By Gopi Rao
Many people question whether or not it’s possible to lose weight with yoga. The short answer is yes, it is very possible. The actual process for doing so is a bit more complicated than that, but for many people, yoga is their preferred method for getting into the best shape of their lives.
When one manages to lose weight with yoga, it takes dedication, patience and focus. Fortunately, the practice of yoga itself cultivates all of those necessary traits. This is not an overnight process, because yoga is a lifestyle, which brings health awareness to the forefront.
Yoga asana is a low impact exercise practice, and as such it burns fewer calories than aerobic activities such as jumping jacks or running. Cardio or aerobic activities are typically the exercises of choice for basic weight loss, but this may be a mistake for many people. Doing an hour of yoga is much more achievable than suffering through a half hour of a more demanding activity such as kickboxing, especially for those just starting out with their fitness routine.
There are also some varieties of yoga that are more active than others. Ashtanga yoga and hot yoga are two such examples. These styles of yoga are excellent for those seeking faster weight loss results.
Regardless of which school of yoga is ultimately chosen, some mindful considerations must be made in regards to eating habits. Because yoga burns fewer calories than more intense cardio workouts it is essential to make every calorie count to maximize results. Many people balk at the idea of being on a diet, but it’s not really a diet at all. Yoga cultivates states of mindful awareness that continue well beyond the actual yoga session, and this state of mind will make it easier to say no to mindless eating.
In addition, what many fail to understand is the difference between actual weight loss and simple changes in body composition. Weight loss means completely shedding weight from the body entirely, but a change in body composition equals a shifting in the body from fat to muscle, and yoga provides these shifts in abundance.
As fat is replaced by lean muscle mass, the individual could even technically gain some weight. However, the body tells its own story, changing to smaller dress sizes, getting slimmer, firmer and stronger with each passing day. For this reason, it is best to rely on tape measures rather than scales for gauging successful body fat loss with yoga. Many people who think they want weight loss are really wanting a shift in body composition (body shaping).
Daily yoga practice is an excellent way to lose weight and keep it off. During the weight loss stage, longer yoga sessions will be needed to burn enough calories for fat loss. However, once the individual reaches their target weight, the sessions may be shortened somewhat without any loss in firmness or tone.
Yoga is an excellent low impact option for people looking to make a lasting change in their weight and physical appearance.
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Effect of six weeks yoga training on weight loss following step test, respiratory pressures, handgrip strength and handgrip endurance in young healthy subjects.