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Can yoga help you lose weight?

balance yoga poses in sicilyMost regular yogis who have struggled with weight problems will tell you that yoga has had an important role to play in helping them lose weight naturally.

Researchers have suggested that yoga leads to weight loss because it helps increase body awareness and attune you to the signals of your body, including those telling you when you’re full.

Practicing both active yoga and restorative yoga can help you lose weight in different ways. And we do just that on our luxury yoga retreats.

How yoga can help you lose those extra pounds:

heart opening yoga poses on a yoga retreat in italyVinyasa flow yoga classes – an invigorating weight loss solution.

For best results, some people prefer yoga practices like Vinyasa yoga with increased repetitions of a cycle of yoga poses, such as the classical sun salutation series. It will kick-start your metabolism and build up lean muscle tone.

Yoga asanas put the body through more varied types of movements in one yoga class than most people have in a month: forward bending, twisting, and backward bending. In this way, yoga asanas increase circulation and help reduce fat around the abdomen, hips and other areas.

The regular practice of yoga postures also facilitates natural weightloss by improving the functioning of the internal organs and strengthening the heart, lungs, kidneys, and digestive system.

legs up the wall in sicily on a yoga retreat in italyYin yoga for stress release.

A recent study showed that restorative yoga can also help people lose significant weight. Researchers have not yet concluded why restorative yoga seems to be so helpful for weight loss, but one theory is connected to cortisol, the stress hormone. High cortisol levels are a known contributor to weight gain, particularly in the abdomen, and yoga reduces cortisol levels.

So, it may not matter so much what style of yoga you are doing, as long as you are reducing stress while you’re practicing. The fact that restorative yoga helps people lose weight is a good thing, researchers say, because the more aerobic styles of yoga can prove to be challenging or intimidating for someone overweight, and restorative yoga is easily accessible.

Yoga is an easy way to help you relax. When you practice yoga, you bring a deep sense of relaxation to your body and your mind. As you relax, you begin to ease the stress in your life, and weight loss will begin to happen naturally.

supine twists on a luxury yoga retreat in italyYoga reconnects mind and body.

The body has its own weight-regulating mechanisms, which will naturally keep our weight normal, as long as we don’t override them. Most of us unfortunately lose touch with our natural appetite-regulating signals over time.

Yoga facilitates natural weightloss by increasing the connection between mind and body. As our mind becomes more attuned to the body, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore the body’s signals of when to stop eating.

Another byproduct of increased mind-body connection is that as you learn to listen more to your body, you not only become more sensitive to how much you eat, but also what you eat. As a result, many people who practice yoga regularly report that over time, they will naturally gravitate towards a diet that includes fewer refined and processed foods and more vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Yoga helps us to become more mindful and conscious which can change our thought process and decision making. Therefore increasing our will power so that we choose to eat more healthily and have the strength to say no to foods that don’t serve us.

Want to find out more?

Why not join one of our yoga retreats for a week of Vinyasa and Yin to jump start losing those extra pounds?

You may also like:
3 Yoga Poses You Can Do At Your Desk
3 Benefits of Yin Yoga to Reduce Stress

Yoga Escapes organizes luxury yoga retreats in beautiful places around the world, offering a mix of Vinyasa yoga and restorative Yin yoga classes. Contact the Yoga Escapes team for info on upcoming yoga holidays.

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