Many of us would probably not necessarily have thought that traditional yoga and weight loss would be in the one category. However, power yoga can help you with your weight loss program. You may not lose weight as rapidly as you would running around the jogging park, or hitting the gym, but you will still shed pounds. Better still, as the pounds slip away, your mind and body will also be benefiting from the well documented positives that yoga brings.
What is Power Yoga?
Power yoga is a more vigorous form of the Ashtanga, or Kundalini, forms of yoga, and is the style of yoga that will burn the most calories. Basically with this form of yoga, there is a lot more vigorous movements and a little less of the chanting and meditating, which many of us associate with more traditional forms of yoga. Power yoga involves all of the large muscle groups of the body to be constantly in use. For weight loss benefits, 30-60 minutes should be done at a minimum of 3 times weekly. (5 times weekly is best.)
Power yoga started in the mid 1990’s and became popular as many enthusiasts felt they could reap the double benefit of tying in yoga with working out. There is really no formal set of exercises as there is with traditional forms of yoga, and as such, power yoga sessions can vary dramatically from instructor to instructor.
Yoga & Weight Loss. The Study.
A trial in Seattle in 2005 involving the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center surveyed 15,500 males and females between the ages of 45 and 55, for 4 years. The overweight who went to at least one yoga class, for at least half an hour, weekly, managed to lose 5 pounds over the 4 year duration. Their counterparts who didn’t participate in yoga, managed to gain another 14 pounds over the same time frame. From this researchers were able to conclude that at the very least, yoga is an effective method for keeping the pounds off. (No mention of what sort of yoga these folk were participating in.)
In addition to helping with weight loss and management, yoga has many other health benefits:
* strengthens the core muscles, which are important for assisting in tightening loose abdominal muscles.
* is calming, and reduces stress levels.
* increases flexibility and suppleness.
* helps achieve lengthened and toned looking muscles, which in turn results in appearing leaner and slimmer. (Think Madonna, Gwyneth,Christy Turlington, and Jennifer Aniston.)
* assists in connecting the mind and body, which can make it easier to control unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyles.
* improves coordination.
Power yoga burns more calories than the traditional forms of yoga. For those wanting to balance their bodies and minds, decrease their stress levels, and improve their flexibility while working out, this could be a great option. A relevant book which has received very positive reviews is Fat Free Yoga – Lose Weight And Feel Great by Ana Brett & Ravi Singh. Check it out at Amazon.