Yoga for Weight Loss: Losing Weight the New (Old) Way
Are you wondering how to slim down for a summer at the beach? Perhaps you’re worried about what’s going to happen to that beautiful bikini body when winter arrives. Or maybe your favorite pants are just a little too tight… your favorite pants! No one should have to find ‘new’ favorite pants on such short notice… ever.
Before you try some crazy diet or invest in a year-long fitness center membership you’ll use for a month, consider trying something a little more old-school (well, a lot more old-school) to shed the excess weight that is causing you such a headache.
Yoga… for weight loss!
You might be asking: But, aren’t cardio exercises the only way to burn calories fast enough for weight loss? Breathing a certain way can’t help me to lose weight, can it? How does meditation save my favorite pants?
Yoga is one of mankind’s oldest stress-reducing exercises. It lowers levels of stress hormones and increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin. This signals your body to burn calories to use as fuel and not store them under your arms, around your belly, and on your butt. In fact, when stress is lowered, metabolism speeds up and fat is burned more quickly than it would under stress.
While the average 68 kilogram person burns between 150-200 calories per hour of yoga, it is the mindfulness that helps to control appetite and help you make better food choices throughout the day. Where does this mindfulness come from? It comes from your meditation and introspection while practicing yoga.
The asana (or yoga poses) are also a great way to strengthen muscle and tone your legs, arms, butt, and abs. Side effects include: improved respiration, flexibility, and mood; a strong sense of calm and inner peace; and an overall physical and mental balance of your being.
Starting your weight loss journey with yoga can be intimidating, and you might even be a little skeptical. Here are few inspiring suggestions to help you get excited to add yoga to your workout:
- Try to find your ‘edge’ – the sweet spot where your body is challenged, but not overwhelmed. The will help you to burn more calories, avoid injury, and earn ‘asana achievements’ beyond your wildest dreams.
- Understand that you are working more than your physical body. You are developing qualities like patience, wisdom, kindness, gratitude, and discipline. Find time everyday to prove to yourself that you are not only losing weight, but changing as a person.
- Talk to yourself. Yes, really! During yoga, you are your own cheerleader. Appreciating your efforts, praising your inner goodness, and giving yourself permission to be tired, are all part of a healthy self-talk that will help you keep the momentum going in your workouts.
- Go to a class faithfully, or set a specific time aside for yoga at home. Stay on a schedule that works for you. No excuses. Each class, session, and pose is a step closer to a better you. Don’t forget that.
Yoga is not a miraculous cure for excess weight. You should expect some results after three weeks of ‘yoga workouts’. But remember: consistency is the key. As with any workout and weight-loss attempt, you get what you give, so give your very best every time. And, if nothing else, do it for your favorite pants…