We are living in a world of high stress, overburdened with work, but with reduced physical activity. While our minds are occupied at all times, we hardly get any time to work our bodies. This has resulted in an increase in lifestyle-related illnesses across the world. Sitting through the day on the computer not only stresses our mental peace but also impacts our physical health.
Of all the lifestyle illnesses that the world is dealing with, weight gain and associated diseases are the most common of them all. An unhealthy diet, late-night snacking, consuming processed food that is high in sugar content, pre-cooked or pre-prepared meals etc have made weight gain a global epidemic. The sheer amount of people suffering from this physical illness globally is scary, to say the least.
While we all try to include some or the other form of exercise in our daily routines, hitting the gym, going for a walk or a jog or following any other form of physical activity might not always lend you the right results, or just provide limited relief. However, yoga is one practice that provides a holistic improvement to your body, making weight loss through yoga really effective.
The art and science of yoga have been shown to be a highly effective tool for weight loss and management, especially for individuals struggling with obesity. Not just that, it enhances your mental peace, releases stress and amounts to better mental and physical harmony.
Here are some key points to consider when incorporating yoga for weight loss, even for beginners:
Increases physical activity: Yoga is a form of physical activity that can help increase metabolism and burn calories. Certain yoga postures, such as sun salutations, warrior poses, and downward-facing-dog can help build muscle strength and increase flexibility, further boosting metabolism and aiding in weight loss. When your muscles and the core are activated, they become more agile in fighting illnesses and build body strength, making you less susceptible to diseases. You will also feel more agile and fresh at all times, improving your mental energy and enhancing the feel-good factor.
Promotes mindfulness and stress reduction: In addition to its physical benefits, yoga has a strong emphasis on mindfulness and stress reduction. Regular yoga practice can help individuals become more aware of their eating habits and prevent overeating, which is often a result of emotional eating and stress. One of the main philosophies of yoga is creating a harmonious state between the body and mind. This is achieved through deep breathing, activating and massaging the right areas in our bodies, meditative poses and a lot more. Keeping stress at bay is one of the best remedies for weight loss. A relaxed and peaceful body processes bodily functions better, making it fitter.
Supports good sleep habits: Quality sleep is important for maintaining a healthy weight, and studies have shown that regular yoga practice can improve sleep quality. Yoga helps to reduce stress and calm the mind, making it easier to fall and stay asleep. Yoga helps in better sleep in many other ways. It increases mindfulness, which releases melatonin, a hormone that reduces sleep disturbances. Yoga regulates breathing, helping the body with more oxygen and attaining a relaxed state. Regular exercise is always a precursor to good sleep.
While yoga helps people of all age groups sleep better, it is especially helpful to adult women and elderly people. Women, after a certain age, find it difficult to get good quality sleep (many studies support this claim) and so do elderly people. However, practicing yoga can result in better relaxation of the mind and the body, making it easier to attain sound sleep. Remember, quality of sleep is more important than quantity.
Enhances body positivity: The practice of yoga can also help individuals develop a positive relationship with their bodies. This is important for people who have struggled with weight loss or body image issues in the past, as it can help establish a healthier relationship with food and exercise, further aiding in weight loss efforts. However, one of the most important things that yoga does to practitioners is make them aware of how their bodies feel rather than how they look. Yoga also encourages mindfulness, which concentrates on being non-judgemental and accepting people as they are. Self-compassion, spiritual awakening, and a harmonious existence all encourage positive body image. It is important for yoga teachers to inculcate these feelings in their students. They should turn their focus to look beyond how the body looks and concentrate on the positive impact yoga has on the health of the body and mind. This will create a culture of respecting every individual for who they are rather than emphasizing how they should be.
Starting with a gentle yoga routine is recommended for beginners. A simple routine, such as Sun-Salutation, can help individuals build strength, flexibility, and body awareness, making it a suitable set of yoga poses for beginners for weight loss.
Here are 5 simple yoga poses for weight loss that can help:
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar): This helps to burn calories and build muscle strength.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): This pose helps to tone the legs and build core strength and aid in weight loss.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): This pose helps to stretch and tone the hips, legs, and torso, which boosts metabolism.
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This pose promotes the overall fitness of the body and helps to manage stress.
Boat Pose (Navasana): This pose helps to tone the abs and build core strength and reduce stress.
One yoga breathing technique that can help balance hormones for weight loss is Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama). This breathing practice helps to reduce stress, improve focus, and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. By reducing stress, this breathing technique can help regulate hormones such as cortisol that are linked to weight gain.
Apart from adding a yoga routine for weight loss, Yoga breathing techniques that aid weight loss can be highly effective if you can perform bhastrika, kapalbharti, bhramari, anulom vilom, Surya Namaskar, etc. with the right focus and consistency. These techniques increase body awareness and increase metabolism, resulting in faster fat burn. Some of these techniques also regulate hormones, aid digestion, ease constipation, promote relaxation etc. for better overall health.
It’s important to remember that yoga exercises for weight loss are just one aspect of a weight loss plan. Incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise into your routine is also essential for achieving long-term weight loss success. Without self-restraint and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, any form of exercise will not lend any results. Most people tend to get this basic prerequisite wrong. They feel that since they are working out, they can indulge themselves. But experts say that exercise is just 30% of achieving a healthy and fit body. The rest is a restrained healthy diet and lifestyle. So, keep this in mind.
Additionally, if you are looking to deepen your yoga practice and gain expertise in teaching, the Yoga New Vision 200 hrs Teacher Training in Bali may be the perfect opportunity for you.
This comprehensive training program provides an in-depth exploration of the art and science of yoga, with a specific focus on its role in overall well-being. Participants will learn about the various yoga postures and techniques that can increase physical activity, promote mindfulness and stress reduction, support good sleep habits, and enhance body positivity.
The training will take place in beautiful Bali, a tropical paradise that is renowned for its yoga culture and holistic lifestyle. Participants will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture, connect with like-minded individuals, and experience the transformative power of yoga in a supportive and nurturing environment.