Will Yoga Help Me Lose Weight? Our Experts Weigh In
You love the way yoga loosens tight muscles after lifting weights or going for a long run, and you’ve felt how it can melt away stress after the toughest of days. But did you know yoga can also help you lose weight?
You read that right. Yoga requires you to use your body weight to execute difficult poses, which can help strengthen and tone muscles. And if you usually stick to cardio or weight training, you may find that adding a yoga class to your routine challenges your muscles to move in new ways, forcing them to adapt by building strength and muscle endurance. As an added bonus, it will also increase your mobility.
While you might not burn as many calories as a Cardio Conditioning or BODYCOMBAT® class, a powerful yoga practice (like Power Yoga) will help you tone and tighten while becoming more in tune with your body. Becoming more aware of how your body feels and what it needs can help with mindful eating—and ultimately, to lose weight, you have to be aware of what you are eating above anything else.
If stronger muscles and being more in tune with your body wasn’t enough, gentler yoga practices (like Restorative Yoga) also activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS). Activating the PNS brings your body back to balance and creates a state of calm: your heartrate decreases and your muscles relax. When you activate this part of your nervous system you deactivate your fight-or-flight response, which is linked to increases in cortisol and storing stubborn belly fat.
While there’s no magic pill to lose weight fast, eating a diet rich in whole foods, moving your body in a way that you love and adding in a few yoga classes a week just might do the trick.