Nobody would ever call into question the fact that yoga is great for relaxation and can help you work toward touching your toes, but the don’t stop there. With so many different styles, this ancient practice can boost athleticism, relieve stress, and even lead to hotter sex! Decide which goal you want to work on and sign up for the corresponding class today.
For many of us, yoga is a lot more about stretching, de-stressing, and trying to master meditation than it is about kicking up our calorie burn. But that doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t!) turn to yoga for weight loss, too.
After all, yoga builds total-body strength like nobody’s business. Building muscle is the key to unlocking your metabolism’s potential, helping you to burn more calories during every workout and even in savasana (that awesome pose at the end of class when you just lie there and try not to fall asleep!). Plus, depending on your yogasanas (a.k.a. yoga postures), the right yoga class can elevate your heart rate just as well as any other high-intensity workout. Yes, seriously.
What’s more, on the mind-body side of things, the mindfulness that yoga teaches is critical to healthy and sustainable weight loss, helping to slash stress and even promote intuitive eating practices. 2016 research from the National Institutes of Health shows that its yoga’s wide range of physical, mental, and social benefits that make it such a comprehensive weight-loss tool.
So, whether you’ve long used yoga as a “recovery day” activity or have just ignored it outright in favor of other calorie-torching pursuits, it’s time to turn up the burn with yoga. The key is finding the right form of yoga for your weight-loss goals. Take Bikram for example.
Not to be confused with “hot yoga,” Bikram is a 90-minute practice that continually moves through 26 specifically-ordered poses, challenging postures, and sequences to get your heart rate way up.
Okay, to clarify, sometimes Bikram classes are heated somewhat similarly to “hot yoga” classes, but the extra sweat doesn’t result in more calories burned. “Sweating a lot during a workout can lead to water loss, and you might see that reflected on the scale immediately after, but as soon as you rehydrate those pounds will come back,” explains Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga instructor and author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch, and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You.
Instead, it’s the continual fast-paced movements that make Bikram promote not just flexibility, but also weight loss. In fact, researchers at Colorado State University who studied the benefits of Bikram yoga found that what you might burn during a usual class was equivalent to the calorie burn of a brisk walk. For the best results, stick with Bikram for at least eight weeks.
A form of hatha yoga, Iyengar doesn’t involve as much movement as other kinds of yoga, but because the degree of detail involved in this practice, both in terms of the asanas (postures) and pranayama (your breathing), it’s great for building both muscle and mental grit. (Ever been told to hold your pushup half way through, and seconds in you’re shaking and sweat starts dripping to the floor in front of you? Yea, Iyengar is kind of like that.)
“Iyengar yoga flows like Vinyasa yoga, which has continuous movements linked together, but holding positions longer is beneficial in boosting strength and calming the mind, which often keeps us from unconscious snacking,”
Why not try the Yoga Booty Challenge and see if it can help you in your routine? This program has been getting a lot of good reviews recently.
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