People come to yoga for many different reasons, and weight loss is one of them. We know that we lose weight when we burn more calories than we take in. There are many different types of yoga; hot yoga or a challenging vinyasa flow class will help to burn more calories than a slower paced Hatha or Yin restorative class. There are many classes out there, do your research and find something that suits your goals.
Once you start a regular yoga practice, there will be changes on the outside maybe not as quickly as other forms of exercise, but at the same time there will be lasting changes on the inside. In fact, yoga changes you without you even realising. I remember being quizzed by a fellow practitioner when I first started yoga. She kept asking me “how do you feel, do you feel any different, do you notice the changes?” As I was new to yoga, I could only answer the questions in relation to how my body felt, and yes, my body felt good and I knew that I wanted more.
Everyone mentioned how calming and relaxing they found yoga, especially during the Shavasana or deep relaxation at the end of the class, and I was no different. As I continued on my yoga journey I began to experience a stillness of the mind, or mindfulness, which helped me to discover what makes me happy and then go on to make positive changes in my life – including making better and healthier food choices.
Coming to the mat and practising yoga helps us to focus with a sense of one-pointedness which filters through to the rest of our life. It helps us become less attached to the things that are not as important, so we begin to discriminate and make better choices to help us feel better, or to help us heal.
Just like other forms of exercise, yoga alone won’t help with weight loss, but because it helps us to change the relationship with ourself, it helps us to make better choices which results in a happier and healthier lifestyle, including weight loss .
Yoga is more than exercise, it becomes a way of life.