Are you one of those who associate weight loss only with gym equipment, cardio workouts and weight-lifting exercises? Does yoga mean restorative poses, feel-good stretches and breathing exercises to you? If you enjoy doing yoga or want to lose weight along with reaping the numerous benefits that yoga offers, here is good news for you! You can lose weight effectively with yoga and that too without any extra cost!
The form of yoga that we are talking about is Vinyasa Yoga. Vinyasa yoga is the flow yoga. In fact, when you look at a yogi doing Vinyasa, it seems as if he is dancing. Wikipedia describes Vinyasa as ‘a specific sequence of breath-synchronized movements. It is used to create a transition between sustained postures’. It is also defined as ‘linking of body movement with breath’. Vinyasa is a dynamic, flowing form of Hatha Yoga. The postures in Vinyasa Yoga are the same as in Hatha Yoga. But, there is no set sequence of Vinyasa Yoga and it varies from teacher to teacher.
Vinyasa For Weight Loss:
One of the best things about Vinyasa is that it is full of diversity and variety. Each teacher has her own style of sequencing a Vinyasa, so you always get a variation. This is very helpful as it keeps your body guessing what is necessary; otherwise your body will just get used to whatever you do daily and won’t burn much calorie.
Here are the most common and effective types of Vinyasas that you must do for shedding that extra fat and for building lean muscles.
1. Sun Salutations:
An hour of Sun Salutations can help you in burning up to 500 calories! There are different sequences followed by different yogis when it comes to Sun Salutations. Choose whichever you like best and whichever you think challenges your body effectively. But the important thing to look for is the sequence of Down Dog, Chaturanga and Upward Dog. These must be included. In fact many teachers use the word ‘Vinyasa’ for the flow of poses in a sun salutation between the two Down Dogs.
2. Warrior Series:
Warrior poses are generally thought to target only your lower body, but that is a myth. Warrior poses target your entire body, lower as well as upper. A Warrior Series generally includes all the three Warrior poses – Warrior I, Warrior II, and Warrior III. Along with these, the Extended Angle Pose, Side Extended Angle and Triangle Pose are also included in this series. These poses stretch and strengthen the muscles at the same time.
3. Table Top Series:
This series is becoming popular among the yogi circles day by day. This flow generally includes the Table Top Pose, Awkward Table Top Pose and Cat-Cow Pose. It is great for building your abs and strengthening your core, and for toning the back.
Benefits Of Vinyasa Yoga:
Vinyasa gives you all the benefits of Hatha Yoga. It provides holistic healing to the body and mind. It is therapeutic for a number of chronic diseases. It helps in treating heart problems, high blood pressure, and respiratory issues. It heals musculo-skeletal pains and strengthens both the muscles and the joints. It increases flexibility and provides mental calmness. But Vinyasa has many other exclusive benefits that lead to effective weight loss:
1. Cardiovascular Benefits
Vinyasa is done on a relatively faster pace than the other forms of Hatha Yoga. The faster pace provides good cardio workout to the body. Since each movement is linked through breath, the heart rate goes up and the body gets heated, resulting in the burning of calories.
2. Muscle Strength
You must have heard that bodyweight exercises are the best form of exercises for building strength and muscles. That is because most of the bodyweight exercises work more than one muscle group, and you learn to control your own body. Moreover, when we work with equipments, we can sometimes cheat by preferring our better side and not working our weaker side as much as we should.
This possibility of cheating is eliminated by doing bodyweight exercises. Most of the yoga postures are amazing bodyweight exercises. When we do the poses in flow, we constantly move from one pose to another, holding only for a few seconds before transitioning to the next pose. This not only gives a good cardio but also works on all our major muscle groups. When we move from one pose to another, extra strength is required. This helps in burning the fat and strengthening the muscles at the same time. With Vinyasa, we acquire total body toning.
3. Psychosomatic Benefits
You must be thinking how psychosomatic benefits matter in weight loss. But, it is a proven fact that when your body and mind are relaxed, you lose weight more effectively. Vinyasa yoga is a kind of moving meditation. With the breath-synchronized movements, your focus shifts towards your breath. Vinyasa helps in steadying the mind by turning the focus from the external towards the internal.
Vinyasa creates heat in our body, which cleans our thick, impure blood and makes it thinner. This helps in free circulation of blood throughout the body. The constant deep breathing through the nose also helps in eliminating the toxins and detoxifying the entire body in the process.
You can experiment with the sequencing in Vinyasa. Just remember, it is like a dance. Your breathing is the most important thing in Vinyasa Yoga. Take deep breaths, inhaling with upward movements and exhaling with downward movements.
Be regular, keep challenging yourself and take care of your diet, and you’ll be ready with a sexy yoga body in no time.