How Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight
Posted on August 28 2018
You know by now that we believe yoga can do pretty much anything: release stress, improve flexibility, help you meditate, improve your sex life…
But how about weight loss?
It’s common to hear doubters refer to yoga as ‘just stretching’ or ‘not really exercise’ and tell you that if you want to lose weight, you’re only going to manage it through HIIT or hardcore cardiovascular work.
Do we agree with that?
Short answer: not even a tiny bit!
Yoga is actually one of the most powerful tools you can use to help with weight loss and a lot of the time helps you lose weight without even trying. How?
Exercise burns calories
We’ll start with the most obvious way first: yoga is exercise, exercise burns calories.
Because there is a huge range of types of yoga, of course they don’t all have the same cardiovascular effects, but anyone who has ever done power yoga or a Vinyasa flow class knows yoga can make you sweat.
Fast-paced flows get your heart pumping and build your strength – the perfect recipe for burning fat and getting your muscles lean.
And here’s a statistic for you to quote for those doubters: this type of yoga burns between 400 and 600 calories per hour.
Believe it or not, it’s a true story.
Detox your body
Even if you’re not doing Vinyasa or power flows, all yoga asana and sequences work to detox your body. It doesn’t matter if you’re working through them quickly or slowly, really; you’ll still be getting the cleansing benefits.
When you’re detoxifying, you’re purifying not just your mind, but your body.
Imagine all that gunk that usually drags you down being cleared out and think about how much weight you’ll lost from that. A gross image, perhaps, but quite a positive one as well!
You know when you’re so stressed you think you might actually burst? Work and life sometimes just get on top of you and it can be tempting to deal with that with food.
Lots and lots of food.
Not to mention the booze.
While it might feel satisfying in the moment, eating 7 doughnuts in one sitting with a glass of wine isn’t really going to help your weight-loss programme.
But yoga has been proven time and time again to reduce stress. As well as the obvious benefits this has for your mental health, it also reduces your stress-eating and keeps you from gaining weight.
The fact is if you feel happier, you’re less inclined to find comfort in pizza (and more inclined to find it in lotus).
Pay attention to your body
The core of a yoga practice is forging a connection between your body and mind, and learning to love both.
We’ve all been in patterns where we beat ourselves up for each snack or diet slip-up, but this only leads you to ‘slip-up’ more.
And losing weight shouldn’t be about hating your body.
The more you do yoga, the more respect you have for your body and the more in-tune with it you are.
Becoming more aware in the present moment goes beyond the yoga class and into everyday life.
This means no more aimlessly opening the fridge and stuffing your face, and more eating when you need to, not because you’re bored.
A better lifestyle
Yoga also leads to a better overall lifestyle.
We don’t mean total veganism and teetotal-ing ; but the healthier you feel, the healthier you want to feel.
You’re less inclined to eat junk food and more interested in nourishment that lasts.
And it’s not just about food; I found that my yoga practice led to running regularly because I was so motivated by my achievements on the mat.
It’s about getting into a positive cycle; you’d be surprised by how being fit makes you want to do more (I was certainly surprised by the running!).
So weight loss is another thing on the long list of benefits of yoga, and you don’t even need to be trying to lose weight!
Your Yogatwist Family