May 20 | The Practice | The results | The Science |
Part of living well and being happy means taking care of yourself, and feeling good about the way you look. Many people turn to yoga for its transformative physical effects: to build strength and flexibility, reduce stress, increase energy levels and restore the body to an optimal state of health. While yoga can help you lose weight – some styles of yoga are vigorous – the practice is not regarded as a big calorie buster and that is certainly not its intention. Weight loss is a natural byproduct of the mindful transformation that takes place with a consistent yoga practice. This is how the practice differs from other forms of exercise, and why it is a key component to a healthy and balanced fitness regimen.
If you want to lose weight, some yoga (or any type of movement) is better than no yoga. However there are many different types of yoga, ranging from restorative and mellow to physically challenging and intense. Anyone who has made it through an Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga class, for example, can attest to the aerobic qualities of the practice and its fat-burning potential. These types of yoga combine meditative, cleansing breath work with an active physical flow that is a triple threat for body shaping: muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility. Whether you do yoga with or without added heat (Hot Yoga), the deep breathing, twists, holds and fluid posture sequences heat the internal organs, flush out toxins, and increase insulin levels. This cues your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.
In addition to being a great exercise that sculpts lean muscles and firms your legs, butt, abs and arms, yoga helps you form a strong body-mind connection. In this sense the physical movement becomes very informing. As you become more aware, both mentally and physically, your ability to notice thoughts and habits that don’t serve you grows stronger. Over time you’ll naturally gravitate toward things and activities that make you feel good, and minimize or avoid those that don’t. Tuning into the nuances of your body helps you make healthier choices about what you eat, when you are full, and how to exercise your body to its best potential. Those who take on less rigorous styles of yoga will experience the same mind-body benefits, but burn calories at a slower rate.
Our yoga and fitness program gives your body the diversity in movement and intensity it needs to repair itself, avoid plateaus and continually progress. Whether you’re looking to get stronger, tone up, lose weight or simply relax there is something on our schedule for everyone.
Yoga Six. Strengthen Your Self.