Madonna does it. And so does Jennifer Aniston. Gwyneth Paltrow is a huge fan too. But can yoga, a mind-body exercise, help you get rid of unwanted pounds? Yoga devotees say that the most important benefit of yoga is calming the mind. But researchers prove that when we calm our mind, we become less stressed, and stress can stimulate weight gain. So the less stress we have, the less likely we are to gain weight. Sounds simple?
Yoga can be an excellent compliment to your existing exercise regime and can help you get in touch with your body the way nothing else can. Experts agree that many of us overeat because we are upset, angry or sad; and we end up reaching for that piece of cake to make ourselves feel better. Yoga helps our bodies become cleaner and purer and we crave better foods, like vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy grains. Yoga can change the relationship to food and eating by changing our relationship with ourselves. And in the process, it will make your body more flexible and strong.
Flexibility: Stretching large muscles to perform yoga poses can help you become more flexible in your hamstrings, back, shoulders, and hips.
Strength and Muscle Tone: Many yoga poses require you to support the weight of your own body in new ways, including balancing on one leg or supporting yourself with your arms. Moving slowly in and out of poses will increase your strength and help shape long, lean muscles.
Better Breathing: Deep breathing is a vital element of yoga. The breathing exercises, called Pranayama, teach how to better use our lungs, which benefit the entire body. Yogic breathing energizes and cleanses the body, calms and relaxes the mind, and serves as a perfect warm-up for practicing yoga poses.
So what kind of yoga will help you lose weight? Vinyasa, the most popular of yoga practices, can be found at many local gyms and studios. Power Yoga provides a vigorous cardio workout. Both Vinyasa and Power Yoga will leave you sweat-drenched, but strong and fulfilled. Ashtanga yoga is another very vigorous style with a few distinct advantages for those who want to lose weight. It’s an early morning yoga that can rev up your metabolism first thing in the morning and give you the edge for the day.
But the most important thing to keep in mind if you are considering yoga is that only by making it routine can it bring you the results and lean your body you desire.
Jason Kozma is a professional Brentwood Personal Trainer in Southern California. Jason and his High Performance Training Team are helping residents all over Southern California lose weight and get in the best shape of their lives. Jason’s High Performance Personal Training company also offers private yoga instruction. Find out more by visiting Private Yoga Los Angeles