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Can Yoga Help you Lose Weight?

Can Yoga Help you Lose Weight?

Can yoga really help you lose weight? The answer is a definitive yes – but only when combined with the right diet and under correct guidance.

Yoga has long been perceived as a slow and not-very-strenuous form of exercise and meditation. As such, many question its effectiveness as a weight loss activity.

One of the most important factors to consider is the type of yoga technique used. For example, case studies have shown that individuals will experience immense weight loss where Bikram Yoga is practiced.

Bikram Yoga and Weight Loss

The reason why Bikram Yoga was tested in the weight loss study referenced above is due to the fact that it is one of the increasingly popular “Power Yoga” techniques, where poses are combined with faster movements, and in this case, all carried out in a 105 degree heated room! While yoga is generally considered a safe and healthy means of exercise, turning up the heat helps to expedite fat loss results to a point where it is comparable to a strenuous cardiovascular workout!

Sweating is certainly one way to lose weight, but the fact is that most people want to shed more than just some water weight. This is what drove medical researchers to see what effects yoga had on obese patients who could not participate in strenuous exercise regimes such as aerobics due to mobility constraints.

Some candidates participated in regular yoga training while others simply did the same amount of hours of walking. The latter patients did not shed as much weight as those who had undertaken even the gentlest forms of Yoga!

Yoga plus…

Even though it has been show that yoga can help in shedding the pounds, diet also plays a huge role in any kind of weight loss goal. A healthy diet is important for your physical and mental health. Here are some more tips

  • Alcohol is the most fattening substance one can abuse; the high sugar and calorie content in alcoholic drinks is the number one cause of excess belly fat. If you, like a lot of people, drink every night, try starting with off days, before moving to less frequent, less calorific drinks, such as vodka soda.
  • Eating disorders, particularly binge eating which sometimes caused by underlying issues. Working on your self esteem and mental wellbeing can see itself paying dividends on your physical health.
  • Visualize your weight-loss goals. Mindfulness has been shown to have a lasting physical impact on your body and mind.

Essentially, gaining or shedding weight becomes a mental battle at some point of time in your weight loss routine. Apart from physical exercise, you must also develop the willpower to adhere to a strict regimen. By learning or practicing yoga as well as mindfulness and meditation as a complement to your weight loss routine, it becomes all the more easy to overcome those mental roadblocks that inhibit you from winning the weight loss game.

Yoga and shedding that baby weight

Can yoga help you in shedding excess fat after giving birth? Having a baby can be a strain, both physically and emotionally. The Baby Blues are real and they can be triggered by any number of factors and events. Women who choose to practice yoga after birth will find that the calm, peaceful movements and atmosphere re-energize and enable them to have a calmer approach to dealing with the new demands of motherhood.

Not only does it allow the women to get in touch with their feminine side in a very holistic manner, but it also allows you to focus on some “target” areas for fat-burning after giving birth.

Yoga is a Fat Fighting Machine

Yoga has been tried and tested and the jury certainly branded it as one of the healthiest ways to shed weight and maintain a weight loss regimen.

In some cases, shedding weight is only a small part of the battle; the ultimate challenge lies in maintaining the new healthier routine you adhere to. In summary, regular yoga can do nothing but help by allowing you to:

  • Stay focused on your goals
  • Strengthen your muscles (and bones)
  • Burn calories

Your road to the new leaner and meaner you is only a few yoga classes away.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.