For many people, the concept of exercise that burns lots of fat necessarily involves a lot of sweating, huffing, and puffing. The reality is that most of the weight loss your body goes through is not through exercise. In addition to tiring you out, exercise can only burn so many calories in the amount of time you are actively doing aerobic or cardiovascular exercise. The bulk of the weight loss your body is going through is actually through metabolism that takes place throughout the day. This involves your muscles burning up stores of fat or glucose. Your body needs to burn energy for conscious activities such as walking, getting up, or moving around when lying down. However, you have to keep in mind that your body is also burning up calories when you are breathing. In fact, your body burns calories throughout the day to service your muscles. This is the aspect of weight loss yoga can help with, boosting your body’s calorie-burning processes(how many calories does a person burn in a day?).
Short Time Intervals
Most yoga sessions involve assuming different poses in short periods of time. There is a long series of these and going from pose to pose constitutes the workout. The great thing about the short intervals is that they keep your mind away from the discomfort of the poses. Unlike regular aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, you’re not consciously trying to burn off calories and you don’t have to worry about a fat burning heart rate (which is a myth anyway). Instead, your mind is focused on achieving a certain pose, then moving on to the next one. There is a lot more focus here than the conscious focus of active workouts where you sweat. It is easier to get tired when you are conscious that you are trying to burn calories. This takes away from your stamina and you get tired more easily. Yoga, on the other hand, can become a habit if you do the same poses day after day. You are still burning the same amount of calories as you switch from pose to pose but it doesn’t feel as tiring as more traditional active exercises.
Build Up Oxygen-Hungry Muscles
You burn calories up when doing yoga. Going from pose to pose takes calories. Maintaining certain poses take calories. However, the calorie burn does not end there. When you exercise your muscles, they will begin to consume more energy throughout the day for maintenance. Yoga’s emphasis on muscle build up during poses creates a pool of calorie-hungry muscles your body needs to feed the whole day. Since weight loss occurs when your body burns up more calories than you eat, this calorie deficit created by your yoga practice leads to a leaner body(don’t enter starvation mode with this method though). Want to know how many calories you need to burn to lose weight? Visit our how many calories to lose weight page.
Sweat While You Do Yoga
There are certain types of yoga practice where heaters are intentionally placed in the studio where the session is happening. This means people sweat as they go through the poses. As long as you drink lots of water throughout the day, sweating through your yoga sessions might help you lose fat and lose water weight as your body sheds water. The key is not to eat salty foods or add more salt to your diet (learn how much sodium per day is good for you). If you keep this up, your yoga sweating plus your clean water intake may lead to weight loss.