There are lots of reasons that yoga helps with weight loss that go far beyond the physical practice. After more than a decade of doing yoga, I’m living proof. In fact, calories burned alone can’t account for the the power of this ancient practice.
Yoga helps with weight loss on many different levels–physical, mental, and emotional. (Yoga and it’s Effects on Eating is one of my favorite topics. I even attended a workshop that was all about reconnecting with food through yoga.)
Seven Ways Yoga Helps with Weight Loss
- Reduces stress, stress-hormones, and as a result stress related eating which is good because stress can cause weight gain.
- Increases our overall mind and body awareness so we pay more attention to our eating behaviors and choices which naturally results in more mindful eating. We learn to chew more so we can weigh less.
- Improves our mood resulting in less emotional eating
- Improves muscle tone, balance, flexibility, and circulation leading to improved hormone function and better digestion
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Encourages us to be kind to ourselves. Ahimsa, an important yoga teaching, means don’t harm. With regular practice, we may begin to ask, Is this really good for me? Do I really need another cup of coffee? Do these potato chips help me or hurt me? What needs to leave our life does with much less effort.
- Most importantly yoga teaches us that each day is a practice, an opportunity to gain insight; not a zero sum undertaking. We learn to be less judgmental and striving. Our weight fluctuates, but not like it used to. We begin to feel more balanced, our swings less extreme, able to find center without resorting to harmful behaviors. We realize we can turn to our yoga practice, breathe deeply, take a walk, or have a bath instead of raiding the fridge or nearest vending machine.
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