Last Updated on May 18, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Yoga can be a spiritual and relaxing process for many. Although it’s widely seen as a way to stretch out the limbs and improve flexibility, there may also be science behind how it can help you lose weight as well. This doesn’t mean that tying yourself into a human pretzel will cause you to lose five pounds. However, the sheer practice of yoga itself can contribute to healthy practices to shed some of that extra weight.
How Yoga Helps You Lose Weight
While it may be unlikely that you’ll bulk up to superhuman levels by doing nothing but yoga, it can be beneficial for health in a few ways. In many cases, these positions are often used in exercise workouts because of the physical ramifications of the activity. Here is how it can help you lose weight.
In the grand scheme of things, muscles are created due to the constant flexing of the tissue. The more often you flex, the more defined they become. In yoga, you’re putting slight strain on various muscle groups. This constant flexing begins to tone those groups and make them stronger. Because these muscles are in a constant state of flexing, it also means that your body is converting more components to create energy. In a nut shell, constant flexing burns more calories than if you were to sit still and relaxed.
Enhanced Physical Activity
This point is somewhat related to flexing the muscles mentioned before. Practicing yoga can increase your physical activity, especially if you master the poses that require standing. You body will be adjusting to the postures forcing it to use muscles you probably forgot you had. Standing also increases your heart rate and burns more calories than if you were sitting. This is also the reason why many office professionals use standing desks. Depending on the activity, it could increase your capacity for fat burn by as much as 25%.
Relaxing the Mind
Your mind can play a prominent role in your weight, especially if you’re under a great deal of stress. The stress hormone cortisol has been linked to developing deep-tissue fat in the midsection of the body. Yoga can help ease the tension of everyday life. This means there is potential to see the abdomen decreasing just by keeping your head balanced. Coincidentally, this is why a lot of people meditate on a regular basis.
Making Life Easier Through Yoga
Personally, I’ve found many things in life to benefit from the various postures I do for yoga. For example, any position that utilizes the lower back has done wonders for me on the golf course. It’s no longer a straining to keep putting golf balls on the tee when hitting a bucket on the driving range. Virtually anything that benefits the tone of muscles will impact the different activities within your lifestyle. Another example is riding a skateboard. By keeping the body limber and flexible, you reduce the risk of injury when falling.
What this all boils down to is that any activity that increases the heart rate and flexes the muscles is beneficial for weight loss, including yoga. By committing to a regular routine for fitness, you’ll improve many aspects of your life and flourish in nearly anything you put your mind to. Just keep in mind that healthy living is more than just shaving inches off around your waist. It’s a way to enhance both the physical and mental aspects of every facet of your existence.