Benefits of Yoga for Weight Loss
Read time: 3 minutes
- We suggest our patients consider yoga as a weight loss tool.
- Yoga is a physical activity, but the intensity of the exercise depends on the style.
- Yoga is also a powerful tool for stress management.
- Yoga styles including power yoga, yin yoga and restorative yoga provide varying levels of calorie burning potential.
We often find that people are surprised to learn that yoga can be a powerful tool for weight loss, but that really is the case. The physical aspects help to burn calories, while the mental aspects can help to address the problems that cause people to gain weight in the first place. Few other techniques combine that mixture of benefits, so we encourage most people to consider yoga as a step on their weight loss journey.
Trade Fat for Muscle
Yoga is a physical activity, but the intensity of the exercise depends on the style. Most forms are fairly mild. They burn calories, improve flexibility, and build muscle, but they aren’t quite as intense as other exercises. On the other hand, some types of yoga offer a much more intense workout.
The intense styles will burn more calories than the others, which helps to eliminate more fat. On the other hand, calories are only part of the story. People who practice yoga tend to sleep better than those who do not. That is important because sleeping too little makes it easier to gain weight and harder to take it off. Fixing that problem makes it much easier to lose weight.
Exercise the Mind
The human brain really is one of our most powerful organs. We often underestimate the impact that it has on our basic body systems. A little bit of mental exercise can be just as important as physical exercise when it comes to weight loss.
One of the main goals of yoga is to develop mindfulness, which is the ability to consciously pay attention to our feelings and actions as they happen. That may sound simple, but humans are creatures of habit. We often eat without thinking about it or to deal with stress, which makes it all too easy to gain weight. Mindfulness allows us to recognize those instincts and make better choices.
Yoga is also a powerful tool for stress management. People who are stressed tend to eat more and gain weight, so anything that cuts down on stress will make it easier to shed excess pounds.
Try Different Styles
We believe that yoga is useful because it provides a wide variety of benefits all at once. It mixes physical exercise with mental improvement and stress relief, all of which can help with weight loss. That having been said, there are several different styles out there that emphasize different aspects.
- Power yoga is a vigorous style that provides plenty of exercise.
- Yin yoga is much more relaxed. It’s a good choice for beginners and people that need stress relief.
- Restorative yoga focuses on relaxation and mental health.
We advise patients to find the style that works for them. Remember, the most effective style is the one that you practice regularly, so be sure to find one that you enjoy.
The first steps are always the hardest, but we can guide you on your weight loss journey. Get in touch with Dr. Borland’s office today or explore our other resources on weight loss surgery if you’re ready to start the process. We can help make sure that you start off on the right foot and make progress toward your goals.