Do you ever worry if performing yoga for weight loss (or, more likely, fat loss, if we're being technical) will truly work? Because you are not alone if you do. When most individuals think of changing their body composition, they think of resistance training, burpees, and aerobic routines, not chair posture, right? To be clear, those are fantastic strategies to lose body fat; however, if you're a Yogi, they might not be the best option for you.
Don't write out yoga for weight loss just yet. If finding your flow is one of your favorite ways to move, it could also be a wonderful method to lose weight. There is more depth to how to go about it, as well as a plethora of other benefits that go far beyond body composition and body fat.
Is it possible to lose weight by practising yoga?
The short answer is yes. Regular activity and a nutrient-focused calorie deficit are the keys to good weight loss, and yoga can definitely help with that. However, it is a far more comprehensive process than simply calorie in, calorie out: ' It raises your awareness of your physical and mental state by connecting your breath to the movement of the poses.
How often should you practice yoga to lose weight?
If you're trying to lose weight, it's advisable to consider your entire lifestyle, including stress levels, food, alcohol intake, and work-life balance. Your yoga practice should be viewed as a means to unwind, reconnect with yourself, and gain headspace and perspective. When your nervous system is calmed and cortisol levels are low, your body is in a far better position to lose weight naturally.'
Hey, there's that cortisol word again. It appears that our neurological systems have a significant role in healthy and long-term weight loss. But, if you're currently in a position where you believe you're ready to include regular movement into your life, what should you aim for?
'My recommendation is to practice 3-5 times a week and to include at least one restorative yoga practice,' says Clarke. 'Try to take daily walks to help you keep mobile and to offer you time in nature, as this will also benefit your mindset and nervous system.'
However, and this is important to note, your body's ability to tolerate frequent yoga practice will vary based on the style of yoga you practice.
For example, if power or rocket yoga is your thing, you may only be able to fit in two or three courses a week due to the intensity of the sessions. Yin yoga, on the other hand, you could definitely do every day without feeling strung out, sore, or fatigued, depending on time constraints.
'Stronger practices necessitate a significant amount of bodily strength and allow you to stretch and move your body in ways that generate stronger and more defined muscles - while also producing exhaustion,' Baldi explains. So, for more strenuous types, such as Ashtanga or Power Yoga, which burn more calories, I recommend three to four times a week.
15 Minute Weight Loss Yoga Routine
The positions that follow form a dynamic practice designed to raise your heart rate and burn fat. I divided them into two portions because the first section is meant to be repeated four times before lowering it to the floor for the second section. The following are the poses:
This practice is made up of tiny "flows" of two poses each. This encourages you to get moving, improves your endurance, and is excellent for fat loss and muscle building. Have a good time and go at your own pace! Let's get this party started:
1. Downward Facing Dog to Plank Flow- 3 rounds
Downward Dog and Plank are both equally effective poses for weight loss along, and when put into a flow they become extra powerful. This is a great dynamic flow to build up the heart rate while working the arms and core.
2. Chaturanga- hold 3 breaths
Chaturanga is one of the best poses to build core and upper body strength. If you are unable to do a full Chaturanga,
3. Upward Facing Dog- hold 3 breaths
Upward Facing Dog commonly comes after Chaturanga as a part of a vinyasa flow and is great to practice to build strength and lose weight. The key here is to use your core to make sure your knees do not touch the ground during the transition.
4. Downward Facing Dog- hold
To complete the flow, come back into Downward Facing Dog. You should feel your heart rate increasing, and your core and arms engaging. Accept it and love it! Once you get here, make sure to take a deep cleansing breath and to regroup from the fast paced movement you just did, and to prepare for some more!
5. Three Legged Dog to Knee to Nose Flow- 3 rounds
This is another flow of two poses that is great for building up heat in the body and testing your strength. Remember to keep good alignment throughout and try not to collapse through your chest.
6. High Lunge Pose- hold 5 breaths
High Lunge is a great pose to tone your legs and build up strength in your legs and core. Remember to sink into your front leg to intensify the pose.
7. Warrior II – 3 breaths
The transition from High Lunge to Warrior II is very simple and is a great challenge for your legs! When you feel your leg shaking and want to come out, try to pull through! You are only here for 3 breaths.
8. Reverse Warrior to Extended Side Angle Flow- 3 rounds
The third and final mini-flow! You have already been engaging your legs from High Lunge and Warrior II, now this flow will add in more of a challenge while accelerating your heart rate.
9. Half Moon Pose- hold 3 breaths
Half Moon will give your legs a break from all those power poses you just did and instead focus on lengthening and stretching. But don’t be fooled, this pose is great for toning your abdomen and hips.
10. Standing Forward Fold- hold 3 breaths
Okay, not a little break! Although Standing Forward Fold is a greatly known resting pose, it is actually shown to be beneficial for toning the abdomen and sides. Just make sure you don’t completely collapse through your chest while in it.
How to do Yoga for Weight Loss
Yoga practice promotes physical, mental, and spiritual development, allowing you to become the best version of yourself.
Yoga, particularly the more physical types of yoga, may also be a helpful strategy for weight loss. You may also discover that the awareness obtained by a mild, soothing yoga practice aids with weight loss.
Many specialists agree that yoga helps people lose weight in a variety of ways. Let's have a look at some of them.
Yoga and mindfulness
Yoga's mental and spiritual parts emphasize the development of mindfulness. This raises your consciousness on a variety of levels.
It can make you more aware of how certain foods affect your mind, body, and soul.
According to a 2016 study, persons who practice yoga and cultivate mindfulness may be better able to resist unhealthy meals and comfort eating. They may also grow more in tune with their bodies, noticing when they are full.
Yoga is regarded to be particularly effective for people who are also struggling to lose weight in other ways.
According to a 2017 meta-study, mindfulness training had positive short-term effects on impulsive or binge eating and physical activity participation. Although there was no direct effect on weight loss, it is believed that weight loss is connected with longer periods of mindfulness training. More research is needed to expand on these findings.
Because it is not recommended to do yoga on an empty stomach, you may discover that you make healthier dietary choices before doing yoga. Following a yoga practice, you may have a stronger desire for fresh, unadulterated foods. You may also learn to chew each bite thoroughly and eat more slowly, which may result in decreased consumption.
Yoga and better sleep
Yoga practice can help enhance the quality of your sleep. When you have a continuous yoga practice, you may find that you may go to sleep more easily and sleep more deeply. You should ideally sleep between six and nine hours per night.
Weight loss is frequently linked to a good night's sleep. According to a 2018 study, people who had restricted sleep five times per week shed less weight than those who followed their typical sleeping routines. Both groups were restricting their calorie intake, implying that sleep deprivation had a negative impact on body composition, including fat loss.
Yoga nidra is a type of guided relaxation practiced while lying down. The practice may help you sleep better and be more aware. During yoga nidra, you can also make intentions, which may help you develop weight loss objectives.
According to a small 2018 study, healthcare workers who practiced yoga nidra for eight weeks boosted their levels of mindfulness. Mindfulness entailed operating with awareness and not criticizing one's inner experiences.
At the follow-up, their levels of tiredness were not significantly different. This score, however, improved as people practiced for longer periods of time. To expand on these findings, larger, more in-depth research is required.
Yoga and calorie burning
While yoga is not traditionally thought of as an aerobic activity, certain styles of yoga are more physical than others.
Yoga methods that are active and intensive help you burn the most calories. This may aid in the prevention of weight gain. More physical kinds of yoga include Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga.
Hot yoga studios typically offer vinyasa and power yoga. These styles of yoga keep you moving practically constantly, which aids in calorie burn.
Yoga can also help you build muscle tone and enhance your metabolism.
While restorative yoga is not a particularly strenuous style of yoga, it does aid with weight loss. Restorative yoga was found to be useful in assisting overweight women to reduce weight, including abdominal fat, in one study.
These findings are especially encouraging for people whose body weight makes more intense kinds of yoga difficult to practice.
According to a 2013 review of studies, yoga is a promising technique to help with behavioral change, weight loss, and maintenance by burning calories, increasing mindfulness, and decreasing stress. These elements may assist you in reducing your food consumption and become aware of the consequences of overeating.
More comprehensive, high-quality research is required to expand on these findings.
How often should you do yoga to lose weight?
To reduce weight, practice yoga as much as possible. You can conduct a more energetic, rigorous practice for at least one hour three to five times per week.
On the other days, alternate your exercise with a gentler, more relaxing session. Hatha, yin, and restorative yoga courses are all excellent choices.
If you are a beginner, begin cautiously and progressively increase your practice time. This allows you to increase your strength and flexibility while also preventing injuries. If you don't have time for a full session on certain days, complete at least 20 minutes of self-practice. Allow for one full day of rest per week.
For further cardiovascular advantages, combine your yoga practice with activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming.
Avoid weighing yourself immediately after a yoga class, especially if it is a hot yoga class, as part of your routine, because you may lose water weight during the class. Instead, weigh yourself every day at the same time.
If you want to utilize yoga to lose weight, you must make a commitment to yourself and your practice. Make incremental, gradual improvements and set modest goals to increase your chances of success.
As your practice and awareness grow, you may find yourself naturally drawn to healthy foods and methods of life. While it is not certain that you will lose weight, it is quite probable. Your beneficial outcomes may go well beyond weight loss.