision-making and impulse control, is affected which makes it harder for you to resist high calorie foods. Moreover, Sleep deficiency slows down your metabolism. Your regular yoga practice lets you fall asleep more easily due to relaxing your body and your mind. Yoga improves your quality of sleep which gives your body the recovery it needs at night and fuels you to act according to your goals during the day.
Your metabolism is your body’s ability to break down food and convert it to energy.
A slower metabolism can not only cause you to struggle with weight loss, but also cause fatigue and weakness. Your metabolism is largely regulated by your thyroid’s activity which can be increased though your yoga practice. Especially asanas like plow stimulate the thyroid gland giving your metabolism a boost. Additionally, Yoga improves your metabolism by strengthening your muscles and increasing lean muscle mass. Breathing techniques such as kappalabhatti and the deep and slow breathing during yoga improves your circulation, also leading to a higher metabolism. Especially backbends, like Bridge or Wheel increase breathing and open your lungs. Last but not least, do twisting poses help your body to detoxify and to improve your digestion – to mayor factors regarding weight loss and getting the body you want.
If you are serious about your weight loss plans, try to practice five or six days per week for 60 minutes doing Ashtanga, vinyasa or power yoga on your mat. Be assured, this will not only benefit your body, but also your soul. Additionally, cut out processed food and focus on a plant-based diet giving your body all the nutrition’s it needs to be fit, vital and healthy, and soon those kilos will melt away.