It’s more than simply the calories you burn on the mat.
According to experts, daily yoga’s benefits for reducing stress can also aid in maintaining a healthy weight.
Yoga has several health advantages, including muscular strength, improved sleep, and stress relief. But is it also effective for weight loss?
According toJudi Bar, the yoga program manager at Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine in Ohio, yoga can improve weight reduction in various ways.
According to her, yoga can lead to a change in lifestyle that will promote physical activity and reduce emotional eating. In addition, she explains that it can also help you manage stress, which can help you maintain your weight.
Yoga, according to Bar, has helped people lose weight in her practice. Her studies support this.
The bar is a co-author of a review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine in July 2013. She and her colleagues examined hundreds of studies on yoga benefits on weight loss.
Yoga is linked to losing weight and weight control due to many causes, including calorie consumption during yoga and promoting excellent activity. In addition, it lowers back and joint discomfort, increasing mindfulness, enhancing mood, relieving anxiety, and making yogis feel more connected to their bodies, appetites, and dietary habits.
Another research published in a special edition of Yoga in Prevention and Therapy in 2016 examined data from interviews with 20 persons who claimed to have lost weight via yoga practice. The participants’ responses pointed to five variables that the researchers found aided with weight loss: a shift to better eating, the effect of the yoga community and culture, body changes, psychological changes, and the idea that one’s weight loss with yoga was unique from other methods.
According to Bar and others, there are three primary ways that yoga may aid in weight reduction or maintenance:
1. Yoga Can Help You Eat Mindfully
Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston and the head of research at Yoga Alliance, argues that practicing yoga strengthens more than just your muscles.
Dr. Khalsa explains that when you maintain a posture for a long time, you connect with how your body feels. Your teacher may encourage you to keep track of your breath and focus on what your mind and body feel as a means of learning and meditating.
And exercising meditation on your yoga mat may also help you practice careful eating behaviors. Recognizing hunger cues and minimizing food cravings are examples of mindful eating.
According to Khalsa, given time (and effort), you may be able to pinpoint which meals make you feel nourished and energized and which have harmful effects (such as making you feel tired or bloated). All these activities could help you keep your dieting or weight control eating plan — or make better food decisions.
According to Khalsa, a review published in the International Journal of Yoga in July 2015 indicated that yoga had been related to shifts in eating habits, notably reducing fat in the diet and increasing fresh vegetables, nutritious grains, and soy-based products.
A 2015 research published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology examined survey data from 159 women who frequently did yoga or cardio-based exercise. Yogis were far less likely than cardio-exercisers to have problematic eating practices.
“Yoga flourishes here,” Khalsa says. It’s not only about your physical exercise. “It’s all about responding to your body’s signals.”
2. Stress Relief Through Yoga
There are several ways that stress — particularly uncontrolled, persistent stress — can lead to weight gain. Yoga can help reduce chronic stress.
The foundations of yoga practice are breathwork and meditation. According to Sundar Balasubramanian, Ph.D., associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, his study focuses on how yogic breathing might increase well-being in persons with chronic diseases. (Dr. Balasubramanian is also the founder of the PranaScience Institute and an International Association of Yoga Therapists.)
Stress can make fat loss harder since it can trigger cortisol to increase, stress-eating, and sleep problems,” adds Balasubramanian. In addition, deep breathing aids in reversing some of the effects of anxiety, which can make losing weight more challenging (or contribute to weight gain).
According to Balasubramanian, there are physical effects in the body due to deep breathing. “Studies have shown that yoga activities lower cortisol levels in our bodies.”
Yoga was connected with reduced levels of evening cortisol, awakening cortisol, resting heart rate, and cholesterol levels, according to a review published in Psychoneuroendocrinology in December 2017.
3. Yoga Aids Muscle Growth
Yoga can also aid with weight loss and maintenance by increasing muscle mass.
“We often believe that to get stronger muscles; we must work out in the gym. However, our body weight serves as a barrier when doing yoga. “Your entire body is striving to keep balanced, so it all gets a workout,” explains Carol Krucoff, a yoga therapist at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, and the International Association of Yoga Therapists and Yoga Alliance certified teacher.
Consider holding your body in a plank position. She says you’re supporting your body with the muscles of your shoulders, core, hips, and legs.
After releasing from a position, move into a Downward-Facing Dog stance, which activates different muscles in your forearms, shoulders, and back. Krucoff claims that muscular growth burns calories.
According toPreventive Medicine June 2016, which worked on 30 trials with more than 2,000 participants, yoga can lower body mass index (BMI) in overweight or obese persons and the waist-hip ratio in healthy adults.
Other studies have shown that even slower yoga meditation lessons decreased fasting glucose levels in overweight or obese patients, indicating improved metabolism.
As your meditation and mindfulness grow, your can notice yourself drew to healthy foods and ways of life. So while losing weight is not sure, it is highly likely, and the benefits may go much further than losing weight.