If you're on a quest to drop a jeans size (or more), yoga can help you get there. I don't recommend it as your main form of exercise to lose weight — heart-pumping cardio such as running or biking will burn more calories per minute — but it's a great complement to any weight-loss program. Here's why:
Tones Muscle and Burn Calories
Strength training burns calories and builds muscle, and yoga is definitely a form of strength training that uses your own body weight as resistance. Yoga is a total-body toning workout that effectively strengthens your arms, lower body, and core. And since many classes are 90 minutes long, depending on how vigorous the style is, you'll burn between 250 and 550 calories a class!
Helps You Avoid Overeating
It's not recommended to eat less than two hours before a yoga class — having undigested food in your belly while doing pretzel-like poses is not the smartest idea. If you know you have a 5:30 vinyasa class to get to, you'll think twice about your 4 o'clock candy bar or muffin splurge.
It Makes You Thirsty
Depending on the type of yoga you do, holding poses in a heated room will have you sweating through your spandex. To replenish lost fluids, you end up drinking a lot of H20, which fills up your belly, helping you feel full and less likely to reach for unnecessary calories.
It Increases a Sense of Mindfulness
Yoga is all about becoming aware of your body, and it teaches you to love and respect yourself. This positive attitude may help inspire you to eat healthier and keep up with your exercise routine, which is the key to losing weight and keeping it off. The snug-fitting yoga outfits help too — you want to feel proud sporting your new Lululemon capris, so you opt for a bowl of cherries instead of a bowl of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream.
Note that in order to reap any weight-loss results from yoga, you must practice two to three times a week, with each session between 60 and 90 minutes long. Tell me, has yoga helped you lose weight?
Source: Flickr User lululemon athletica