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Fitness - Can You Lose Weight From Yoga?

Fitness – Can You Lose Weight From Yoga?

High-intensity strength training workouts aren’t the only weight loss methods. There are a variety of low-impact workouts you can try, including swimming, walking, cycling and yoga.

Yoga offers a wide variety of health benefits — what people may not realize is that it offers the additional perk of losing weight. If you’re interested in doing yoga to lose weight, learn how it works, as well as specific yoga poses to aid weight loss.

Understanding Yoga for Weight Loss

From boosting metabolism to managing food cravings, there are a variety of ways yoga and weight loss are closely connected. Here are three main ways that yoga can contribute to weight loss:

Builds Muscle

Yoga can help with weight loss through exercises designed to build muscle. Yoga typically involves holding repeated poses for extended periods of time, which helps build muscle strength and endurance over time. By continually building muscle mass, you can start to lose weight with yoga by reducing body fat. For this reason, many people like to achieve their fitness goals by applying yoga to their regular workout routines.

Promotes Healthy Eating Habits

Research has shown that yoga can contribute to weight loss by promoting healthier eating and dieting practices. Young adults who regularly practiced yoga craved more fruits and vegetables and less sugary foods and beverages. Consistently practicing yoga in a supportive community helped motivate these individuals to be more mindful of their eating habits.

Manages Stress

Stress can be a contributing factor to weight gain. With feelings of stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol that stimulates an appetite for sugar, salt and fat-based foods. Giving in to these cortisol-caused cravings can lead to weight gain over time.

Thankfully, yoga is a great way to reduce stress levels. It involves exercises designed to ease tension and anxiety, which signal the brain to release endorphins. These natural chemicals promote a feeling of relaxation and well-being — this is why you often feel great and relaxed after a yoga session. Yoga also puts an emphasis on mindfulness, further reducing stress levels as you stay present in the moment and practice controlled breathing.

Additional Benefits of Yoga

In addition to impacting weight loss, yoga offers a variety of other health benefits. Here are four extra advantages to regularly practicing yoga:

1. Improves Balance and Flexibility

Yoga is a great way to stretch, loosen and relax your muscle tissues. By regularly practicing various poses to lubricate your joints, you can improve both flexibility and balance over time.

2. Boosts Mental Health

Along with lowering stress levels, yoga promotes brain health in many other ways. Here are a few examples:

3. Strengthens Your Heart

Yoga is also known to improve cardiovascular health. By using these poses to relax your mind and body, you can help regulate blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. For these reasons, those with high blood pressure or other heart complications can benefit from yoga practice if approved by a doctor.

4. Reduces Pain

Yoga is known to ease various forms of discomfort such as back pain, migraines and other types of aches. It also benefits those with chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as it reduces inflammation and other symptoms.

Popular Yoga Poses to Boost Long-Term Weight Loss

If you’re looking for specific yoga techniques to help you lose weight, here are several popular yoga poses to consider:

Plank Pose

The plank pose is a great way to improve posture, burn stomach fat and strengthen your core. It helps tone your shoulders, arms, lower back, chest and abdomen.

This exercise is performed by lying face down, straightening your arms to lift up your body, and balancing on your toes while maintaining a forward or down-facing position. Try holding this pose for as long as you can, and work toward increasing this time each session.

Triangle Pose

The triangle pose is an excellent way to improve balance and stability, stimulate blood circulation and stretch your spine.

To execute this pose, begin in a standing position with your legs shoulder-width apart. Lift your hands straight out to the sides to align them with your shoulders. Exhale deeply and bend your torso to move your right hand downwards, touching your right foot. You can grab your ankle or shin if you can’t completely reach down. Complete this pose by reaching your left hand to the ceiling and turning your head upward.

Warrior Pose

The warrior pose is effective for toning your abdomen, opening your hips and strengthening the ankles.

There are two types — warrior one and warrior two. Both require a widened leg stance, with one foot facing forward as you bend that knee and lunge forward, keeping the other leg extended straight. But the arms are stretched in different ways. While warrior one involves reaching upwards with faced palms, warrior two involves extending your arms straight out from your sides.

Downward Dog Pose

The downward dog pose — one of the most famous yoga exercises — is a great way to stretch both your lower and upper body muscles, improve posture and regulate blood flow.

This pose begins in a table position on your hands and knees then requires raising your knees to straighten your legs. Essentially, you’ll make an upside-down V shape with your body.

Bow Pose

The bow pose is a phenomenal way to reduce muscle tightness, stretch your spine and hamstrings, and open your shoulders.

This exercise is performed by lying face down and lifting your hands behind you to grab your ankles. This pose tends to be more difficult for beginners and will likely require additional practice to improve the technique.

Cobra Pose

The cobra pose helps strengthen your spine, chest, shoulders and lungs. It’s also a great way to improve heart health by stimulating blood flow.

This pose starts by lying on your stomach then lifting the upper half of your body to stretch it thoroughly. To try the king cobra pose, bend your knees to reach your feet to your head and get more from your stretch.

Learn More About 5 Bridges Health & Fitness Today

Before applying these exercises to your workout routine, it’s important to find the right yoga class to help achieve your weight loss goals. At 5 Bridges Health & Fitness, you can join a positive, like-minded community with students and instructors to support your journey each step of the way.

Our yoga sessions are specially designed to strengthen muscles, boost metabolism, improve cardiovascular health and relieve pain. We offer in-person and virtual classes tailored to all skill levels — whether you’re a beginner or have practiced yoga for years, there’s something in store for everyone to achieve their full potential. Learn more about our yoga classes in Harrisburg at 5 Bridges Health & Fitness today!

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