7 Ways Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight
Erin Schumacher, Guest
When you think of yoga do you think of sitting cross-legged in a yoga studio chanting ‘om’ for 60 minutes? When I think of yoga, I think of sweating, intensity, breathing heavy, a toned-body and weight-loss!
There are many types of yoga and the style of yoga that I teach – POWER YOGA – in addition to other styles of yoga like Anusara, Vinyasa and Bikram (to name a few) can actually be quite a workout and get you in shape or help you mix-up your workout if you’ve reached a plateau.
In a Power Yoga Class, every class is a workout. A test of endurance for both the body and mind. Sweating is guaranteed; water is a necessity; and becoming stronger and leaner are natural results.
However, you don’t have to be a power yogi in order to achieve the benefits of yoga. And most specifically the weight-loss benefits of yoga. That’s right, yoga can help you to trim your waist line for a variety of reasons in a variety of different styled yoga classes.
One: Natural Strength Building
You work your muscles in many postures (especially in the balancing poses) which helps create better metabolism with overall muscular strength.
Two: Increase The Heart Rate And Activate Internal Body Heat
When you pick up the pace and move breath to movement (especially in the sun salutation series), the cardio system is pumped up without straining the heart and without beating up the knees and ankles.
Three: Stimulates The GI (gastrointestinal) Tract’s Vital Force
A GI tract that is weak leads to poor digestion and weight gain. A sluggish liver will be an obstacle for your metabolism. On the other hand, a strong liver helps you to digest foods better, leading to less wait time in the GI tract. All types of back-bending postures in yoga exercise the entire abdominal area in addition to flexing the spinal cord to create more overall flexibility and proper alignment.
Four: Flexing The Colon Will Help Unclog Waste
This can be achieved with “Bandhas.” Bandhas are inner ‘locks’ that hold energy within certain areas of the body in addition to harmonizing one’s vital energy. Bandhas also help tone abs too.
Five: Alleviating “Comfort Food” Binging
Savasana is how most, if not all, yoga classes end. It looks easy but it’s a challenging posture of rest where you learn to relax every muscle in your body, aligning your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When done correctly, it opens up energy channels in the body to cure ailments and relieve the tension that invites “comfort food” binging.
Six: Activates The Thyroid Gland
Certain postures, like shoulder stand, activate the thyroid gland, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight because it regulates the metabolism.
Twisting postures help to remove unwanted toxins from the body. Toxins and pesticides are held onto in fatty tissues to help dilute their toxicity. By removing those toxins from the body, the body no longer has a need for the fat cells that were previously used as a buffer.
If you haven’t yet tried yoga, I encourage you to look-up classes in your area, surf the web for videos or even sign up for virtual yoga classes! Yoga truly is a fantastic way to help your body and mind relax and unite and is part of a holistic healthy lifestyle.
About the Author
Erin Schumacher is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Erin is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com. Her newest e-book 40 Days of Juicing if available for download, or you can purchase a hardcopy and softcopy version.
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