Yoga may not be everyone’s favorite exercise to promote weight loss – and that’s a shame. Here’s why.
What you need to know
Not only can there be a cardiovascular benefit to practicing yoga, but the mindfulness yogis cultivate can also help curb cravings when you get bored. Even yoga can do a lot for your brain. When it comes to weight loss, yoga also promotes the discipline you need to develop healthy habits.
“Yoga is about lengthening muscles and integrating them better with our bones,” says Olivia Young, founder of Box + Flow, a training studio that combines yoga and boxing. “Yoga uses body weight to work every muscle using strength, core, balance, and stability, making it a great solution for weight loss.”
To bring a cardio element to the yoga routine Young describes, think of this series as a circuit where one movement flows into the next. Young recommends doing each move for about 30 seconds (so each set of six is about three minutes). Repeat the six-movement sequence five times.
Begin the routine in head down dog: with your hands and soles firmly planted on the mat, imagine a string attached to your tailbone lifting your back into the air. Make sure your hips are elevated and back. It is very important that you keep your core contracted (as if you are pressing your belly button into your spine). Your hands should be firmly on the floor and your heels should be pushed as close to the ground as possible. “Every muscle should be working,” Young explains. “Take deep breaths – inhale and exhale – to warm up your body.”