Yoga is well known for its ability to help with flexibility, stretching, and even building and toning muscle, but did you know it can play a role in weight loss as well? A regular yoga practice can actually play a significant role in weight loss, but maybe not in the way you might think.
While many types of yoga don’t usually burn the same number of calories and fat as traditional exercise methods, yoga does increase your awareness of the connection between your mind, body, and spirit. It also turns on the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates breathing, digestion, stress, and hormones.
Yoga helps us slow you down mentally which in turn helps us to distinguish between the urge to eat and the emotional impulses that sometimes drive us to eat solely to help us feel better about something. Yoga can also help us discern what we are truly hungry for, which then helps us to make better food choices rather than eating mindlessly. The more in tune with our body we can become, the more likely we are to eat in a mindful manner.
Yoga can also help influence where our calories end up. Fat collects where we want it least—the stomach—in part when levels of the so-called stress hormone, cortisol, rise. Not surprisingly, yoga has been shown to reduce stress, which in turn lowers cortisol levels, making it easier to shed belly fat according to many studies on the subject.
And last but not least — certain poses can also help with specific trouble spots. For example, fish pose impacts the thyroid, helping to give your body a metabolism boost. Also, spinal twist, a lengthening child’s pose, and cobra pose can all help massage the abdomen, as well as target internal organs and aid with digestion. So, if you are targeting certain areas of your body, you can work with a yoga instructor to find poses that will help you to more directly address those parts of your body!
There are so many amazing benefits to yoga, including helping you on your weight loss/weight management journey – all the more reason to get to a class today!
Are you looking for a deeper connection between yoga and your overall health? Wanting to live a better life through yoga AND better nutrition? Try our Nutritional Cleanse Group beginning the end of June!
Ignite Yoga & Wellness Owner, Bobbi Billman