Is yoga good for weight loss? Does it help to burn fat, eliminate cellulite and stretch marks or tone the body? What are the yoga postures most likely to make you slim?
However, all in all, it turns out that doing yoga is a way to slim down your figure. And after all, why deprive yourself? Here are some tips and tricks to understand what are the physical benefits of yoga, the best styles of yoga, and the most effective postures to lose weight?
Understanding the benefits of yoga on the body
Yoga has many physical and moral benefits. Let’s focus on the former. During your yoga classes, you will work on your strength You can think of all the strength postures as muscle strengthening exercises.
Yoga classes also allow you to work on your flexibility, even if you are initially a stiff-legged or back person. Mechanically, the more you stretch, the thinner your muscles will become. You may not necessarily lose weight, but you’ll be more slender because your muscles won’t bulge.
Other known benefits of yoga include slowing down the aging process, reducing stress, and reducing the risk of injury.
Choosing your yoga class
Some types of yoga are more suitable for weight loss. This is the difference between dynamic yoga (such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga) and more gentle yoga. By favoring an energetic type of yoga in which you do a series of postures (asanas), you will burn more calories and slim down.
However, in gentle yoga classes such as Yin yoga, the postures are held for several breaths which allows you to work and strengthen the muscles in depth. The gentle practice is often based on breathing, but also on working on flexibility. Doing exercises and positions to become flexible is a way to lengthen your muscles and look slimmer.
If your physical condition allows it, you can also turn to Bikram yoga. The particularity of these yoga sessions is that they are practiced in a room heated to 40°. The sequence of postures in a humid climate is a good way to eliminate toxins, burn calories and expend a lot of water. To go further, it will effectively heat the muscles, make them more supple, and thus refine the silhouette.
Encourage certain postures to lose weight with yoga
To lose weight with yoga, you can encourage certain postures. If you practice yoga at home, you are free to choose the postures you want to do. Of course, it is not the simple realization of these postures that will make you lose weight. You can lose weight with yoga if you practice it regularly. However, I’m going to give you a non-exhaustive list of asanas that promote weight loss and that you can add to your yoga routines:
- The cobra: strengthens the abdominal belt, muscles the deep abdominals, and helps to have a flat stomach.
- Bow pose strengthens the abdominal muscles.
- The boat: once again, this posture is ideal to develop the abdominal muscles, but also to strengthen and refine the back and legs.
- Plank: One of the most complete asanas because it engages the muscles of the entire body, including the glutes. It’s a good way to get into a core position.
- Eagle pose: intensely strengthens the thighs and buttocks.
- The warriors 1, 2, and 3: these three postures are complete and therefore work the whole silhouette.
Change your diet and lose weight with yoga
There is no secret or miracle against weight gain. If you want to slim down or burn fat, you have to practice physical activity or do sports regularly. To lose weight with yoga, it’s the same principle, but it doesn’t stop here. You have to take care of your diet and eat healthy to see results and to make your efforts count.
In my opinion, it is not necessary to go see a nutritionist because we already know most of the solutions to lose weight (drastic diets are not one of them in my opinion). However, here is a list of foods to avoid as much as possible, if not to eliminate from your diet:
- unnatural sugar and other sweet foods (white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, pastries, industrial jams, milk chocolate, cookies, etc.) ;
- ready-made meals, because cooking is the best way to control the food you eat;
- dairy products, because they are often fatty (yogurts and cheeses)
- products containing gluten (to be avoided as much as possible, because gluten is the cause of many swellings);
- fast food (eaten regularly), etc.
Instead, favor healthy and natural foods such as:
- agave sugar ;
- vegetables (raw, they retain more of their nutrients);
- fruits (some fruits such as bananas have more calories than apples for example)
- seeds such as almonds, which are a source of protein, etc.
I can only advise you to avoid rich foods and to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet.
This diet has been used by yogis since the advent of yoga. Of course, you are free to make your own choices and test them yourself.
Note: if you want to lose weight, it seems that intermittent fasting (i.e. eating only over 8 hours) is very effective. You are allowing your stomach to rest. If this seems complicated, you can already consume smoothies at breakfast for example. You will “chew up” your stomach by mixing the fruit because it will not have to get tired when transforming the hard food into liquid.
Accept yourself as you are and learn to love your body
Before thinking about losing weight through yoga, ask yourself the following questions: Do you want to lose weight? What are your reasons for wanting to lose weight? Are you comfortable in your body? Do you like your body? Do you think you are beautiful as you are?
You don’t have to change yourself, weigh yourself every morning, have a body goal, calculate your BMI or lose weight. If you are interested in the meaning of the word “yoga”, it means above all the union of body, mind, and soul. Through yoga, meditation and relaxation, you will be able to see your body and the way you look at yourself differently. Losing weight through yoga is possible, but it is not the main goal.
You can choose to fight against the diktats of a fatphobic society that defines a beautiful person by his thinness and his athletic build. More than losing weight, yoga can teach you to accept yourself as you are, to accept your body, your curves, and your shapes.
From experience, I know that it is complicated to be “body positive”. If you can, love your body and respect it. You may want to lose weight, but your body won’t let you, so listen to it. That doesn’t make you ugly or less desirable. You’re just human. If you feel good about your body, if you don’t care that you don’t fit into a size 6, then fine. If you don’t have any health concerns because of your weight, or if you have some and you live very well with it, great. It’s your choice, you are the master of your body and nobody has a say in it.
Yoga is a non-violent discipline for the body that can help you get slim, tone your body, lose weight gradually, sculpt yourself or simply keep your figure. However, if you are overweight, I can only advise you to add another physical activity that works the cardio, like swimming for example. You will also notice that for some people, stress, anxiety, and anguish are factors in weight gain. If this is your case, don’t just focus on doing postures, but take advantage of all the benefits that yoga has to offer: finding balance and calm through meditation, relaxation, and breathing exercises.
- Also Read: why am I not losing weight?