Yoga can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight through your life. No doubt you are surprised to hear that? You think this can only occur when yoga is performed vigorously, in an overheated room where you sweat profusely. Well no! Studies show that people who practice yoga regularly tend to be free of excess weight and maintain their weight thereafter. For decades, we talk about burning calories, eating fewer calories, controlling our calories. After incorporating these concepts, you’re probably wondering how you can lose weight by burning fewer calories than for example by doing aerobic exercises. Indeed, how can you lose weight by doing light exercises? And most importantly, how can you do it, while not controlling the number of calories burned and eaten? The mystery is debunked.
It is now well known that yoga helps reduce stress. You may have already experienced this yourself.You go to a yoga session, you stretch, you strengthen muscles you relax. At the end of the session, you feel fresh and relaxed, as if you had a nap. Your energy level is high and you’re excited.
Dr. Mark Ortiz, a physician and author in the field of yoga, says that as a result of stress, your body increases the cortisol production.High levels of cortisol not only stimulate the appetite, but the extra calories are converted to fat effectively. He also explained that, under the influence of cortisol, the fat tends to accumulate in the abdomen. What a bad news! The rounded bellies are often perceived as not aesthetic, but it is nothing when assessing the impact on health. The bellies are associated with insulin resistance (the assimilation of insulin), a precursor of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
What are the best postures?
Yoga, including the practice of breathing, postures and meditation helps practitioners to normalize cortisol levels and better manage their stress. Thus, the way how you do yoga has more impact than the postures that you practice. Simply having a full practice includes breathing, postures and meditation, not to mention the famous final relaxation, thus contributing to achieve a healthy weight.
Whatever your practice postures, it is important to feel relaxed and invigorated at the end. When you feel well, it means that your cortisol levels decreased and your body is more likely to be free of excess weight.
When practicing yoga, we learn to accept ourselves with our qualities and flaws. Acceptance brings something very important. In accepting us as we are, the pressure and stress related to performance decreases, and our life seems more fulfilling.Of course, acceptance does not happen overnight. But soon you will notice that you are more pleased with yourself then before.
The latest scientific studies have showed, that people practicing yoga are often more active. They walk more, they participate more activities, they eat better. By being more aware of their body and mind through yoga, they realize they have the option to make the best choices for their health and their lives. Naturally, their life is more balance. All these elements contribute greatly to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Instead of adopting a short-term diet and regain the weight lost shortly after, and sometimes even more, I invite you to take a commitment to your health! Try yoga!