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Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Yoga has been widely accepted for decades as a mind-body therapy with many health benefits. Yet it remains doubtful whether it can aid weight loss even though yoga tips for weight loss are commonly available online. So does yoga help you lose weight?
One of the main reasons for the skepticism is because many of us believed that to lose weight, there must be vigorous activity involved. If you look at this mind-body therapy from this angle, the answer to the question, does yoga help you lose weight is obvious. Yet Geri Halliwell and Madonna attributed their sexy body to yoga. So does yoga help you lose weight or not?
In fact, practicing yoga helps you lose weight. It deals with weight loss in a holistic way by working on the mental and physical aspects of weight gain. In comparison, most weight loss solutions focus mainly on diets and exercises only.
But how does yoga help you lose weight? By practicing the right yoga style and poses, you will start to burn body fat. You will also see an improvement in your fitness level as well. If you are keen to tone specific area of your body, you can do that with specific poses too as you are about to discover shortly.
The other advantages of doing yoga regularly are that it improves self-awareness and discipline. This allows you to be aware of the habitual behaviors that bring about weight gain so that you can replace them with healthy ones. With a discipline mind, you are not likely to give in to the temptation of junk food or overeat. Instead, you will focus on healthy living with the right diets and exercises.
So which yoga style is good for weight loss? Vinyasa Yoga (Flow Yoga) is the best. This yoga style involves synchronizing movements with breaths. And within flow yoga, Ashtanga is the most effective yoga style for weight loss. It is physically demanding and within weeks, you can expect to lose fat, develop muscles and improve your fitness.
Since you are keen to know does yoga help you lose weight, you will want to know the beneficial poses for getting rid of the extra pounds. Regardless of doing yoga at home or in the studio, here are 3 of the best yoga poses for weight loss.
Sun Salutation
This is one of the best yoga workouts for weight loss and a common pose among different styles. Most yoga sessions begin with sun salutation as it warms you up, increases flexibility and prepares you for the subsequent poses. Just doing sun salutation uses up a lot of calories, warms the body and burns fat.
Each cycle of sun salutation comprises of 24 poses with the length of each inhalation or exhalation dictating the transition time between the poses. For beginner, it is wise to do a few minutes of breathing exercises before practicing sun salutation as this can improve the coordination between breaths and movements.
As you can easily find a lot of information on this pose online, I'll only provide the steps briefly to give you an idea.
Stand in mountain pose on the mat. On the next inhalation, raise both arms overhead till they are by the side of the ears. Exhale and bend forward with head to the knees. Next, you will transit into the lung pose, plank pose, and finally the stick pose. Move into the upward dog pose, and then the downward dog before changing to the lunge pose again. At the next exhalation, bring your head to the knees again. Inhale and extend your arms over your head till they are by the side of the ears. Finally, move back to the mountain pose. Repeat the steps with the other leg to complete 1 cycle of sun salutation.
Bow Pose
How does yoga help you lose weight with a static pose like this one? Don't be misled into thinking that a pose without vigorous movement is useless for our purpose. You will discover that as you lie on your stomach and arc backward holding your ankles with your hands, you body starts to generate a lot of heat and burn body fat in the process.
Use a mat and lie on your stomach. As you exhale, bend your knees, reach back with your hands and hold your ankles. With every inhalation, lifts the heels away from the buttocks a little more. Your upper torso and head should lift off the mat.
Pull your shoulders away from your ears, graze forward and stay in the pose for about 30 seconds before releasing your pose on an exhalation. Repeat this exercise 2 more times.
Forward Bend
This pose loosens the spine, helps to regulate the kidneys and stretches the hamstrings. But more importantly, it helps you lose weight and ease pain and stress at the same time.
Similar to the bow pose, how does yoga help you lose weight practicing a pose which barely uses up calories? Other than improving your awareness, concentration and discipline, forward bending tightened the stomach and burn fat with each exhalation. You will find this exercise particularly useful for getting rid of belly fat.
Sit on a mat and straighten your legs. Bend at your waist with both hands reaching for your feet. With each exhalation, ease a little deeper into the pose.
Does yoga help you lose weight? It sure does. However, you should follow a diet and workouts for weight loss plan with yoga as a component. This can help you achieve your desired weight loss goal faster. You may want to adopt a cross training approach to add variety to the plan. That way, you are also more likely to stick to it.
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Jeslyn is a health enthusiast and fat loss solutions researcher with a burning passion for helping overweight individuals.
Her life long mission is to help others get fit, gain health, achieve sustained fat loss, and free themselves from a life time of dieting through smart fat loss decisions.

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