At one point or another, we have all found ourselves looking to shed a few (or more) pounds. The problem is that we start some dreaded diet and hardcore exercise regime which is usually far too unrealistic for everyday life. Most people would never consider doing yoga for weight loss, yet it would be much easier to stick to than a difficult dance/cardio routine. There are many ways yoga can help your body, mind and spirit but let’s look at how it can help in your weight loss journey.
It is a Perfect Gateway Exercise
Most poses can be adapted for comfort and ability therefore, yoga is a perfect entrance into the world of exercise for beginners. It can be done in a gentle manner--even from a chair if the participant requires. Once your body has adapted to a greater range of motion, you can take on other forms of exercise like swimming or bike riding. Not only will you want to engage in more activity once you start yoga regularly, but you will have more physical stamina and strength to do so. All activity will then assist in shedding pounds.
De-Stress and Calm Your Mind
Many of us have found ourselves turning to a bowl of treats or hitting the drive through after a stressful day. Stress eating is not uncommon, but it is very unhealthy. The association between stress and eating only creates bad patterns of behavior and further weight gain. It is a dangerous snowball effect. Yoga allows you time to focus on you. You focus on your breathing and moving each body part slowly, in a stretching manner. You will experience a sense of calm and peace as you clear your mind and just work on the movements and your quiet breathing, which allows you to de-stress while exercising.
Strength Training in the Movements
It may not seem like it, but yoga challenges your muscle groups to work and get fit too. Despite the slow motions and poses, your body must work to remain in-pose and as you get better at each movement, your range of motion increases. You can then stretch further and hold in-pose longer, both things requiring muscle tone and flexibility. Asking your muscles to work will definitely help in losing weight.
Builds Self-Esteem and Confidence
If you have ever attempted a workout routine and failed at seeing it through then you know the crushing feeling of failure that follows. It is a difficult horse to climb back up on. Some people never do, as they have crushed their self-esteem and confidence. For anyone who hasn’t attempted yoga, they are often shocked by how easy it can be. Afterwards, you can feel a sense of accomplishment and success, since yoga is geared to all-abilities and levels of fitness. Keeping up with a yoga routine, in turn, helps to build self-esteem and confidence and in that vein, continued participation.
Yoga is “No Excuses”
With other exercises, you could argue different points as to why you may not be able to participate. However, when it comes to yoga, it truly is a no-excuse exercise. You can do it anywhere at anytime. If you are shut in at home, simply get started on your living room floor. Look up videos online if you want to follow an instructor, but as long as you are stretching and moving, you are benefitting from the exercise. You don’t need expensive equipment, so affordability is not an excuse. Most poses can be adjusted to suit all body types and sizes, so your current weight or mobility status doesn’t matter. Getting started with yoga will start to increase your blood flow, your peace of mind and strength muscles, which then helps to burn fat and calories.