YOGA FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
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One of the most common questions I am asked from new students is “will this help me lose weight?”
**I am a yoga teacher, I am not a doctor or health care professional of any standard **
Yoga is a form of exercise, but just like running, biking, pilates, weight lifting, etc., yoga must be paired with healthy eating and a constant practice. I do believe that yoga is an effective form of exercise by using natural body weight and working all the muscles of the body. However, if yoga is not part of an entirely healthy lifestyle, then I do not believe that you will lose weight practicing yoga.
What are the benefits of yoga, if not for weight loss?
1. TONED MUSCLES
Have you ever gone to a seemingly “easy” yoga class and been sore for days after? Yoga helps to tone the muscles in the body. Chaturanga is great for toning the muscles of the triceps, downward dog is great for toning the muscles of the shoulders and warrior two is great for toning the muscles of the legs.
As muscle weighs more than fat (heathline.com), this may also be why you may not see the numbers on the scale go down, but your body will change shape over time.
2. CORE STRENGTH TO LESSEN BACK PAIN
Yoga is amazing for building core strength. Having a strong core is a great way to prevent and help treat back pain (spinehealth.com).
I find that a fiery flow class is more than enough to work my core, but there are also yoga/core fusion classes if you are looking for a more intense core workout.
3. LOW IMPACT LOW-BODY WORKOUT
In my opinion, yoga is one of the best full-body workouts. It requires no high impact movements and practitioners are able to rest and modify as they need.
There are so many different styles of yoga and unlimited styles amongst teachers you are bound to find the style and teacher that is best for what you are looking for. My suggestion is to try as many different styles and teachers you can until you find one or more teachers and studios that you love going to.
If you are looking for a regular workout, yoga can be highly beneficial, but I don’t necessarily think it’s “better” than anything else out there. If you enjoy yoga, practice yoga, if you enjoy running, go running. I believe that you should do the things you enjoy and you will reap the benefits.
What is your favourite way to sweat? Let us know in the comments!
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