Yoga has long been associated with stress reduction and increased flexibility, but not everyone realizes that yoga can also help them lose weight, lower their cholesterol, and eliminate harmful toxins. Yoga practitioners can even learn how to control their cravings for unhealthy foods.
Yoga is one of the most holistic activities there is, focusing on mind, body, and spirit. When done properly, the benefits are endless. It can ease your anxiety, improve your coordination, strength, and posture, and help you lose pounds and inches. That’s because it combines deep breathing, relaxing meditation, and limbering poses.
Breathe Deeply, Burn Fat
When you breathe deeply and consciously – instead of taking short, shallow breaths – you not only feel more relaxed, you burn more calories. Studies have shown that regular deep breathing burns up to 140% more calories than riding a stationary bike! (Of course, breathing deeply won’t help you lose weight if you’re also inhaling cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, sodas, and packaged meals. Eating a vegetarian diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in sugar and processed foods is also essential for weight loss and maintenance.)
To lose the most weight, practice Bikram yoga, which is a mix of low-key twisting poses and cardio exercises performed in a room where the temperature has been raised higher than 100 degrees, or Ashtanga Yoga, which combines complex yoga poses with deep breathing techniques.
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