Yoga training can be of enormous benefit to anyone pursuing a fitness regime. Yoga tones and strengthens your body uniformly, unlike some fitness training regimens that can lead to over development of particular muscle groups. Yoga exercises, meditation and postures also improve your balance, strength and overall flexibility, making you more capable of pursuing a weight loss regimen.
The Physical Benefits of Yoga
Performing yoga postures regularly offers a number of physical benefits, including:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons
- Massaging the body's internal organs
- Detoxifying the body
- Toning the muscles
Yoga postures and exercises focus on all of the joints of the body, including joints you probably don't use regularly. Yoga exercises can strength problem joints such as the knees, hips and ankles. Yoga training also leads to increased spinal flexibility and core strength, both of which can reduce chronic problems such as lower back pain and increase your overall physical strength. Because yoga also exercises ligaments and tendons, your joints will lubricate more effectively, reducing joint pain.
Yoga training may be the only form of exercise that stimulates your internal organs. This helps prevent disease by maintaining organ health. It can also help make you more aware of potential health problems.
Yoga stretches and stimulates the muscles and organs of the body in a uniform manner. This allows increased blood flow to all parts of your body, which helps to flush out the toxins that can accumulate in your body's tissues. Increased detoxification can increase your energy levels, making you more likely to follow an exercise program designed for weight loss.
The Emotional and Psychological Benefits of Yoga
Yoga training also offers a number of emotional and psychological benefits. Yoga exercises, postures and meditation increase your powers of mental concentration and can significantly reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga can also help you feel better about your body and your self, by increasing your strength and flexibility, and by allowing you to feel more in touch with your body.
Yoga for Weight Loss
Not all types of yoga can help you lose weight. There are many forms of yoga, and many of them don't raise your heart rate enough to contribute to weight loss. However, some forms of yoga can raise your heart rate and help burn fat.
Vinyasa, or flow yoga, is based on a series of postures known as the Sun Salutations. If you'd like to use yoga training to help lose weight, try one of these forms of vinyasa yoga:
- Ashtanga yoga is a very strenuous type of yoga practice. Practitioners are encouraged to sign up for series courses, which can increase your motivation by giving a financial incentive to keep returning to classes. The postures are also easy to learn, so once you're finished with your course, you can continue doing them at home.
- Power yoga is an intense yoga workout that provides cardiovascular training.
- Hot yoga is done in rooms heated to around 101 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you sign up for one of these course, expect to sweat. They are popular among those with joint problems.
If you are overweight or suffer from any physical disabilities or illnesses, tell your yoga instructor at the beginning of the first class; she can help you practice safely.