Weight Loss through Yoga
Yoga is good as it can be practiced by anyone at any age. It is equally good for the children, young and oldies at the same time. When compared to other weight loss exercises such aerobics or strength training, which are considered the best exercises for weight loss, yoga doesn’t hit the top rankings but when it comes to effective weight loss it is league ahead than any other form of the exercise.
Its true most types of yoga don’t have anything near the calorie-burning power of aerobic exercise. A 150-pound person will burn 150 calories in an hour of doing regular yoga, compared to 311 calories for an hour of walking at 3 mph. But it is exercise, after all, and many practitioners believe yoga can indeed help people take off extra pounds. Recent research has shown that when it comes to effectiveness, yoga is by far more effective than any other exercise at reducing weight. Many people have misconception about deposition and arrangement of fat cells in our body. Yoga doesn’t help you to lose fat from specific parts rather it distributes the fat evenly throughout the body and balancing the metabolic rate. It not only reduces and balances the fat deposition from the superficial layers but also melts the fats from the deep layers inside the organs. Studies have shown that people have lost an average of 6 kilograms or 13 pounds at the end of 3 months of yoga.
Cholesterol levels also showed steady decline after 4 weeks of regular Yoga with significant drop in the bad cholesterol after 6 months of Yoga. Other studies have showed that mild aerobic training does not show much benefit in either reducing weight or blood pressure (BP), while even mild yoga showed a decrease in BP as well as small reductions in weight. Further, studies conducted on children over a 12-week period showed an average loss of 2 kilograms or 4.5 pounds, and was also coupled with an increase in overall health and self-esteem.
The reason why yoga is considered good for weight loss is that most yoga asanas are combined with pranayama or yogic breathing exercises. When asanas are combined with pranayama, it increases metabolic rate and burns calories much faster than the mild increase in heart rate does. It also heats up the body, providing warmth to limber up the joints, reducing pain and inflammation, while increasing blood circulation. Most yoga sessions invariably end with a mind rejuvenation exercise. This can be simple meditation or more complex yogic practices. One of the simplest methods is to try and keep the mind empty, thereby calming the mind and also helping it focus better.
One of the good things about yoga is that diet comes as a part of it. Although there are no restrictions as such, many serious yogis recommend diet control to maintain a healthy body. When done properly a yogic diet gives everything to the body that it needs, while still keeping a strict control on excess calories. However, following a yogic diet is optional, and an excessive reduction in calories is usually not recommended. A healthy body requires a certain amount of food and what yoga does is help us to consume only as much as our bodies need and nothing more.
So no dieting, starvation, no long rides on treadmills, no diet fads, no million dollar advice to lose weight. Just one hour of Yoga 5 days in a week.