Not a consistent gym member? Is meal planning more tedious than you imagined? Luckily, lifting weights heavier than yourself is not the only source of hope for weight loss.
Research conducted by the peer-reviewed journal Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine states that utilizing yoga improves body mass index, body weight, body fat, and waist circumference. However, it remains unclear as to whether weight loss is due to an increase in physical activity, muscle mass, or improvements in eating behaviors.
Personal trainer and accredited life coach Christina MacDonald explains the benefits of yoga and basic stretches that can lead to weight loss if correctly performed. Depending on your level of intensity and consistency, yoga can burn anywhere from 180 to 360 calories a class, according to MacDonald. MacDonald mentions two specific types of yoga that are well known for weight loss; Vinyasa and other forms of power yoga focus specifically on strength and stamina, as well as flexibility. These forms of yoga speed up the metabolic rate and increase cardiovascular fitness, according to research published in the International Journal of Yoga in 2008.
Vinyasa yoga is comprised of Sun Salutations, which are specific yoga stretches that require fast motion and increase heart rate and burning of calories. This results in weight loss. Also, the duration and effort it takes to hold a pose increases your strength, which in turn increases lean muscle mass.
This form of yoga is considered most athletic and is suitable for individuals who are already active and focus on their cardiovascular health. Stamina and strength are prioritized during power yoga.
Nutrition specialist couple Alex and Lauren, who manage online diet/fitness programs for Avocadu, list yoga stretches that are reasonable for beginners who wish to lose weight, that can be completed in the comfort of one’s home.
7 Simple Yoga Stretches
Boat Pose – Using your arms to help you balance, raise your legs to a 45-degree angle. Once balanced, gradually raise your arms to the outside of your knees. Hold for 30 seconds and eventually work your way up to one minute.
Plank Pose –Round your shoulders and upper back, while keeping your butt straight with the rest of your body. Do not sag your body. Keep your muscles firm. Hold for 30 seconds and eventually work your way up to two minutes.
Superman Pose– Raise your head, chest, arms, and feet simultaneously. Your lower belly and hips remain flat against the floor. Raise them up as high as possible and hold. Focus your gaze straight ahead. Hold up for 30 seconds and eventually work your way up to one minute.
Upward Plank Pose –Begin in a sitting position, legs out in front of you and hands directly under your shoulders. Using your abdominal muscles and glutes, lift your body up until your pelvis is in a straight line with the rest of your
Half Moon Pose –Keep your body open and pointing outwards. Point your right foot out to the side as well. If you cannot reach the floor while keeping your left leg straight, slightly bend your left knee to allow your hand to touch the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and perform on both sides.
Side Plank Variation Pose-Beginning in side plank pose, keep your left arm bent at a 90 degree angle directly beneath your left shoulder with your feet at an angle. Reach your right arm towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds and perform on both sides.
Four Limbed Staff Pose-From an original planking position, lower your body until your torso is parallel to upper arms and triceps. Make sure to lift your butt slightly higher than your torso, and do not sag your stomach. Hold for 10 seconds and then work your way up to 30 seconds.