The benefits of practicing Yoga regularly are vast, but I’m often asked, “Can Yoga really help me lose weight?”
We know that any type of regular physical activity when combined with proper nutrition can aid in weight loss, and it’s been proven for years that Yoga is no exception. In fact, one study review that looked at 30 trials with more than 2,000 participants concluded that Yoga can reduce waist-hip ratio in healthy adults, as well as body mass index (BMI) in people who are overweight or obese. While you may not initially think of beginning a Yoga practice for weight loss, it can certainly be a welcome result for many.
Skeptical? Here are a few reasons why:
Yoga helps with the mind-body connection
Maybe the most obvious benefits of Yoga is the increased mind-body awareness that results from it. You may notice improved mindfulness in and out of the studio. Attending classes regularly could even help stimulate more mindful eating. For example, if you plan to attend an afternoon / evening class you are likely to choose a light healthy lunch option vs. a greasy cheeseburger, beer and fried onion rings for lunch. Warning, if you choose the greasy route you’ll likely lose it in a Hot Yoga class, yuck! This pattern of mindfulness will naturally continue and progress as you continue attending classes.
Yoga helps with stress and relaxation
In a similar vein, attending Yoga classes regularly helps decrease stress. Reducing stress has a positive ripple effect on many areas of your life. It helps you feel better, sleep better, improves your overall mood, and make healthier choices – all which in turn can lead to weight loss. Increased cortisol levels are proven to inhibit weight loss, so managing stress will naturally help aid in shedding a few pounds beyond the physical activity.
Yoga helps you build lean muscle & improve metabolism
Finally, the physical impact of regular Yoga practice is more than you might have in mind. You will build, strengthen and elongate your muscles. In Yoga, we use our own body weight as a form of resistance, so yes, you can build muscle on the mat! Building muscle burns more calories with a positive result of weight loss when you manage your diet.
I’ve regularly practiced for 22 years, including through three pregnancies. I know that my hot Yoga practice helped my hormones (and the emotional ups and downs that come with them) while expecting and postpartum. I am a firm believer that our signature YS90 class delivers weight resistance, cardiovascular and balance exercises that deliver real results for people, because I’ve seen them in myself! Won’t you join us?