Yoga is more than just… Well, yoga.
There are many styles of yoga out there, all of which have their own unique benefits.
If you’re taking up yoga in an attempt to shed your belly fat, it helps to know which of the more physically challenging varieties you should be doing to help you burn belly fat and build some extra muscle while you’re at it, too.
Whether you’re new to yoga or you’re already familiar with the main concepts, we’re here to guide you toward the most effective types of yoga for burning belly fat and toning up your stomach.
How Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, yoga can help you lose weight. If you’re practicing yoga regularly (and alongside other regular exercises), you’ll probably start to see some notable changes in your body pretty quickly. So, how does yoga help with weight loss?
Yoga helps you build up your muscle mass, which helps with weight loss and maintenance. You’ll often use your own body weight as resistance when you’re practicing yoga, with your whole body working hard to keep you in balance.
It will also improve your cardio and muscular endurance, all contributing toward weight loss. Although muscle gain can sometimes increase your weight, it burns fat, giving you a more toned physique.
May Improve Sleep Quality
Yes, your sleep quality can relate to weight loss, and yoga is thought to help you sleep better. If you experience disturbed sleep (or run off a few hours a night), you’re likely to have higher levels of ghrelin in your system – a hormone that’s well known for increasing appetite.
If you’re stressed because you’re not sleeping properly, you’ll also have higher levels of cortisol that often leads to sugary, junk food cravings.
Those who practice yoga regularly are thought to experience less sleep-related issues than those who don’t, which could help you on your weight-loss journey.
Can Help You Make Better Food Choices
Another way that yoga may help you lose weight is by encouraging healthier food choices – yes, really. Yoga is directly related to mindfulness. Whenever you practice yoga, you’re asked to tune into how your body feels and connect with it.
When you practice mindfulness, it spills over into other areas of your life, too, including mindful eating. If you’re a mindful eater, you’ll be able to recognize the true symptoms of hunger and avoid binge eating.
Mindful eaters are also more likely to choose foods that make their bodies feel good, healthy, and energized, meaning less fast food, and more healthier alternatives. This can encourage you to stick to a weight loss plan and help you burn that belly fat.
The Most Effective Yoga Styles To Help You Burn Belly Fat
As we mentioned earlier, there are many styles of yoga, all with their unique benefits. So, how do you know which ones are best for burning fat? Here’s a closer look at the most ‘physical’ types of yoga, and how they can help you shed those extra pounds.
Power yoga is a type of yoga that’s focused on building your strength and endurance. It’s often pretty fast-paced and offers more of a cardio-based workout that’s excellent for not only losing weight but also improving your strength and flexibility.
You’ll be encouraged to work on high-impact yoga poses that offer more of a physical workout than traditional yoga. This energetic style of yoga was first developed in the U.S. in the 1990s, and it has remained popular ever since.
Although you can do power yoga on your own, it’s better to start off under the guidance of an instructor who can help you master the poses, and encourage you to keep up with the fast-paced exercises.
Vinyasa yoga is a more creative form of yoga that works to link all of your poses together with your breath.
This physical style will encourage you to spend less time in stationary poses; in other words, more time moving = more calories burned, making vinyasa yoga a great option for those trying to lose weight.
No two classes are the same, and there’s rarely a set sequence to work through. You can also choose a class to suit you, depending on whether you want something more physically challenging, or something a little slower to help you work up to the more intense exercises.
As well as helping you lose weight, vinyasa yoga can help improve your range of motion, cardio health, and muscle strength, and even offer stress relief.
Ashtanga yoga is another style that’s great for weight loss. Ashtanga yoga is a type of yoga that’s dynamic and athletic. In fact, it’s one of the most physically demanding styles of yoga out there, and it’s comprised of six levels, each with its own set postures.
Ashtanga shares its roots with vinyasa yoga, and you’ll gradually learn the postures in each level under the guidance of a yoga instructor before moving on to the next level.
You’ll push your body more in ashtanga yoga as you work through the levels, but if you’re taking these classes with other students, your instructor may choose to skip some poses depending on the level of difficulty you can manage.
Ashtanga is fun, dynamic, and a great way to help you lose weight in a demanding, but slower-paced style of yoga.
The Best Yoga Asanas To Lose Belly Fat
No matter what kind of yoga you’re doing, there are just some poses that are better than burning belly fat than others. If you want to add more fat-busting poses into your usual routine, here are a few you can try today!
- Chakrasana: This flexible pose is thought to improve spinal flexibility, but it also puts most of the muscles in your body to the test, which can help you lose weight. It may take some practice to get this one right, but it’s worth it.
- Santolanasana: Otherwise known as the plank, this pose will help you engage your core and build muscle in your arms. The longer you can hold it, the more you’ll help tone up your belly.
- Eka Padasana: Also known as the one-foot pose, this yoga pose requires plenty of balance and flexibility, and it’ll help engage your core and tone the muscles in your stomach. It can also encourage a more defined waistline if you practice it regularly!
Power yoga, vinyasa, and ashtanga are the most physically demanding types of yoga, and they come highly recommended if you’re trying to lose stubborn belly fat. However, any type of yoga can aid with weight loss and muscle growth, as long as you’re doing it regularly.
Remember: exercises like yoga aren’t a magic wand, and you’ll also have to put the effort in other areas of your life. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and committing to practice yoga regularly will help you see the benefits faster.
If you’re struggling to get started, we’d recommend working with an instructor or joining a class to help guide you through your yoga journey!