I used to do every kind of exercise you can think of. I ran, rolled on balls, kicked, boxed…but it wasn’t until I found yoga that I lost 40 pounds and totally transformed my body.
I can tell you that when it comes to weight loss and toning, yoga can be one of the best forms of exercise forms. Then again, it can also be one of the worst!
Many people don’t do the right kind of classes for calorie burning and end up seeing fewer results. This can make them give up on yoga as a way to whittle the middle as well as attain inner peace.
I’m a fan of getting the heart pumping wherever, whenever, so don’t think I’m knocking other workouts. But if you want to have your yoga, and torch calories too, you absolutely can.
Styles like Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Baptiste, Ashtanga and mine, Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga, all work the muscles into lean, mean, Zen machines.
Yoga can get the heart rate up for cardio health, but it also has the added benefit of amping up your metabolism all day (and night!), and frying fat 24-7.
To lose weight with yoga:
- Eat healthfully and practice 60 minutes 4-5 times a week.
- Look for a class that makes your larger muscle groups: (thighs, arms, abs, chest and back) feel fatigued but not useless, and lets you work up a sweat without being overwhelmed.
- If you can breathe, and stay in alignment, you’re good…and bonus: you’ll look good too!
Here’s a pose I suggest for weight loss and whole body toning:
Side Angle Flow
Come into a wide stance, front toes facing forward and back toes at 45 degrees. Bend your right leg and take the right forearm onto the leg, or fingers to the floor outside the foot.
Inhale, stretch your left arm up and over your ear (see picture above).
Exhale, bend your left elbow and turn the palm away to touch the back of the hand behind your back. Look down to stretch the neck and round your back to tone the abs (see picture at right).
Repeat this flow 5-10 rounds, then come to standing and switch sides.