While yoga is not considered an intense cardio or aerobic exercise, there are ways in which you can utilise it in order to lose weight. As with most forms of exercise, you need to practise yoga in order to lose weight. You need to be dedicated to getting your session in and turn it into a daily habit. So, in a nutshell, yoga is indeed effective for weight loss.
If you are a yoga newbie, start with a 20-minute session and gradually work your way up to an hour. This will assist you in building up the strength and flexibility needed to perform the relevant poses. It is also helpful to participate in other exercise activities in order to promote your weight loss. Walking, swimming and cycling are a few really good options.
We do advise that you not weigh yourself directly after class as it will not provide a reliable figure. Instead, choose to weigh yourself at a specific time each day – preferably before your session.
Increasing mindfulness – useful in assisting weight loss
Yoga can enhance one’s mindfulness in addition to the way a person relates to their body. So, people will become more cognisant of what they are eating and, as a result, make better choices when it comes to food. People may avoid foods which make them feel sluggish and lethargic (which takes into account most processed foods). Instead, people will look for foods that are healthier, which then may result in weight loss.
Types of yoga to assist weight loss
- Ashtanga yoga – By using quick, forceful motions, your body is able to burn off those pesky calories.
- Vinyasa and power yoga – These forms of yoga utilise constant movement in order to burn off calories.
- Restorative yoga – While this form is not as intense as the rest, it has proven to be great at getting rid of abdominal fat.
Four yoga poses that assist with weight loss
- Chair Pose – Standing with your feet apart, inhale and as you do, raise your arms upright. As you exhale, bend the knees and then lower your bum to the floor as if you are sitting on a chair. It is important to keep your shoulders back while doing this. Do this for five deep breaths and then slowly release.
- Downward Facing Dog – Start by kneeling on the floor – knees hip-width apart while your hands are placed directly under your shoulders. Breathe in deeply and, as you exhale, tuck in your toes, and push your knees off the floor. Slowly straighten your legs. Maintain this pose for five deep breaths. Slowly release.
- Superman Pose – Start by lying face down with your arms and legs stretched out. Engage your core and bum, and then slowly lift your arms and legs off of the floor. Maintain this position for five deep breaths and then release it.
While we do mention holding each pose for five breaths, you can hold it for longer if you are able to. You can also repeat each pose until you decide to move on to the next one.
Want to deepen your knowledge and practise of yoga? If you do, then you’ll want to do our Yoga Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.