5 Benefits of Using Yoga to Lose Weight
Do you ever wish you could drop a few extra pounds? Have you ever felt tired of your regular workout routine? And do you ache for a weight loss method that doesn’t feel like a chore?
If so, you’re in good company. Lots of women want to enjoy their workouts and feel better in their bodies. And fortunately, you CAN drop the extra weight and look forward to your workout — and it’s a lot easier than you think with yoga.
Read this article to find out the benefits of using yoga to lose weight.
1. Yoga helps you eat better
Research has found a connection between practicing yoga and mindful eating. Because yoga emphasizes mindfulness, that mental practice can carry over into other aspects of your life. So even though yoga doesn’t necessarily burn a ton of calories, it could still be the thing you need to help you lose weight.
Remember that exercise is only one factor in body weight. Good eating habits can actually make a bigger difference than exercise.
The next benefit of yoga may actually help to further explain yoga’s role in mitigating what you eat.
2. Yoga reduces stress
In addition to increasing mindfulness, yoga also reduces stress. Stress is a common culprit of overeating and eating junk foods. Many people reach for sugar and foods full of empty carbohydrates when they’re feeling frazzled. Not surprisingly, those foods are the worst for your body fat levels.
It’s not just how stress affects your food choices, either. Stress itself actually throws off your hormonal balance. And those imbalances tell your body that it needs to be storing fat because your life is in danger and you need energy.
The problem is that your body doesn’t understand storing all that extra fat is actually putting you in danger. The human stress response simply wasn’t designed to handle chronic daily stress from lack of sleep and too much stimuli and distractions.
Practicing yoga, however, is a known method for lowering stress levels and helping people to calm down and relax.
3. Yoga complements other exercise regimens
Yoga increases body awareness. Because of this, it helps you become more effective at the other types of workouts you perform.
When you do difficult workouts, like strength training or high-intensity interval training, you put your muscles through a lot of work. And although good for you, that work does take its toll.
One of the effects of exercise is that muscles get tighter. That’s why you should always stretch after a workout, to promote lengthening as well as strengthening. Doing yoga brings an awareness of what your muscles feel like when they are tight, and that helps you recognize when a few post-workout poses might be beneficial.
Yoga can also be used as a recovery day workout that stretches those tired muscles and improves your flexibility. The bonus is that this prevents exercise-related injuries and keeps you ready for your next workout, so you’ll stick with it.
4. Yoga helps you sleep
All of the other health benefits bestowed by a yoga practice can actually help you get to sleep faster and rest better at night, too. The reduction in stress, increase in mindfulness, and mitigation of pain all help your body and mind wind down for sleep.
Additionally, sleep specialists have determined that simply having a bedtime routine can make a big difference in patients with sleep disorders. Yoga can be a gentle practice that helps you feel good at bedtime. Many practitioners find that they enjoy making it part of their regular bedtime routine.
Because yoga is designed to go through a progressive series of movements, it can start giving health benefits even at the beginner level. Yoga allows you to start at your comfort level and proceed at your own pace. You don’t move on to the next move until you’ve mastered the first part of the progression.
Of course, mastery doesn’t have to be the end goal. Just practicing yoga regularly gives you all the benefits.
5. Yoga makes you happier
It may not seem related to weight loss, but the fact that yoga leads many people to much happier lives actually does affect weight. The mind and body have a stronger connection than we have yet been able to understand, and science definitely points to this conclusion.
Despite burning fewer calories than other forms of exercise, people who practice yoga regularly drop extra weight and keep it off for as long as they continue the practice. Many of them attribute the healthy changes to a change in the ways they think about their bodies and the food they eat.
Being able to perform a difficult pose definitely gives you new respect for your body and what it can do. And that can spur you to fuel it with better foods and stick with your workout routines.