by Charles Weller February 13, 2015
There are many ways to lose weight and change your body. Everyday we see the advertisements, and we are constantly being urged to try the newest, fastest, and easiest method. But, these quick fixes come and go – pills that the melt fat, diets that eliminate food groups, and even surgeries to cut the fat off! We all know though, that the tried and true way, to achieve anything healthy, long lasting, or effective is built on a good, solid foundation. Creating or strengthening a foundation for your weight loss program more than likely involves significant type of transformation, to better connect with and understand your body. This happens to be one of the many benefits for which yoga has been practiced and praised for centuries.
If you are looking to lose weight, yoga is a great way to ease yourself into any kind program. It helps in loosening up tight muscles and to get the blood flowing, as well as improve range of motion in the joints and overall flexibility. These are all key factors in preventing injuries, especially if one has been inactive or stressed. And because yoga focuses on maintaining correct posture and understanding the effects on the body, regular practice works to improve overall posture. All of these benefits become even more significant when moving on to more intense forms of exercise or form of yoga.
Aside from the physiological benefits that yoga can provide, simply enhancing overall awareness about one’s body goes a long way in a weight loss program. Being in tune with how you feel and act when you eat certain foods, workout, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, etc. is crucial in order to build your weight loss program. Practicing yoga helps to set aside time to actually focus on these things that might otherwise be ignored in busy everyday life. And because weight loss can be a complex issue for some, developed over years and based on individual experiences, a successful program should be tailored to how one’s body works best. It doesn’t require being a yoga expert to learn such things about your body; just one class or session is enough to help one begin the awareness process.
There are many different variations of yoga that are practiced, Hatha, Bikram, Iyengar, and Ashtanga being among the more popular. While all yogas lead to a better understanding of the dynamics of the body, mind, and its environment, beneficial for any successful weight loss program, some variations focus more on breathing, meditating, posture, circulation, aerobic exercise, strength training and channeling energy than others. Hatha yoga is one of the most basic forms, and is a good recommendation for beginners. Incorporating techniques from the different forms, the exercises are performed at a slower pace to focus on breathing, meditating, and posture. These definitely won’t lead to the losing the most amount of weight through burning calories, but the skills practiced are invaluable. They will help build that solid foundation for more than just losing weight, but making positive changes that last with a healthier lifestyle.