Yoga for weight loss: guide your session to lose weight

Verified on 19/01/2023 by PasseportSanté

Yoga to lose weight: how to guide your yoga session to lose weight?

No, yoga does not make you lose weight. It can, on the other hand, be considered as an ally in the context of a weight loss process, provided you are regular in your practice and above all have a healthy and balanced diet.

On average, dynamic yoga is estimated to burn about 200 calories for one hour of practice. By way of comparison, one hour of jogging generates an energy expenditure ranging from 500 to 800 calories.

If yoga does not therefore seem ideal for “burning”, it will however help to resculpt the body, and above all to develop body awareness which goes hand in hand with the desire to lose weight.

Here are 6 tips to guide your yoga session in order to lose weight.

1/ Practice regularly

As in any sporting or creative discipline, the key to obtaining results is regularity. If you are taking a course yoga per month, no matter how intense, it will in no way help you shed those extra pounds.

On the other hand, if you stick to one to two one-hour sessions per week, alternated with 15 to 30 minutes daily, you will see results in a few weeks:

  • better endurance in the postures;
  • better support;
  • feeling of lighter legs;
  • Slight curve;
  • etc

The small daily sessions can be done alone, at home, why not in the morning to untie the body or in the evening to release the tensions of the day. It can simply be a matter of doing a few sun salutations by following one of the many videos available on the various online video platforms.

2/ Strengthen classic postures

To lose weight, we undoubtedly want to increase the cardio a little! And it is possible in yoga, for example by linking sun salutations to the sustained rhythm of a movement with each breath.

It is also possible to spice up certain classic postures such as:

The boat

The boat

Sitting with bent knees, heels towards the buttocks, raise one leg then the other so that the calves are parallel to the floor.

When you lift your feet, be especially careful not to round your back and not to relax your stomach. From this posture, intertwine your fists in front of you, then touch the ground alternating left / right at a brisk pace.

The back and stomach should remain in the starting position. Remember not to hold your breath during this exercise which should quickly warm up your abs!

The chair

The chair

The chair pose is a great classic for working the muscles of the thighs and glutes.

To mobilize the muscles as well as possible, here is how to proceed:

  • start standing, feet together;
  • bend the knees and pushing the pelvis backwards (avoid pushing the knees forward when bending);
  • straighten the lower back and tighten the abdomen so as not to relax the belly;
  • to complicate your chair a little, try to push your limits by holding it longer and lowering the pelvis lower during exhalations.

The board

The board

The plank is another classic weight loss exercise. It is also found in yoga, especially in sun salutations.

Whether you are on your hands or on your elbows, remember to arch your lower back and tighten your stomach. Also push off the ground with your hands or elbows to feel well covered from head to toe.

To intensify your plank, you can come and touch the back of the right arm with the right knee, then do the same on the left.

To increase the cardio, you can even bring one knee and then the other forward while running. Be careful, however, not to release the belly towards the ground or to arch the back. Always keep your alignment to protect your joints and tendons, but also to make the exercise more effective.

The side plank

The side plank

In the side plank, the body is in profile, one hand (or the elbow) is on the ground, the other towards the sky, the pelvis in the diagonal of the shoulder and the feet posed one in front of the other or on top of each other for even more challenge.

From this posture, bring the arm that is in the air towards your ear on the inspiration, then on the expiration, the elbow and the knee of the leg above come together until they touch. On inspiration, we open again and on expiration, the elbow and knee touch.

With these “crunches”, you will work the abs thoroughly in addition to the upper body, balance and concentration.

The active pigeon

1675236808 577 Yoga for weight loss guide your session to lose weight

In yoga, the pigeon pose is generally passive:

  • we place one leg in front, knee bent and heel towards you, we extend the other leg backwards and we make sure to keep the hips at the same level;
  • then from there, we place the bust on the front leg;
  • to complicate things a bit, keep the base of the pigeon. Interlace the hands at the back of the skull, then on an inspiration, lower the bust towards the ground;
  • On the exhale, bring the navel towards the spine so as not to relax your belly, then raise the bust vertically.

The more you lower your bust, the more intense the lift will be. Back and abs work guaranteed!

3/ Do not skip the final meditation

At the end of a yoga session, you generally stay lying on the ground, without moving for several minutes. This is known in Sanskrit as savasana or the final relaxation posture.

When you want to play sports to lose weight, this posture may seem like a waste of time. However, it is much more important than it seems. First, because lying still and still after a dynamic yoga session allows your body to record and digest everything it has just accomplished. It’s even scientifically proven!

Indeed, any physical exercise generates stress in the body. By ending your practice with a savasana, you help your body regain homeostasis, the state of balance ensured by our cells.

This moment of relaxation also allows you to create a healthy routine and stick to it: there is a reward circuit in our brain that works every day, consciously or unconsciously.

Directly influencing our hormonal system, it intervenes for example in our cravings for sugar or in smokers. Thanks to savasana, we activate this same reward circuit, creating a virtuous circle that makes you want to come back to practice regularly.

4/ Choose the right style of yoga

HathaVinyasa, Nidra, Yin, Ashtanga, Iyengar… There are many styles of yoga, each with different benefits, whether for the body or for the mind.

When you are in a process of losing weight, you will have to favor rather dynamic styles of yoga that make you sweat, such as vinyasa, power yoga, ashtanga, Iyengar or even warrior yoga. Find out before you sign up!

Some studios also offer hot yoga. It is a dynamic practice in a room artificially heated between 30 and 40° in order to activate sweating.

Be careful, with this kind of practice, we tend to become dehydrated and lose more water than fat. You also risk artificially warming up your muscles and therefore injuring yourself more easily than by doing a targeted warm-up adapted to you and your practice.

5/ practice on an empty stomach

In yoga, it is often advisable to practice on an empty stomach. It is primarily a question of comfort in certain postures such as twists which compress the area of ​​the digestive organs, or such as inversions, when the head is down and the pelvis up (dog head down, candle, pear tree, etc.).

Secondly, keep in mind that digestion is very energy-intensive for the body, so you might as well focus on one thing at a time!

From a weight loss perspective, several studies point out that exercising on an empty stomach can affect metabolism, including allowing greater use of stored fat as fuel for the body. The appetite would also be more modulated for the rest of the day.

Remember to take good care of your recovery meal, which must contain a good source of protein. In general, our daily needs are between 0.8 to 1 g of protein per kilo of weight. But for great athletes or people looking to create muscle mass, we will increase this ratio between 1.3 and 1.6 g / kg.

Don’t forget about hydration too! Daily water needs are on average 1.5 L for a woman and 2 L for a man.

For regular athletes, you can increase your intake by 0.5 L. Avoid tea, coffee or sugary drinks which slow down the rehydration of the body after exercise.

On the other hand, coconut water can be very beneficial, as it hydrates and remineralizes the body. Low in calories and low in sugar, it also increases energy levels thanks to its vitamin C content and helps burn fat with the help of different enzymes.

Either way, the most important thing is to listen to your body. For some, exercising on an empty stomach is impossible. It’s not serious ! A healthy snack or a light and balanced meal can be consumed before your yoga practice.

6/ Complete with a cardio activity

If yoga can be a good companion for weightloss, it does not however replace a cardio activity which will allow you to consume a maximum of calories. So remember to vary the pleasures!

In addition to a daily yoga practice, you can, for example, add another activity several times a week such as HIIT, swimming or running. It’s up to you to find the balance that suits you, according to your personal and professional obligations.

Do not overload the schedule at the beginning at the risk of dropping everything after two weeks. And don’t forget to focus on regularity to get results!

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