People have been practicing some form of yoga for thousands of years, and even if you’ve never tried it, you probably know quite a few people who take classes. While most modern methods of the deep stretching exercise focus less on the spiritual connection and more on the fitness aspect, there are many benefits to incorporating this exercise into your daily life.
We will discuss some of the basics of the ancient exercise, the benefits, and which yoga is good for weight loss so you can make a decision that’s right for you.
Yoga is more than just a series of deep stretching exercises but rather a practice that benefits you physically, mentally, and spiritually. One of the main goals is to quiet your mind and focus on your breathing and body, which is similar to some meditation practices.
Everyone who takes a class or practices one of the more than 100 different forms of deep stretches at home, have different goals and experiences, but in the end, they should feel more flexible, stronger, connected, and relaxed.
Benefits Of Yoga and Their Connection To Weight Loss
Before you start searching for best yoga for weight loss, let’s take a look at some of the benefits. Many of the benefits tie directly into weight loss and becoming healthier.
Boosting Your Self-Image
How many times have you looked at your body and critiqued it rather than loved your features? This unique exercise is suitable for people of various sizes, shapes, and abilities. It’s not about how you look or how strong or slim you are but how you feel about yourself.
The poses you practice are designed to develop a deeper connection to your breathing, body, and mind. Head to any class or studio, and you might notice that there are very few mirrors (if any). Class instructors encourage focusing on oneself, not the person in front of you or beside you.
If you want to be successful in weight loss, it’s all about appreciating your body, recognizing your strengths, and creating a body positive image before you reach your weight loss goal.
People are overweight for a variety of reasons, but stress is often a factor. Not only can stress affect our moods but it can cause emotional eating and poor sleep, which can also lead to weight gain.
The combination of meditation, deep stretching, and focused breathing can help people manage their stress a little easier. Once someone becomes more comfortable with the practice, they can incorporate the exercise in their car during traffic congestion, at work during a lunch break, or at home after a long and tiring day.
A good night’s sleep plays an integral role in weight loss. Not only can exercise help you reduce stress but it can also help you get better sleep at night. When you’re not stressed, your less likely to lose sleep, and as a result, you can reap the benefits of high-quality sleep. See how it’s all connected?
Changing The Way You Think About Food
As you begin to practice more mindfulness in your exercise, it can positively affect other areas of your life as well, particularly your relationship with food. Since food is a big challenge for people who are trying to lose weight, becoming more mindful can be helpful when changing one’s idea about food.
Mightful eaters are more likely to take the time to experience the taste healthy foods than rushing to grab something unhealthy while on the go or just engaging in mindless eating. Over time, mindful eating can help people drop pounds more easily and quickly.
Improving Your Energy and Athletic Performance
People who struggle with weight rarely view themselves as athletic and finding enough energy to workout can be difficult. Through practicing poses, participating in mindful thinking, and improving one’s breathing, energy levels boost and the ability to do more athletic activities increases.
Once you begin to strengthen your body, boost your energy, and increase your stamina, incorporating cardio exercises like running or a spin class may seem less daunting or difficult.
Other Health Benefits of Doing Yoga
Even if weight loss is your primary goal, you may also experience better flexibility and see (and feel) more muscle strength and tone. Your metabolism may become more balanced, and your circulatory health is likely to improve. As your body becomes stronger and more limber, you’re less likely to have injuries in everyday activities or when working out.
Mental benefits, such as improved mood, confidence, and reduced feelings of depression, can help you succeed in your weight loss journey as well.
Getting Started With Yoga and Choosing the Best Type For Weight Loss
While there are many types to choose from you’re probably searching for a type of yoga for weight loss and for beginners. Remember, you can always choose more challenging exercises as you progress in your practice.
Choosing the right type will reduce your risk of injury. You are also more likely to stick with the exercises if you can do them rather than if you start out with a level that’s too difficult. Before you settle for a style, see if you can sit in on a beginner’s class. If that’s not an option, there are a variety of great videos you can view online.
One of the great things about all the various methods is that once you understand the basics, you can learn other styles to see which one is best suited for you. While all types may help you lose weight and teach you yoga breathing techniques for weight loss, some common types which are great for beginners include:
Hatha is a generic term for any type of the practice that teaches physical postures. It’s typically designed to be gentle and a good introduction to the basics.
While this is considered a more relaxing method, it can be a great starting point for individuals who suffer from joint pain and flexibility issues due to excess weight. People practice basic poses and use props like blankets, straps, and bolsters to help hold a proper pose more safely and with ease.
There are six sequences of postures that link every moment to breath. This is a popular method, and there are usually different levels of intensity.
While this method can help you lose weight more quickly, it may not be the best for beginners as it’s a relatively intense and fast-paced method. Bikram exercises are held in heated rooms with temperatures of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and with about 40 percent humidity. If this method interests you, you can always make it part of your fitness goals.
Tips To Consider When Doing Yoga
Many people who are looking for ways to lose weight may overlook this introspective practice as a great way to drop some pounds and get in shape. While it’s typically different than a traditional cardio exercise that produces a good sweat, your body works a lot harder than you think it might as it goes through a variety of poses.
It’s important to remember that all exercise, whether it’s the deep stretch of child’s pose or a brisk walk around the block can make you healthier, but you’re likely to see and feel the effects differently. Stretching and breathing exercises can help you build up to doing more “active” exercises.
Weight loss and improving your health overall takes time. Allow yourself to get a better understanding of a pose and breathing techniques before you decide whether or not they are the right form of exercise for you.
There is no magic exercise that will transform your body overnight (always be cautious of any exercise that claims to make “promises” about fast weight loss). Like any type of exercise, you need to put in the effort, stay committed, and be willing to be open to anything that comes your way.
Consider setting goals for yourself beyond losing weight. Practicing mindfulness can help you in other areas of your life, not just when you want to reach a new weight goal. Maybe you want to make career changes or plan a hiking trip with your family. Setting goals is healthy and can help you stay accountable as you commit to being a healthier version of yourself.
While yoga is a safe exercise that is suitable for all, you should take with your health professional before starting a class to make sure that it’s the best option for your current health goals and any other existing conditions you may have.