Yoga for Weight Loss: 8 Benefits
We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Are you still clinging to the idea that you have to train for a marathon or log the gym hours of a bodybuilder to lose weight? Nonsense!
One of the most effective tools in your calorie counting arsenal might be one of exercise’s gentler forms. How can you use yoga for weight loss, and what are the benefits of this ancient practice when it comes to dropping pants sizes?
1. Get Moving More Frequently
Even if you do marathons, you know that you can only run so much before your muscles cry out, “That’s enough.” Many experts now recommend short and frequent workouts over lengthier sessions, but everyone has an endurance limit.
However, yoga feels phenomenal, no matter how exhausted you are. If you need to generate a little energy during the workday, perform a series of sun salutations to get the blood flowing to your brain. If you are training for a triathlon, make yin yoga your best friend on recovery days.
2. Make Activity Less Painful
Yogis have long promoted the practice as a remedy for chronic pain. Experts previously attributed the ameliorative effects to the increased flow of synovial fluid between joints. If you have arthritis, you need this lubrication to ease achy knees and backs.
However, newer research suggests that stretching your body impacts your brain’s pain centers. Yoga increases gray matter volume while strengthening white matter connectivity through improved neuroplasticity. As a result, your insular cortex, the part responsible for regulating pain tolerance, gets stronger.
3. Tackle Stress
Is 2020 the year of high stress, or what? If you are feeling like a psychological and physical mess, you aren’t alone. Why not beat the “quarantine 15” and ease tension with yoga for weight loss?
When the pressure never seems to ease, your body produces nonstop cortisol. This stress hormone increases your motivation — to get you to flee from danger — but can make you eat more over the long term. When you couple that with decreased physical activity, no wonder you gained a few pounds during the shutdown. Blast them away with yoga.
4. Balance Your Hormones
The complicated hormonal dance doesn’t begin and end with cortisol. Your adrenal glands produce that substance, but a part called your zona reticularis also produces androgens. These, in turn, get converted to testosterone and estrogen.
While women bear the brunt of hormonal weight gain, low testosterone can also affect the fellows’ progress. Yoga helps restore the balance in your adrenal glands and prevent the dreaded excess pounds resulting when your sex hormones go out of whack.
5. Develop Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all the craze these days for good reason. When uncertainty reigns supreme, the practice centers you in the present moment, reminding you that whatever you fear isn’t happening right now. It can stop the racing thoughts that make you frantic.
Yoga is the ultimate mind-body exercise. When you do a vinyasa, or movement with breath, you focus on nothing but the ujjayi hum while maneuvering your body into alignment. It’s incompatible with worry, although you might find a solution to your problem pops into your mind after a session.
6. Combat Cravings
If the COVID-19 pandemic upended your routine, you might wake up, do much of your workday on the couch, then retire there to watch TV at day’s end. It’s natural to want to snack when you aren’t occupied with other things.
Guess what? It’s impossible to jump back into plank pose with a handful of chips. Yoga can help you combat cravings. When you feel the urge to snack soon after dinner, get up and do a few poses to determine if you’re genuinely hungry or merely bored.
7. Fall in Love With Your Body
Finding the right yoga guide is essential to get started. Fortunately, you can find thousands of videos on YouTube for free, enabling you to try on many for size until you discover one that fits your groove.
Select an instructor who encourages you to fall in love with your body. Your practitioner should respect individual limitations and show you variations of poses that work for those who aren’t quite ready to sit in full lotus yet.
8. Enjoy Higher-Quality Sleep
Finally, every parent knows that getting kids moving more helps make nap time easier. The same principle applies to adults.
The physical component of yoga makes you tired and ready to get your zzzs. Furthermore, you can do a gentle practice before you retire that helps you ease into dreamland. Inadequate sleep links to weight gain — getting enough rest is crucial to keeping off unwanted pounds.
Try Yoga for Weight Loss and Break That Plateau
If you are on a plateau with your diet plan, why not use an ancient art to get modern results? Try yoga for weight loss and reap the eight benefits above.