A number of movie stars and many entertainers credit yoga for their well-toned and slim figures. But is yoga a good way to lose weight? First of all, yoga strengthens the connection between mind and body. As this bond becomes stronger, people’s outlook and their choices also alter to keep up with their beliefs. So, if you do choose yoga as a way to lose weight, you should not only see it as a way of exercising, but also as a way of life.
Yoga benefits the body in many ways. It improves breathing, reduces stress, aids in toning and loosening muscles. Many types of yoga exist. Some are traditional yoga mind-body exercises that improve one’s spiritual and physical connection. The Iyengar, a type of hatha yoga, is where one must hold poses for a few minutes with rest periods in between. This helps to improve one’s posture and breathing, but is not much of a cardiovascular exercise. To help you shed a few pounds, there are more vigorous forms of yoga that you can do, such as: power yoga, ashtanga and hot yoga.
Power yoga is the Western and more vigorous version of the traditional vinyasa or flow yoga, wherein one has to execute a number of poses called sun salutations. The typical yoga brings together meditative breathing and posing. With power yoga, breathing and movement are done faster.
In Ashtanga, the series starts with yoga therapy which includes doing certain poses – standing, sitting, or back bending. The overall goal is to detoxify the body, make the spine more aligned, and improve muscle strength and flexibility. Once a person masters the primary series, this is followed by a second one which centers on the purification of the nervous system. This still involves doing a specific sequence of poses like in yoga therapy, but with some additions and variations. A person should be able to perform each series well until he achieves the highest level, which is to attain divine stability.
The good thing about Ashtanga yoga is that most practitioners are very dedicated and they pass on the passion for this yoga form to beginners by encouraging them to take a series of classes. Once a person learns the poses well, he or she can do this at home. This type of yoga is also quite vigorous.
In Hot Yoga, vinyasa or flow yoga poses are done in rooms with temperatures of 95 – 100 degrees. A heated environment makes a person sweat more and makes muscles more flexible.
These days, a lot of weight loss programs promise svelte and more toned figures by just taking pills, using odd devices or even slathering on a fat burning cream. These things seem so simple but aren’t always safe. If you want to lose weight, remember that this should be something that you can commit to. Without dedication, you can lose and gain weight easily. In the beginning, your body might seem to handle all these abrupt changes well. However, there are long-term, adverse effects that you can suffer from.
Yoga is different because this involves a holistic approach to one’s weight loss concerns. Yoga asans or postures are collectively just one part of the yogic lifestyle. Many forms of physiological cleansing are also involved. However, vinyasa style or flow yoga can aid in the gradual loss of weight. When yogic breathing and posing come together in the right manner, body heat increases; hence, resulting in profuse sweating and fat burning.
If you want to lose weight gradually but permanently, yoga will help you achieve this. Also, apart from the physical, calorie-burning effects of yoga, there are also many positive psychological benefits. As yoga fortifies the link between mind and body, practitioners gain the confidence and self-control they have lost while being overweight.