Gentle and relaxing are two of the best descriptions for yoga. But there is more to this practice than mental focus and spiritual enlightenment. In allowing your mind and spirit to develop mindfulness, the right type of yoga can also help you shed those excess pounds.
Yoga that Burns Calories
Although yoga isn’t deemed as an aerobic exercise, some forms of a style can be more physical than others. Certain poses also tap into your body’s potential for burning calories, activating your metabolism to speed up.
Whether you’re just now discovering the mindful practice or have been doing it for some time but with more relaxing poses, like Hatha, the following types of yoga can help you lose weight.
In yoga studios, like Body Alive, you’ll do physically challenging poses in a heated environment. Some studios call it hot yoga; others refer to is as Bikram. The practice was developed by yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury, and it was popularized in the ‘70s. The combination of completing some 26 intense poses, which are done in a specific order, and the heated environment will allow you to sweat out toxins and calories.
Researchers have found, in a typical class, you’ll burn about as many calories as you would when brisk walking. Of course, don’t expect immediate results as with any weight loss routine. Stick to Bikram for a few months, and you may start to see substantial results.
Like Bikram, Vinyasa follows a series of connected poses, each asana (or pose) from one to another — in quick succession. Its fast-paced nature is what makes Vinyasa an effective yoga practice for weight loss. But choose classes that indicate core and power rather than flow or stretches because then you’ll know you’ll get an intense workout.
Iyengar uses a set of 200 classical asanas and 14 kinds of pranayamas (i.e., regulation of your breath). The focus here is body alignment, technique, and time on holding poses, which is the key to helping you lose weight.
If all three types of yoga seem overwhelming, ease into the practice by following beginner’s poses that could contribute to your weight loss goals.
3 Yoga Poses to Get You in Shape
Some poses optimize your body’s performance, allowing you to shed excess pounds.
You can start with the following and work your way to practicing a particular type of yoga once you get used to doing it:
1. Sun Salutation
Perhaps one of the more comfortable poses to do, sun salutations do more than stretch your muscles. It also trims your waist, stimulates your digestive system, and balances your metabolism.
2. Warrior Poses
From warrior I to warrior III, this empowering pose helps tone your stomach. It also gives you a flat belly as you contract abdominal muscles while holding the pose.
3. Triangle Pose
This pose, like warrior poses, improves your digestion, reducing fat deposits in your waist and belly.
The beauty of practicing yoga is you can start on your own by watching instructors on YouTube to carry out the poses correctly and safely. Do it alongside a healthy diet, and the right yoga can help you achieve weight loss goals. Do it consistently and long enough, and its benefits will go beyond fitness.