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Yoga and Weight Loss

Maia Appleby
©Yoga People, LLC 2017

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Is yoga a useful activity for weight loss? Well... yes!

Yoga can help you lose weight in several indirect ways. It sets you up psychologically for weight loss, giving your whole lifestyle a more solid foundation.              

Deep breathing is known to improve concentration and strength, the two main ingredients of willpower (and we all know how important that is!)                 

Just a few moments of relaxation and meditation each day will do wonders for your self esteem.  Yoga teaches you how to do this effectively.  It sounds silly, but a lot of people truly do not know how to relax. They try, but their minds tend to wander back to the problems of their day, and they don't truly reach the point of true meditation. 

A qualified yoga instructor uses imagery and breathing techniques to help you wipe all of these outside disturbances out of your mind and let you focus on what's going on inside of you for a few minutes. People who are proficient at this tend to have more positive body images than worry-warts.               

If you suffer from depression or fatigue, both problems that often result in weight gain, yoga can lift your spirits.  It improves your blood circulation, which increases your energy level, helping you to reduce any lethargy.  This is especially true if you do a few poses first thing in the morning. That extra oomph can keep you going all day, so you don't hit that wall and fill up on snacks all day to keep going.               

Doing yoga strengthens your muscles, which inevitably speeds up your metabolism. Although it isn't as effective as weight training in this regard, it certainly will make you stronger and more defined.               

The improved flexibility that yoga inevitably gives you makes everything easier to do. Your limber body is then better able to perform daily activities, and this will make you feel better about living in general. If you play tennis, you'll be able to play harder, for example.                 

Yoga exercises stretch the spine and hamstrings (the backs of the legs), as well as the Achilles tendon.  Ultimately, this will improve your posture, making you stand taller and look leaner, even if you weigh the same amount.  This makes you feel thinner, encouraging you to keep leading a healthy life.

Reprinted with Permission
Maia Appleby,personal trainer and fitness writer
All rights reserved