Article by Sarvesh Shashi
Globally, 108 million children and 600 million adults are said to be suffering from obesity. This has only led to people adopting various weight-loss activities. In recent years, yoga has become a phenomenon and a common household name, not just pertaining to weight loss, but to enhance overall health. However, yoga can be a little intimidating for beginners looking for weight loss. Here's what you need to know about yoga for weight loss.
Yoga takes care of your inflexibility or stiffness. For beginners, the first few classes may make yoga seem impossible, but eventually, one experiences improved levels of flexibility and corrected body postures. Your body’s core strength is built and balanced with flexibility through yoga, unlike gyms, which builds your strength at the cost of flexibility.
Relaxation methods of yoga promote better circulation of blood. Increased levels of oxygen correspond to better functioning of body cells. Twisting postures in Yoga, pump the internal organs with oxygenated blood by draining the deoxygenated blood. Inverted postures promote blood supply to your legs and pelvis. Therefore, an overall increased blood circulation fastens metabolism, thus shedding more calories.
Chronic stress has been linked to changes in food consumption behaviour that directly impact the amount of food consumed, thereby, resulting in obesity. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, yoga works as a complete mind-body workout involving deep breathing exercises and meditation which is known to reduce stress therefore directly regulating your food habits thus targeting obesity for you.
With the practice of the three elements of yoga – pose, breathe and meditate, studies have proven to regulate the heart-rate variability thus, fueling the metabolic system to work efficiently and aid calorie burn. A study observed that subjects practising pranayama were able to perform more exercise with lesser oxygen, as yoga lowers heart rate resting and increases endurance.
Yoga postures comprising twists are structured to relieve the internal organs and aids in the movement of food along the tract. It also cleanses the digestive tract, stimulates and encourages digestion. Easy digestion is associated with higher energy levels, better absorption of nutrition thereby healthier metabolism of calories.
Daily yoga is studied to restore your body’s hormonal imbalance thereby normalizing weight. With habitual yoga, the hormone cortisol produced during stress is observed to be formed in lower concentrations; this prevents the body from converting your extra calories into fat in the abdomen, which eventually results in weight gain and long-term diseases like heart attacks and diabetes.
Yoga has been linked to lowering blood sugar levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol resulting in a boost of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. Yoga can be advantageous to diabetic patients with weight-loss problems as yoga lowers the cortisol and the adrenaline levels resulting in weight loss and increased sensitivity towards insulin.
Of the different forms of Yoga that are practised, Hot Yoga and Power Yoga are highly effective for weight loss.