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You see fit people at the gym and they’re running, using the elliptical and sweating in an aerobic class. You’re might be thinking to yourself that this does not look like fun and you have no interest in any of this. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to focus on aerobic exercise alone to lose weight. Doing the downward dog may help you lose weight too, as long as you’re watching your calorie intake and at least doing a small amount of walking or other aerobic exercise.

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Using Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga gets a bad rep for solely increasing flexibility but using yoga for weight loss does actually work. Practicing yoga burns calories in addition to other benefits. It has the ability to build muscle, which also helps with losing fat in the process.

Many experts have discussed benefits of yoga and weight loss and here is how yoga can be associated with weight loss:

  • Yoga consists of mindfulness, which often leads to a person becoming more mindful of how they live life. That means, as you partake in yoga, you become more aware of yourself and interested in living a healthier lifestyle.
  • Physical activity, may lead to you changing your diet and becoming more mindful of what you eat.
  • Exercise helps reduce stress levels. It’s no different than when you’re practicing yoga.
  • Reduced stress may take away one of the triggers of your negative eating habits. Stress eating is very common and contribute to obesity statistics.
  • Depending on the type of yoga you practice, you’ll burn calories, even though you aren’t burning nearly as much as if you were doing cardio.
  • Yoga is considered to be a low impact workout, so even those with arthritis and other conditions that hinder one’s physical capabilities may participate. The exercises may be altered to your skill level.

Yoga as Transitional Exercise

We should coin the term “transitional exercise.” It’s the ideal way for someone who’s out of shape or overweight to begin exercising.  This is without feeling out of breath or feeling overexert quickly. You have the ability to work at your pace and gradually increase to more complex positions. Eventually, as you progress, you’ll be able to utilize the flexibility and endurance you gained from yoga and move on to other exercises.

Additionally, you can try other forms of yoga that are more intense to increase the benefits. It’s truly an exercise that works for almost anyone because it’s low-impact and can be modified as needed. You don’t have to be the most physically fit, and you’re able to do it in your own home.

Which Yoga is Best for Weight Loss?

Yoga for weight lossAny type of yoga for weight loss is beneficial since each variety tones muscles and can act as a stepping stone to more intense forms of exercise. However, some varieties are more geared toward weight loss because they burn more calories.

Bikram yoga

This form of yoga detoxifies the body because a person sweats from the intense heat. The movements are challenging as well. When combined with the element of heat, your body is getting quite a workout. Time magazine suggests that those who lead more sedimentary lives and do Bikram, notice a more significant amount of weight loss when compared to those who are in shape and do Bikram yoga. The number of calories burned during Bikram is similar to brisk walking for the same amount of time. This type of yoga causes a person’s heart rate to climb significantly.

What’s Power Yoga?

Power yoga is a form of Vinyasa yoga that consists of continuous movements and is commonly associated with Ashtanga. It’s much more intense than traditional forms of yoga, which enhances the number of calories burned per session. Rather than do the same poses in the same order, power yoga allows the instructor to make variations on the sequences to create a unique routine each time.

Tips to Enhance Your Yoga Session

The most important tip to enhance the benefits of yoga is to realize it isn’t enough on its own to provide a significant amount of weight loss. You must also watch what you eat. It’s important to select a diet that you’ll stick to that isn’t a fad. It’s possible to discuss with your doctor the best diet solution for you. Yoga must be more than just an exercise; the mindfulness of it should be used to make lifestyle changes.

When you’re performing yoga, it’s important to focus on the ab muscles. You need to make sure you’re doing each pose correctly, or you won’t receive all of the benefits, which can impact weight loss. Although you should never push yourself passed your limits, continuously increasing the difficulty allows you to continually tone muscles and even burn additional calories. The ideal yoga workouts last between 60 to 90 minutes when you’re attempting to utilize yoga for weight loss.

Written By: Christine DiMaria, a health and wellness writer and medical journalist.

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