Yoga For Weight Loss Or a Healthier You
Best Yoga For Weight Loss-
At the beginning of a new year, many people set a resolution to, “get healthy.” This resolution can be interpreted in a variety of ways and blurs the line, making it difficult to complete. Without a clear objective set in this resolution, it may seem impossible to not just get started, but to follow through and complete it. Instead of slaving over a workout plan that incorporates all of the benefits you’re looking to gain on your way to “getting healthy,” sign up for a yoga retreat where you can immerse yourself in the practice, have guidance and support and time to focus on YOU.
If you’re already a regular yoga practitioner, you’ve probably noticed the host of benefits that have come overtime. When trying to describe these benefits to newbies, it can often feel like they don’t believe that such a long list of benefits can come solely from practicing yoga. From overall relaxation to suffering fewer colds in the winter months, the advantages really are both physical and mental.
This article addresses two benefits that attract many new people to yoga: weight loss and an overall healthier you.
In the health and fitness industry today, weight loss is one of those buzz words that attract the masses. There are so many companies and products promoting weight loss, whether it is the newest Hollywood detox or a raw food diet. No matter what format, the goal is to help you lose weight. Yoga, however, is often left out of the weight loss discussion. While the thought of a yoga retreat may not conjure up mental images of intense calorie-burning workouts, there are different types of yoga that maximize caloric burn.
“Power yoga,” such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga, offer a triple threat of strength, flexibility and cardio. Deep breathing techniques can flush out toxins and boost the lymphatic system. While power yoga presents the opportunity to burn more calories than the typical yoga class, gentler yoga can be equally as effective. By kick starting the parasympathetic nervous system, you can regulate breathing, digestion and rebalance hormone levels – three areas that are essential when working towards a weight loss goal. For those new to yoga, gentle yoga is a great place to start before graduating to more sophisticated, fat-burning poses and power yoga classes.
In the end, however, the weight loss doesn’t necessarily come as a direct result of the time spent in downward facing dog but as a side effect of living the yoga lifestyle.
A Healthier You
The greatest benefit with yoga is not the potential to lose weight, but rather the focus on mind and spirit that puts you on a path to an overall healthier you. Yoga promotes mindfulness and self-awareness by providing you with the tools to help you improve yourself. By helping you to believe that you can be better, yoga facilitates healing by inspiring you to take matters into your own hands. In contrast to some of the weight loss solutions sold on the market today, you are not relying on a manufactured pill or powder; you are relying on yourself.
By promoting self-awareness in yoga, people are able to carry that over into their everyday lives – especially when it comes to food. Mindful eating helps allow the brain to process the food you’ve just had and send more accurate signals about when you’re full. Reducing this overeating, avoiding emotional eating, and gaining more overall control when it comes to food can also contribute to the weight loss potential that you can achieve by practicing yoga.
In addition to these mental components, yoga improves integral bodily functions and areas that are left unaddressed with conventional cardio or weight training workouts. One of the obvious benefits is the increased flexibility. By loosening tight hips or hamstrings, you can alleviate strain on other parts of the body such as the lower back or knees. The flexibility, however, also comes with additional muscle strength that helps to strengthen bones and ward off osteoporosis and arthritis.
By practicing yoga on a regular basis, you can care for your body in ways that are often neglected with other workout regimens. The self-awareness and mindfulness preached in retreats and classes are preparation for long-term success, two unique benefits that can affect change in other areas of your life as well. Whether you’re new to yoga or a seasoned professional, living the yoga lifestyle puts you on the path to a mentally and physically healthier you.
Bio: Deanna Ayres is a writer and photographer with a love for learning about the world, cultures, healthy living and cooking. Addicted to coffee you can find her writing about what she’s learned from wonderful mentors at Samahita Retreat or chat with her on twitter about her journey to a new, healthier self.