There has been much talk about the innumerable benefits that yoga has on a physical and psychic level. But can this millenary practice help us lose weight?
Who has never asked? We are on the mat, performing our asanas and our greetings to the sun , and despite the fact that the movements are usually slow and leisurely, we cannot avoid breaking a sweat and struggle to maintain a steady breath while holding our dog upside down … How many Calories will I be burning? Will yoga help me lose those kilos that I wanted to get rid of?
Indeed, the belief that the yoga helps us lose weight no longer the dream of many, because it is a complete form of exercise that involves many health benefits. However, it is very common to hear that of “wanting to combine yoga with another more dynamic sport” due to the widespread concept that yoga helps us work on elasticity, meditation and relaxation.
However, the advantages of this ancient discipline go much further, and can do for us more than we might imagine. As Macarena Cudillas, director of Californian Hot Yoga and teacher of the Vinyasa style explained a while ago, “the alternation of contraction and stretching of the muscles increases blood flow and therefore increases the heart rate through understanding and expansion of the veins.”
“If we also practice it in a room heated to 42º, as is the case with hot yoga or Bikram , the heart rate will be higher: not only do we have to deal with muscle demands , but also with body cooling .” Therefore, the accelerated pumping of our heart muscle causes an energetic wear that, in practice, can result in weight loss.
How does yoga act on our body?
Through its various postures, this discipline offers a form of integral physical conditioning that helps us tone the entire body and achieve a harmonic musculature, thanks to the fact that it is not limited to the work of certain muscle groups, thus avoiding hypertrophy.
While some asanas stimulate our nervous and circulatory system, others help us to develop balance and concentration … Together properly in sequences, they make yoga a very complete exercise.
Its practice also has other advantages that can also promote weight loss: the elimination of toxins through the stimulation of the circulatory, digestive and lymphatic system, relaxation techniques and conscious breathing that teach us to control anxiety and listen and relate better to our own body, are just some of them.
How many calories can you burn with yoga?
Studies carried out at Harvard University said that in a one-hour session of hatha yoga a person of about 70 kilos could burn about 300 kilocalories. Obviously, if we compare this to the caloric attrition that a high intensity training session can entail, it is very likely that we know little, but we also have to take into account that there are different yoga disciplines, and many of them are considerably dynamic, like power yoga or jivamukti.
According to the LiveStrong Foundation, in fact, with a session of Bikram yoga you can eliminate up to 800 calories, while an ashtanga session (a discipline of the most intense) can burn, as some experts point out, between 300 and 350 calories per hour.
In this sense, the practice of yoga continues to be, in a way, a gentle but also effective fitness modality. On the other hand, many teachers and scholars of this ancient discipline ensure that the practice of yoga also acts on our endocrine system and can help us stabilize our hormonal balance, through the pressure that your asanas exert on our endocrine glands. However, there is no reliable evidence to support this fact.
To all this, it should be added that the state of deep relaxation to which yoga leads us can also be a great tool when subtracting kilos from the scale, especially in those people who suffer from “emotional hunger.” In addition, we must not forget that yogic philosophy promotes a healthy lifestyle that combines a balanced diet with adequate physical activity for each of us. After all, we can conclude that despite the fact that there are not among the exercises that involve a direct and accelerated weight loss, in yoga, everything adds up.