Does yoga for weight loss work? Many wonder at this question as this seemingly peaceful practice is extremely different from the fat-burning aerobics. However, it turns out that yoga, especially combined with mindfulness practices, can produce amazing results in reshaping and strengthening both your body and mind.
How Effective Yoga for Weight Loss Truly Is?
Before delving into the details of how many calories you can burn in a yoga class you need to understand one very important thing. It has been proven beyond any doubt that exercise alone has no significant effect on weight loss. The reason for that is that in order to burn off a significant number of calories through a workout, you’ll have to exercise extremely hard and long. This energy expenditure will make you hungry and no appetite suppressing drugs will help you. In fact, if you don’t get a hearty meal after a strenuous session in a gym, you’ll damage your health. The intensity of the workout itself will also be extreme and therefore damaging.
When you consider this, your perspective on the benefits of yoga for weight loss changes. It’s true that you’ll lose only about half the calories in a minute of yoga practice (3-6) than you do through an intense cardio session (12-13). However, this means that you only need to have an hour of peaceful yoga instead of a 30-minute (recommended length) aerobics session to achieve the same results.
You also need to remember that not all types of yoga are about peaceful flows and gentle stretches. There are very dynamic practices, like vinyasa and kundalini. They can have as much of a fat-burning effect as a cardio workout. You’ll only need to complement those practices with a well-balanced weight loss diet and extra aids such as foods or supplements that produce the effect of appetite suppression. This will create an amazing weight loss program that can be much more effective and fulfilling than regular workouts in the gym.
What Is It with Yoga for Weight Loss and Mindfulness?
Mindfulness, the practice of focusing on the present moment and refocusing every time your attention slips, is an essential part of yoga. The latest studies indicate that it’s this particular mental exercise that’s responsible for many of the benefits associated with the ancient practice.
The most important of them are:
- Reduction of anxiety and stress levels
- Depression treatment and prevention
- Neurodegenerative disorders prevention
- Enhanced cognitive ability
When it comes to yoga for weight loss, mindfulness becomes your most important ally as it can produce amazing results on its own. A study by the North Carolina State University, vividly described in Daily Mail proves that adding the practice of mindfulness to a weight loss program helps people lose up to 7 times more weight.
You also need to know that mindfulness is a great psychological practice that helps increase one’s satisfaction with their life and body. Therefore, the final result of adding mindfulness to your weight loss program becomes even more satisfying.
Yoga and mindfulness are a perfect combination, especially the slow-flow variations, like yin. Combining the two practices enhances them as you get more focus on your pose, which means you’ll more likely benefit from it. At the meantime, focusing on the body helps you to ‘stay in the moment’ which is the essence of mindfulness practice.
Whether you add mindfulness to the practice itself or have a 10-minute meditation after completing it, the positive effect on your health will be noticeable. When used as a part of a well-balanced weight loss plan, you’ll definitely get to see changes quite soon. The increased level of body awareness that you will develop from these sessions will also be a great help in achieving your body shape goals and setting realistic expectations for your programs.
Anne is a 30-something full-time SAHM mom of 5 ranging from 3 to 17 and grandma of 1 who resides in Ashwaubenon (Green Bay) Wisconsin. She started blogging in 2008 as a way to regain her sanity. She enjoys coffee, chocolate, cheeseburgers and vodka along with spending time with her husband and kids.