Yoga is an ancient practice, originating in India over 5,000 years ago. The goal of yoga is not to lose weight or even get fit, though both are happy side effects. The goal of yoga is to bring its practitioners peace of mind and a sense of spirituality.
While many religions practice yoga, including Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains, it is not a requirement, and many people with no religious affiliation at all are reaping the many benefits that come with the practice.
Yoga is a Sanskrit term meaning “to unite” or “combine.” It seeks to bring peace to the practitioners by bringing together mind, body, and soul. With a focus on deep breathing and concentration as you go through the many yoga poses, it induces a kind of meditation that can bring about a profound sense of well-being.
Using Yoga To Lose Weight
Since yoga is often thought of as a type of meditation or mindfulness activity, it may seem confusing that it also can bring about physical fitness and weight loss. However, it is actually quite straightforward. Maintaining the physical poses that make up the practice of yoga takes a great deal of focus and physical strength.
As you go through each pose, your body is gently stretched, improving flexibility. While most poses are not physically difficult at first, you are required to hold in the position for several minutes at a time, which requires a great deal of strength. Practicing yoga can improve core strength, tone up muscles, help you be more flexible, and burn calories resulting in weight loss.
Another benefit of yoga is that it can suit all levels of physical fitness. There are yoga classes available that enable patrons to participate seated in a chair the entire time, ideal for the disabled, elderly, or people physically limited by their weight. As you progress and become more fit, the workouts can be made infinitely more complicated and difficult. Even the most athletically-inclined person will find themselves struggling in an advanced yoga class!
If you are looking to hasten weight loss and help your body rid itself of toxins, you may want to consider a class in Bikram or “hot” yoga. This is a type of yoga that is practiced in a room that is heated to 104 degrees and 40 percent humidity. The extra warmth and humidity can help the body be more flexible by soothing muscles, and you have the added benefit of sweating out toxins while you do so.
Yoga is an ancient practice that is seeing a modern revival. The proven correlation between yoga and weight loss and improved fitness has made it more popular than ever before. If you are looking to relax and stretch your way into good health, consider looking up your nearest yoga studio today!
How Does Yoga Help With Weight Loss
Vigorous types of yoga (such as those found in Ashtanga yoga) which can actually break a sweat will up your heart rate and makes a great weight loss workout. Now before I go anywhere else I can already see the cogs in your head turning.
I don’t mean you can ditch that diet and start losing weight my stretching your leg in the air each morning. There is no kind of weight loss like this. Yoga for weight loss works best when combined with healthy eating and other exercise techniques. I personally like the combination of yoga and swimming although I’ve also had some great experience with pilates for weight loss.
The basic guidelines is learn the basis of yoga and extend it. Hold those poses for longer, make your sessions longer and reduce the breaks in-between. Now you’ve turned a peaceful stretch into an intense workout which raises the heart rate. It is important, however, that you do not push yourself beyond your yoga ability. You need to at least learn the basics of yoga positions and stretches before you start and end up hurting yourself.
You can probably get yourself a class in your home town (most gyms have at least one class these days) or, if you prefer to learn from home, you can probably find yourself a yoga for weight loss DvD online and learn from the comfort of your own home.
All you really need is a nice open spot on the floor to work with. There’s a lot of great benefits to learning yoga for weight loss but, the same as every method to lose weight, it requires hard work, patience and self restraint.