When combined with diet and aerobic exercise, yoga can be a great aid in losing weight. While many argue that yoga is too tame an exercise to shed unwanted pounds studies have shown that yoga lowers stress hormone levels and can also increase insulin sensitivity, which signals the body to use food instead of storing it as fat. In addition there are many types of yoga, some of which are much more intense than traditional yoga.
Types of Yoga for Physical Fitness
Vinyasa yoga is a method that involves a focus on breath and flow, with participants moving in conjunction with their breath from one pose to another. The purpose of this method is to warm the body, allowing greater flexibility and movement. While this method is not overly aerobic the movement and holding of poses helps to strengthen muscles and can target nearly every part of the body. It is a proven fact that the more muscle a person has the more fat they will burn, so strengthening the body is a great step to serious weight loss.
Hot yoga is a series of challenging poses that are done in an extremely warm room, usually around 100 degrees. In addition to providing the same benefits as Vinyasa yoga hot yoga helps to promote cleansing the body of toxins and increasing blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. This helps to promote muscle growth.
Power yoga is an Americanized type of yoga that is aimed at creating a more physical workout using yoga. This type combines faster movements while keeping the tradition of breath as a focus of the workout. Power yoga workout can vary widely between instructors so finding a class that fits may take some time.
Benefits of Yoga that will help with Weight Loss
Yoga has many benefits that are not directly tied to weight loss, but that can nonetheless have a huge impact. For most people living in this fast-paced world balance is not even on the radar. Yoga however forces people to slow down and take deep breathes. This makes people much more aware of their bodies and of what their bodies need, helping with weight loss by making people more aware of what they are eating.
Another side benefit is that people who suffer from depression or fatigue often find that yoga can help lift their spirits. Depression and fatigue can also be sources of weight gain and doing yoga can help to eliminate that source. Yoga also helps to increase energy levels which can have a very positive impact on weight loss.
Yoga can be easily integrated into any fitness program because it can be done in smaller time increments and adapted to fit any fitness level. For those that are just beginning a yoga program starting with the easier Hatha yoga types is the best bet and taking a class where the instructor can help to correct postures is also a good choice.