Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yes, Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight

As I've previously posted, as part of my weight loss journey, I increased the number of times a week I practiced yoga. I had been practicing once or twice a week, but I've gradually increased it to four times a week (and I'm trying to add a fifth day).

People don't believe that practicing yoga helps to lose weight, but as the author of this article wrote: http://www.yogajournal.com/health/1694, "Studies show that a complete yoga program—asana, breathing techniques, and meditation—can peel off the pounds."

I practice Ashtanga yoga which is one of the more vigorous styles, but as the article says, even a gentler style can help you lose weight.

What's important is not so much the intensity of the yoga, but that you do it regularly. Exercise is only effective in losing weight if you do it.

So while running or biking may burn more calories per hour, if you hate running or biking and don't do it, it doesn't do you any good.

But if you love practicing yoga and will commit to it two or three times a week, then over time you will lose more weight.

And, besides burning calories, I think yoga is an excellent strength and toning work-out. This is particularly the practices that challenge you to hold positions longer and encourage you to try inverted balances such as handstands (it takes a lot of strength to hold yourself upside down on your arms).

Muscle, burns more calories than fat, so as you tone up, your overall metabolism increases.


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  2. Unlike the slightly dodgy Alvin above, I completely agree it is a myth Yoga is just humming. I do astanga, dharma mittra & bikram yoga. now, I can tell you, I build up more strength, stamina and a sweat in those classes than any other I do! Plus how I face challenges such as handstand on the mat is a great lesson for dealing with challenges in daily life!

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