Can yoga help weight loss?

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What is yoga?

So what is yoga anyway?  Well, let’s begin with a brief history lesson.Can yoga help weight loss  Approximately 5,000 years ago, the Vedas (the age-old religious context from India) had an Indo-European language known as Sanskrit.  Within this language, the practice of yoga was explained in terms of its technique and unique qualities.  Furthermore, the qualities offered the participant a sense of grounding and clarity.  As for the actual word, yoga, its can be defined as a “banding together,” and/or a way to have self-control.

Effects of yoga on the mind and body

Typically, yoga is not about getting “ripped,” or shedding pounds like can yoga help weight lossrunning, swimming, or extensive cardio exercise.  Instead, it’s more about bringing you back to the very core of your existence.  In other words, it’s about becoming more aware of your capabilities at that time and point, as well as training the mind and body to synchronize with one another.  In addition, the health benefits extend to developing a calmer mind and spirit.

Yoga and your response to eating

Not to mention, yoga fosters a thought process of being more conscious of can yoga help weight losswhat you are eating and why you are eating it.  In addition, practicing yoga on a regular basis, changes how you react to stress and thus, reduces the likelihood of stress or binge eating.  As live science.com puts it, “this self-awareness can cause a shift in the way you think about how you treat your body in other ways, such as only eating when you are hungry or choosing to stop when you are satisfied (not stuffed).”

Calorie intake and calorie dissipation

In terms of weight loss, pounds will drop off if you are taking in fewer calories than you are burning off throughout the day.  According to mayoclinic.com, “3,500 calories equals about 1 pound of fat.  Furthermore, if you strictly followed diet without incorporating exercise, “cutting 500 calories from your typical diet every day would cause you to lose 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).”

Vinyasa Flow Yoga

However, considering the most common types of yoga:  Ashtanga, can yoga help weight lossBikram, Hatha, and Vinyasa Flow, one hour of practicing Vinyasa Flow yoga for a 150lb person will burn approximately 594 calories.  Now we may be on to something…

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Breathing while posturing

First off, the word, “vinyasa” originates from the Sanskrit phrase, nyasa,can yoga help weight loss meaning ‘to place’ and prefixing with vi meaning ‘in a special way.’  With that being said, Vinyasa yoga compels the participant to perform a progression of postures (asanas) while maintaining controlled breathing (inhalation followed by exhalation).  Lastly, this type of yoga is a great cardio exercise since it will keep your heart elevated almost the entire time (the only ‘rest time’ will be in the downward dog position).  Therefore, the harder your heart has to work, the more fat you will burn.

Fat-Burning Zone

Consider the following calculation to determine your personal fat-burning zone which will give you max fat-calorie burn. First, subtract your age from 220 to compute your max heart rate.  Next,  multiply your max heart rate number by 60% – 70%.  The final number you get is your fat-burning range for optimal fat-calorie burn.  For example, my fat-burning range would be a heart rate of 105.6 – 123.2.  Ultimately, if you exceed your fat-burning range when exercising,  you will only burn off your most recent carbohydrate and sugar accumulations.  However, if you maintain a heart rate in your fat-burning range for a longer duration (as in Vinyasa yoga), your body will go after your deep-rooted fat storage. (myfitnesspal.com)

Weight gain with age

Have you ever heard that people typically gain about 10 pounds for every decade after 40?  Unfortunately, our metabolism slows down as we get older and results in weight gain.  Statistically stated by live strong.com, “between the ages of 45 and 55, most people gain about a pound a year, but fortunately, a study funded by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that people who were doing yoga at the age of 45 and who were of normal body weight gained an average of 3 pounds less in the subsequent 10 years than people who didn’t do yoga.” In other words, yoga can give you a handle on potential weight gain rather than leaving you stuck with the inevitable.

So there you have the scoop on whether yoga can help weight loss.  Not only will yoga help your mind and spirit, but it will also help your physical well-being. In addition, it will help tone your muscles and stave off those dreaded pounds that creep on with age.  Give yoga a try and maybe it will lead to living a healthier, happier life!  With that being said, here’s to living your best life ever!  Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on the topic of yoga and weight loss.

 

References

Booe, M. (2018). Calories Burned During Yoga. [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: https://www.livestrong.com/article/115621-calories-burned-during-yoga/ [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

Cox, L. (2011). 5 Experts Answer: Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/35962-yoga-weight-loss.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

 Fitness, W. (2014). How to Target Your Heart Rate & Get Into the Fat-Burning Zone | MyFitnessPal. [online] Myfitnesspal. Available at: http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/how-target-your-heart-rate-get-into-the-fat-burning-zone/ [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

Mayo Clinic. (2015). Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/calories/art-20048065 [Accessed 22 Feb. 2018].

 

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