We all know regular physical activity is key to maintaining a healthy weight. And with warm weather and pool season on the horizon, it's time to get moving!
A number of research studies have shown regular yoga practice is associated with improvements in weight. For instance, this study of 59 employees who participated in a 6 week employee wellness program involving daily yoga saw statistically significant improvements in BMI, blood pressure, flexibility, body fat percentage and overall quality of life.
Of course yoga - especially more intense classes - helps us burn calories similar to other forms of physical activity. Vinyasa flow movements coupled with breath work get our hearts pumping. Strength work in yoga builds muscle and changes our body composition, which increases our metabolism and makes it easier to maintain healthy weight levels.
But unlike other forms of physical activity, medical researchers say the unique promotion of mindfulness through yoga can "change the relationship of mind to body, and eventually to food and eating." A strong mind-body connection helps us be more aware of physical sensations like fullness and helps us control appetite.
In addition, stress has been linked to negative changes in weight. Stress causes changes in appetite and can trigger those junk food cravings. It has also been shown to increase the rate at which we store fat. Yoga and meditation work to reduce stress levels and the release of associated stress hormones to keep us rested, relaxed, and at healthy weight levels!
If maintaining a healthy weight is a priority for you, there are many ways that yoga can help you reach your goals, like burning calories, promoting mind-body connection, and reducing stress levels. So get practicing and we'll see you at the studio.