In a word, yes, yoga can help you lose weight. But, not in the traditional way, you may be accustomed to. Weight loss, while difficult for many to achieve, is a simple math formula of taking in fewer calories than you spend. When your body uses energy beyond its caloric intake, weight loss occurs. To accomplish this, most people lower food intake and increase energy expenditure simultaneously – through diet and exercise.
Yoga can help you lose weight, but the method will feel different than the challenge typically felt when denying yourself food while forcing yourself to do more exercise or be more active. Here is how losing weight through yoga may look and feel:
Yoga Burns Calories
Yoga (usually) burns fewer calories than popular forms of cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, biking, etc. But yoga in all forms does burn calories. You get 60 to 90 minutes of continual activity, so adding it several times a week to your daily energy expenditure is absolutely beneficial to weight loss goals. More vigorous forms of Yoga such as Power Yoga or Ashtanga Vinyasa also offer cardiovascular benefits in addition to the other benefits of Yoga.
Yoga Builds Muscle
Yoga helps you lose weight by building muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn with your daily activities. While the variation is a small portion of the weight loss puzzle, it can make a difference. Any activity you undertake to grow muscle is an exercise that is simultaneously burning more calories than being sedentary and building muscle to help you burn more calories. Each Asana (posture) you work towards perfecting in Yoga is building muscle. Note: Since muscle is more dense than fat, though your fitness and shape will steadily improve your weight might not go down noticeably at first as you replace fat with muscle.
Yoga Reduces Stress
You may be curious about how reducing stress can help you lose weight. And we would answer, “how can it not?” It is a common human experience to find yourself eating more or choosing food unwisely when feeling stressed. Stress can also zap your energy levels, leaving you riding the couch more than you might normally. Regular Yoga practice helps you manage that stress so it affects your life less, leaving you with more energy and stress-eating less often.
Yoga Increases Mindfulness, Improving Health and Wellness
The key element of Yoga that helps you lose weight is the increased mind-body connection. When you practice Yoga regularly a few things often occur: you may avoid foods that make you feel sluggish, replacing them with healthier options; you may become fully present in your practice of Yoga allowing you to get more out of each movement; and you will likely begin the full practice of the authentic Yoga tradition which includes diet, mental attitude, lifestyle choices, and philosophy. In fact, practicing Yoga in the morning encourages healthfulness all day. These key benefits are the reason Yoga is such a popular form of exercise. When the mind and body are connected a balance can occur and health can be maintained.
Yoga is Enjoyable
No one is going to lose weight doing an exercise they feel they can’t do, can’t tolerate, or don’t enjoy. Yoga is often successful for the simple reason that it is enjoyable and anyone can do it, which promotes a stick-to-it-iveness that is required for long-lasting weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.
Are you ready to better manage your stress, increase your mind-body connection, and finally lose that weight for good? There is no better place to try Yoga in Charlotte than the Peaceful Dragon. We offer a free no obligation tour and introductory class. Call today to schedule or sign up here! 704-504-8866