Yoga Instructor Training: Weight Loss

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

become a yoga teacherBy Faye Martins

Sometimes, statistics seem worthless. If your watch a political debate, you will see both sides turn statistics upside down. In yoga teacher training, we hardly discuss weight loss, but when you start teaching prospective students will gather around you to learn ancient yogic weight loss secrets.  Yoga instructors often point to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which put yogic exercise in a favorable light in relation to weigh reduction.  Yet, yoga instructor training courses don’t really encourage us to go around bragging about yogic exercise for losing unwanted pounds.

Yoga can be a wonderful addition to any weight loss plan. Not many consider yoga when figuring out a weight loss plan. Great news, flowing asana sessions are cardiovascular exercise! Power Yoga is a much more intense form of yogic exercise that many do not know about. The movements and flow between them is much faster yet the poses are held longer to build more muscle strength. When combined with proper breathing it offers all the benefits of traditional cardiovascular exercises. In addition, when implemented correctly it helps tone the body, which is important when losing a lot of weight fast.

If you read conservative statistics, the average person will burn about 150 calories in an hour of traditional Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga. This is about half the burn one would get from a brisk walk. During power yoga training, some have burned up to 200 calories in an hour. Perhaps one of the most important elements to weight loss success during classes is a yoga instructor that challenges his or her students. The heart rate needs to be elevated through the entire routine.

The Mental Benefit

Combined with the other types of exercise, practicing yogic fitness in a weekly workout routine provides a better overall workout. It’s been proven that losing weight only happens when all the right elements come together. A flowing asana session should be practiced four to five times a week for about 90 minutes in order for it to have any visible effects on the body. Practice should also be combined with a healthy diet that includes plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, and lean meats along with water. It’s important to exercise not only your body, but your mind as well. Scientists believe it is the mind to body connection that yogic exercise provides that helped either drop weight or keep people from gaining. 

Again, the best part of using yoga to shed unwanted pounds is that it trains students to connect with their mind, and creates discipline. This is an element, which is lacking in many weight loss plans. Awareness created through yoga practice will make those who practice more aware of what they are doing to sabotage their health. They will make healthier choices when it comes to not only what they eat but also how much they eat.

Side Notes for Yoga Teachers

We have to be honest with our students at all times.  If we want to point out studies, it is best to have a prepared handout.  One point that Paul often brings up is the healthy lifestyle change that leads to gradual weight control.  This doesn’t sound as exciting as magically losing 500 calories in an hour, but it’s truthful to admit that people who are conscious of eating more raw, natural, and balanced food will eventually gain control over the battle with one’s mid-section.  During yoga teacher training, you might practice asana routines twice to four times per day.  If our students practice one time per day, that adds up to a conservative loss of 1050 calories per week.  The objective is to get them to practice often and encourage a yogic diet, without preaching.  Therefore, leave handouts around, have a seasonal workshop, and walk the talk. 

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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