Burn Off Fat with Yoga!

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Practicing yoga is well-known for its benefits on the mind and body. But can it help you lose weight? Practicing yoga allows you to support your mental, physical, and spiritual development, all of which allow you to become the best (and healthiest) version of yourself.

Yoga can also be used as a great tool in your path to lose weight. But what types of yoga allow you to lose weight? We will be taking a look at that in this article. Additionally, yoga helps you destress and relax, reducing your levels of cortisol, which are the hormones responsible for the fat band around your abdomen.

Many studies have shown that yoga can work in many different ways to help you lose weight. Keep reading to find out about yoga for weight loss and how you can turn yoga into a calorie-burning practice which improves your health and relieves your stress at the same time. Also, be sure to check out the Yoga Burn website for more information.

How Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Yoga practice helps you develop awareness about your own body and mind. This is aiding you in realizing how specific foods affect your emotions, body, and mood. Studies suggest that this increased level of awareness helps people manage their eating habits. One such example is that if you are more aware of yourself, you can notice easier when you are full or be able to resist unhealthy foods and their negative effects on the health and well-being of your body.

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Therefore, while mindfulness is not directly correlated with weight loss, there is evidence suggesting that it can help you control your eating patterns. In addition to this, yoga should not be practiced after heavy meals; therefore, you might be able to make healthier food choices after your yoga session. Another skill you will pick up by doing yoga is composure. This will also help you chew slower and have smaller bites, resulting in less calorie consumption.

Another benefit of yoga, especially when done at the end of the day, before going to sleep, is that it enhances the quality of sleep. After yoga training, you will find that your sleep is deeper, and you will feel well-rested the next morning. Many studies confirmed that people who have appropriate sleeping patterns lose weight easier than people who sleep less.

Yoga is not a physically intensive practice, however, it can either be used before and after a workout or one might choose more active yoga types, such as power yoga and ashtanga. These yoga styles require you to be almost constantly in movement, speeding up the calorie-burning process. In addition to this, yoga practices help you tone your muscles.

Top Benefits of Doing Yoga

  • Aids in healthy weight loss
  • It improves your posture, strength, and flexibility
  • Increases your all-round fitness
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Helps you breathe deeper and better
  • Increases your energy levels
  • Improves your mood, making you happier
  • Helps you become more mindful
  • Improves your concentration, allowing you to think more clearly
  • Improves heart health, helping you live longer

How Should I Practice Yoga to Lose Weight?

It is important that you repeat your yoga session as many times as possible if you want to lose weight. For instance, you could choose intense yoga styles and repeat them 3-5 times a week for around one hour. It is also a great idea to follow more relaxing yoga types during the other days, such as restorative yoga and Hatha.

If you are a beginner or you have limited mobility and flexibility, you can start gradually. It is important to listen to your body in order to avoid pain and injuries.

Top Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

The Cobra Pose

Stand up straight on your yoga mat and bring your arms above your head. From this position, bend forward and exhale. From this bent position, push your feet backwards so that you end up in the ‘plank’ position, where you are on your toes and hands. Remain in this position for at least 15 seconds. Place your knees down on your mat and slowly lower your core.

Straighten your legs, place your feet on the mat. Keep your abdomen so that it does not touch the mat by placing your hands down on the floor and pushing. Bring your body back in the position standing with your hands and toes on the mat. Keep this pose for minimum of 15 seconds.  Jump back into the first standing position, inhale while you lift your arms above your head. Exhale and bring your arms down.

The Boat Pose

From a sitting position on the mat, with legs stretched, slowly raise your knees and put up your ankles, so that your feet and shins are parallel to the mat. Ideally, you can try to straighten your legs in the air as much as possible. Keep this pose for 25-30 seconds and repeat 5-6 times.

The Plank Pose

The plank pose and its variations are a great aid in weight loss. You can include them in your workout schedule for at least 20 to 30 minutes. The classic plank pose requires you to place your body on the mat facing down. Make sure you straighten your legs and using your hands on the floor for support, stay on your toes. It is important that you keep your back straight the entire process. Maintain the pose for a minimum of one minute.

Warrior Pose

A great way to work out your thighs is the warrior pose. Stand up on your mat, spread your arms parallel to the floor. Bend your right knee so that you have a 90-degree angle. Try to maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds, however the longer it is, the more it will help your weight loss cause and tone your muscles. Make sure you switch sides so you can work out both thighs.

The Triangle Pose

If you want to burn the fat on your abs, try the next pose. Standing up, spread your legs almost as wide as your yoga mat. Now spread your arms so they are parallel to the floor. Touch with your right hand your right foot, while keeping your other arm straight (if done properly, your other arm will be perpendicular to the floor). This position enhances digestion, while the twist helps you to work your abdomen.

Downward Facing Dog

Are you looking for a pose which engages most of your muscles? Try the next one and discover the way of working your thighs, arms, and back at the same time. From a standing position, bend forward with hands stretched until you touch the floor. Use the entire palm to support your body weight and press equally with both hands. With your fingers spread wide, make sure that both palms are straight (middle finger points forward). In this pose, focus on your arm muscles; imagine you are pushing the mat away.

It might be difficult for beginners; however, it helps you build strength and it is a great pose for a calorie-burning workout. In order to avoid unnecessary pressures on your joints, make sure your elbows are parallel to each other. Another important aspect you should focus on is your back. Your priority should be straightening the spine, although it would be great if you could touch the mat with your heels.

However, with practice, you might be able to lengthen your hamstrings, which in time will allow you to fully touch the mat with your feet. Nonetheless, it is crucial that your spine is a long straight line.

The Bridge Pose

Another great pose for weight loss might be extremely popular already: the bridge. Lie down with your back on the mat. From this position, flex your knees and place your feet downwards on the floor. The feet need to be parallel to each other and the distance between them should be equal to the distance between your hips, so that your body weight will be equally supported by your feet.

Slowly pull back your feet until you can touch them with the tips of your fingers. From this position, inhale and push your hips up and start pulling your shoulders underneath. For more advanced training, you can further develop this pose by trying to move your chest towards your chin. Do not move your head towards your core! You should maintain this pose for at least 30 seconds.

This pose is great for the upper body, but also helping you straighten your back and hamstrings. Make sure you follow all instructions correctly and be cautious if you have any injuries around your back, neck or knees.

The Chair Yoga Pose

For more leg training and thigh and shin toning, try the chair yoga pose. Stand up with your feet apart (equal to the distance of your hips) and parallel to each other. Spread your toes and push into the floor. Inhale and bring your arms above your head, with palms in a praying (but not touching) position.

While exhaling, flex your knees as if you just sat down on a chair. Maintaining the distance between your legs, lower your thighs so that they are as close to a parallel with the floor as possible. Make sure your back is straight; keep the post for minimum 30 seconds and repeat as necessary.

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Don’t worry, you don’t have to look like this to do yoga!

The Bow Pose

If you are looking for further fat burning poses for the abdomen, try by laying down on your abdomen, arms along your body and hands up, legs straightened behind your body and your face down on the mat. Bring your feet up towards your back by bending your knees. Grab your ankles with your hands and make sure you gently bend your feet in order to avoid putting too much pressure on your knees.

Your legs might tend to go apart in this stage, remember to keep them around hip-distance apart, not more. Put your feet as high you can, using your core and your thighs. Pull back your shoulders so that they are further back than your ears. Protect your neck by keeping your head straight and looking ahead of you. In order to exit the pose after a minimum of 30 seconds, let go of your legs gently during an exhale.

The Sun Salutation Pose

Lastly, the sun salutation yoga pose helps you stretch and tone most of your body in a few simple steps. Start by lying down on your mat on your abdomen. Keep your legs stretched behind you. Raise your upper body by placing both your hands down on the mat and spread your fingers. In this position, pull back your head and shoulders.

Keep this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat as necessary. Sun salutations help you warm up your muscles and enhances blood circulation. It is a great way to lose belly fat, work out your arms and improve your digestion.

Final Thoughts

The above poses and tips are merely an introduction into the life-long benefits of practicing yoga. It is also important to remember that, while yoga might help you tone your body and burn calories, it is crucial to have a balanced lifestyle and healthy diet.

Yoga can enhance the weight loss process and help you acquire mindfulness, discipline and relax your body. Apart from the magical effects on mood and mind, yoga will lower your anxiety and it might help you make better choices with regards to food choices and lifestyle.

Weight loss starts as a promise to yourself that you will make better choices concerning your mind and body. Yoga can successfully be used to lose weight if it is practiced consistently.

Create your own goals and come up with small changes to be able to follow them. As you exercise your mindfulness and composure, you will slowly find that you are more relaxed, you can understand your body better, which may help you become more attracted to a healthy diet.

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Anna Rodgers & Victor Carr

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