When we talk about yoga, it might not be the first thing anyone thinks of when they’re trying to find an activity to help them lose weight. But again – though the results may not be as fast as with other types of exercise, the long term benefits of yoga – when we talk about losing weight and overall benefits are great.
Yoga is a system which is thousands of years old, conceived in India, but now practised worldwide. Some athletes are, wondering how something as gentle as yoga can cause you to lose weight or increase your fitness level. The fact is that it can, and at the same time, it can increase your concentration and sense of well being. There is really no reason not to take up yoga, if you are at all attracted to the idea. Choose a beginner’s yoga class at first, and go slowly – it can be harder than you think. Yoga is about putting yourself into a variety of different positions, some more challenging than others. The goal is to do it slowly, and work up a sweat – the idea is to take those few positions and to do them perfectly – as precisely as you possibly can. That way, your body is being trained in a precise skill and discipline, and the position itself can have various benefits for your health and your mind, as well.
All the different positions have their own benefits. For losing weight, positions that bring the chin down to stimulate the thyroid gland are very helpful – such as the classic shoulder stand. However, yoga in general is helpful for weight loss because it makes you more conscious of your body, of how you hold yourself and how you stand, while it also tones your muscles and makes your body more flexible, easier to move. Even before you start losing weight, yoga can make you look as if you’re thinner and more attractive by getting you to stand up straighter.
Yoga is also used to treat girls with eating disorders such as anorexia. There are many reasons why yoga is effective. First, anorexic girls feel anxious if they can’t exercise, as many of them used over-exercising as a means of weight control. Once they are in treatment, of course, they can’t be allowed to jog or do other exercise that might prevent them from making progress with weight gain. Gentle yoga is different, though. Practised in a low-impact setting, it can provide some exercise without making an already emaciated girl thinner. Yoga also eases the anxiety of these girls, and it makes them more conscious of their bodies. In fact, it does the same thing for people with the opposite type of eating disorder – binge eating or compulsive overeating. As a matter of fact, that condition and anorexia are not as different as you might think. Yes, one causes overweight and the other can bring on starvation, but both stem from a fundamental discomfort with the body and underlying emotional issues. Yoga can help with all of these issues, and if you are looking to lose weight, it can be a great choice for you.