Yoga has many benefits. This low-impact exercise enhances flexibility, improves blood circulation, and hastens injury recovery time through various moves. One other benefit of yoga is weight loss. Yoga poses require physical effort to perform, making you sweat and burn calories.
If you want to lose weight more efficiently, here are a few ways you can maximise yoga for this purpose:
Consume enough nutrients
Yoga is still a form of exercise despite not being as intense as workouts associated with weight loss. It’s thus vital to consume sufficient nutrients to fuel your yoga sessions. It’s easy to assume that getting enough nutrients means restricting yourself to healthy food alone, like unprocessed meat and fresh produce. While this isn’t necessarily bad, a weight loss plan shouldn’t keep you from eating what you want. Instead, it should help you still enjoy your favourite foods, as long as you also put effort into building healthier habits—like drinking water and eating vegetables. This way, you can rest assured that you’re eating well despite munching on your favourite biscuits.
To get adequate nutrition, ensure that each meal has fruits, vegetables, whole grains (like brown rice or bread), and healthy proteins (such as eggs or fish).
Focus on power yoga workouts
While yoga is a low-impact exercise, certain moves make you sweat and burn more calories. Power yoga workouts are one such example. It emphasises getting a full-body workout through the poses, burning up to 250 calories in a 25-minute session. This is because power yoga moves engage the muscles in your arms, core, back, and legs.
A few power yoga moves you can practise are chaturanga and calf pedals. Chaturanga is a low-plank pose that strengthens your upper body and engages your core and lower back. Meanwhile, calf pedals target your calf muscles and shoulders. To do this pose, go into a downward dog position by placing your weight on your hands and feet while pushing your bottom to the ceiling. Then, alternate bending your right and left knees to mimic pedalling a bike.
Weight loss is a result of consistently eating healthily and exercising regularly. The same goes for yoga, since it’s a physical activity. Yoga instructor Fi Clarke shares with Women’s Health Magazine that practising yoga 3-5 times a week is the most optimal frequency for weight loss. Not only will this regularly burn calories, but it will also allow you to reflect on your progress. After all, many people engage in yoga for more than just exercise: they also use it to connect with themselves, as well. Clarke adds that doing soothes your nervous system and lowers cortisol levels, placing your body in a better state to lose weight organically.
To achieve consistency, consider creating a checklist at the beginning of each to remind yourself when to practice yoga. This can solidify yoga into a habit and maximise your weight loss efforts.
As mentioned above, people connect with themselves through yoga. This is because yoga is associated with higher mindfulness. When you focus on breathing and executing the moves correctly, you become more aware of your actions. Therefore, you’ll be better at resisting unhealthy eating habits that can ruin your weight loss. Mindfulness makes you more in tune with your body, so you quickly notice when you’re full or about to make a bad eating decision.
You can do the same by removing distractions like work files or your phone from your vicinity during a yoga session. This allows you to clear your mind and tap deeper into your thoughts.
Yoga can be more efficient for weight loss with the practises discussed above. Remember to eat sufficient nutrients, do power yoga, remain consistent, and practise mindfulness to maximise yoga’s weight loss effects.