8 Weight Loss Benefits of Yoga
December 28, 2017
Exercise is an important part of losing weight and maintaining weight loss. Many people, however, struggle simply because they haven’t found the right activity. If you’re looking for one activity that serves many purposes, yoga can help you ease into an exercise routine and stick to it.
The benefits gained from yoga exercises can help you lose weight and improve every facet of daily living:
1. Inclusivity. Anyone can do yoga because yoga comes in at least 20 different forms. Gentler sessions focus on stretches, smooth movement, balance and meditation. Hatha, Anusara, Kripalu, Kundalini, Sivananda and Viniyoga are good examples and are easily adaptable to any level.
2. Improves Focus. Yoga’s controlled stretches, postures and measured breathing depend on concentration and mindfulness. That focus stays with practitioners long after a 30-minute session.
3. Boosts Mood. Yoga increases GABA levels. GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid, a chemical that is often low in people experiencing depression, anxiety or mood disorders. Yoga, however, gives GABA levels a boost, significantly relieving anxiety and improving exercisers’ outlook on life.
4. Increases Mobility. Mobility incorporates balance, flexibility and awareness. Researchers have found that yoga can deliver the entire package in relatively short periods of time: two sessions a week for six months, for example.
5. Improves Quality of Sleep. Insomnia and sleep disorders have well-established links to serious medical issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, chronic pain and depression. Yoga has been found to make falling asleep easier, increase the length of time spent sleeping and decrease the number of sleep interruptions.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure. Hypertension is a concern for at least a third of the population. Stress is a primary contributor to this condition. Yoga’s conscious breathing, however, soothes the fight-or-flight response, slows the heart rate, relaxes muscles and actually helps lower blood pressure.
7. Strengthens Immune System. Yoga has the ability to lower stress, increase blood and oxygen flow, and even stimulate the lymphatic system. The result is a reduced strain on your immune system, which helps it more efficiently respond to toxins and pathogens.
8. Jump Starts Your Day. A large part of maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle depends on your commitment to an exercise and diet regimen. While a yoga class may begin as only 30 minutes of focused stretches and purposeful meditation, it can quickly become a daily asset to kick off your day with positivity and energy.
Find What Works for You
The variety of people who are drawn—even addicted—to yoga speaks to the power of the practice. Whatever your fitness level, yoga exercises allow practitioners to adapt their routine to their own strengths and limitations. Take your time in exploring exercises to find what works best for you and your health goals.