Many of us spend countless hours in the gym doing endless amounts of cardio or weight training in order to stay healthy. As a Wellness Studio owner and personal trainer, I see many people doing conventional exercises yet they still remain overweight, they cannot seem to look the way they want to and are unable to achieve their health and fitness goals.
More often than not, there is a correlation between the mind, body and spirit and looking into ways to balance all three elements can often lead to weight loss. Instead of being fixated on the amount of calories you eat, why not try to incorporate some lengthening and breathing exercises to supplement your workouts.
The American Journal of Lifestyle found that yoga helped with weight loss and weight management by improving caloric expenditure through exercise. It also allows for other forms of exercise to begin since yoga has been shown to reduce back and joint pain. Once participants start feeling this pain relief, they are able to engage in other forms of exercise leading to more activity.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Yoga has also been shown to improve a person’s mood and reduce stress in individuals which can lead to decreased cortisol levels and food intake.
The article also discussed how yoga is a great way to lead to a healthy balance in the body. If the positions are done correctly, you can be well on your way to weight loss (American journal of lifestyle medicine January/February 2014 vol. 8 no. 1 33-41).
Another insight on how yoga can affect weight loss is the positive effects it has on one’s body. Yoga has been known to detoxify the liver which is one of our body’s filters that help us metabolize fats and also cleans our blood.
Keeping our liver clean and healthy can help us process fats more efficiently, store glucose and make coenzyme Q10 that is used by muscles. Yoga positions such as back bends are great for keeping the liver healthy and stimulated.
Many have found that yoga has also been shown to ignite our thyroid. Your thyroid is an organ that is responsible for many of our hormones that regulate weight loss or gain. Many people suffer from hypothyroidism, which can be their reason for weight gain.
Within the yoga community it is suggested that positions such as shoulder stands or fish pose can help stimulate the thyroid, however more research is needed in this area in order to ascertain whether this claim is true. It is stated that positions such as backbends and inversions may help stimulate the thyroid hormone.
Also check this out: Hypothyroidism causes and prevention
In addition to helping balance organs in the body, yoga has also been shown to help the body develop a more balanced environment to promote health. When the body is more acidic, it tends to hold on to fat to protect itself.
The fat is where toxins are usually stored. Two postures in particular have been said to be helpful in promoting an alkaline body such as Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) and Janushirasana (head to knee pose).
Another reason why we find people struggle with weight loss is because they do not have proper bowel movements or the emptying of food from their bodies. If food matter continues to block in your system, it can lead to many other health issues related to the colon that is not functioning properly.
Many people have food matter blocked up in their colon which causes them to be bloated, adds stress to the body and can lead to the toxicity of the body. There are many yoga postures that can promote the cleansing and emptying of the colon. The basic ones are Utks’epa Mudra (bellow’s pose) which is to be done first thing in the morning, waking pose and fire pose.
It is typically recommended that these poses are done on an empty stomach and under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. The incorporation of these yoga poses and good food choices can help maintain a healthy colon and help promote your body to be in the best possible health from the inside out.
Yoga can be an excellent addition to any other fitness regime you are following to help promote weight loss. We find that it is often the missing link to the success of weight loss and maintenance since it promotes the relaxation and mindfulness that is often needed in everyone’s busy life. Becoming centered with your inner health always has a positive effect on your outer health which will always promote weight loss.