The Benefits Of Yoga For Weight Loss & Overall Good Health & Well-Being
You may believe that yoga is good for stress relief and meditation, and you would be right! You may not realize that practicing yoga is also an excellent way to lose weight and get fit. The reason for this is that yoga practice is beneficial for your body, your mind and your spirit.
The deep breathing exercises that are an integral part of yoga practice help improve your circulation and increase your metabolism. This adds up to effective fat burning.
The stress reduction qualities of yoga practice help reduce feelings of anxiety.
Yoga encourages one to relax, slow the breath and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system and the flight-or-fight response to the parasympathetic system and the relaxation response. – PubMed
If you are an anxious eater, this can mean a reduction of nervous eating habits. Additionally, anxiety causes an increase in your body’s production of cortisol, which is known as the “stress hormone”. Excess cortisol in your system causes weight gain (most notably fat deposits in the abdominal area).
Enjoy Yoga Practice For Life
Yoga practice is a lifelong form of exercise because you can adjust it to your current needs. There are many different types of yoga and you can modify your practice for stress reduction, stretching and strengthening and aerobic benefits.
Power yoga provides an especially good aerobic workout that works to improve your metabolism, increase your heart rate and help you shed pounds. In power yoga, you practice your yoga poses at a quick pace, ideally in a very warm environment. There are three types of yoga that are often practiced as power yoga. They are:
- Hatha Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
When performing these types of yoga as power yoga, you move along quickly and smoothly from one pose to another in a coordinated, fluid and choreographed way. This type of yoga practice is very beneficial for weight loss, as Zoe Bray-Cotton teaches on in Yoga Burn. In fact, you can burn over 1000 calories in a single session when practicing yoga with focus and energy.
Practicing power yoga is very challenging, and it can be a strain if you are very out of shape and/or very overweight. The great thing about taking up yoga for weight loss is that you can begin gently, learn your poses and perfect your form as you gradually improve your condition, strength and abilities.
The Sun Salutation Provides The Perfect Start
To begin your yoga practice, you may wish to focus on mastering the Sun Salutation series of poses. This series of exercises can be performed very slowly and carefully for gentle stretching, relaxation and stress reduction.
As you become stronger, you can perform the poses more quickly and with more energy for greater challenge, calorie burning and metabolism boosting.
The Sun Salutation series of exercises can be easily performed first thing in the morning in only five minutes. If you wish to add more focus and do more repetitions, you can extend your practice to half an hour or more.
The Sun Salutation provides a perfect combination of exercises to address your entire body. You can use this series as a total workout, or you can perform it as a warm-up and/or cool down for more intensive yoga work or for another type of exercise.
Reap A Wealth Of Benefits From Yoga
The great thing about yoga for weight loss is that it provides so many other benefits. Because yoga supports total mind, body and spirit health it is the perfect form of exercise any time. Even when you are not feeling well, you can enjoy a few minutes of yoga to calm your mind and body and boost your immune system. When you are at the top of your form, you can practice yoga energetically and enthusiastically to strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility, improve your bone density and boost your metabolism and immune system. When you choose yoga as your form of exercise, you are completely in control.