“What do you do for fun?”
“I go for yoga classes, a lot, with my best friend.”
“Oh, yoga? Yeah, I should really stretch more.”
If you are a devout yoga practitioner, you’re probably twitching with irritation after reading that conversation. Similar to vegetarians getting pestered about their lack of protein intake, yogis too, often hear how their practice is just about stretching.
This notion generally comes from the enviable flexibility that yoga students possess and how media portrays yoga classes.
For anyone who has attended a yoga class and felt like their thighs and shoulders was run over by the proverbial bus after an intense vinyasa flow, hearing that their workout is only about “stretching” is very frustrating.
However, what if you are one of those people who believe that yoga is just about stretching?
Well, you are about to be enlightened, my friend. Yoga is beneficial in many life changing ways and is especially helpful for losing weight and becoming more mindful of what you eat.
First, yoga builds and tones muscles while burning fat. There are types of yoga that are more cardio-based than other, such as vinyasa and ashtanga. There is also hatha yoga, which builds muscle more than anything else! Gaining muscle and burning fat is all well and good, but there’s much more to weight loss than just working out.
Yoga regulates our digestive system, ensuring that our body is absorbing and utilizing all the healthy nutrients that we pouring into it with our (hopefully healthy) diet. Speaking of diets, restrictive diets aren’t a long-term solution to weight loss. However, yoga conveniently eliminates that factor because it helps us develop a healthful lifestyle.
Yoga eliminates bad cravings, helps curb the yo-yo effects diets tend to cause, and de-stresses our body. Losing weight is truly a whole-body approach, which means that we should not just focus on our muscles, fat, and nutrition. Yoga will help you to ensure that the rest of our body and mind gets in on the weight loss action so that we can be guaranteed a sustainable weight loss.
About the Author
After years of distance running, Andee turned to yoga to quiet her angry hamstrings. She has since broken up with running and now devotes her time to her vinyasa flow practice, sharing her story on somuchyoga.com.
She especially loves doing arm balances, yin classes, and every kind of yoga pants on the market.