If you’re coming to the gym hoping to begin a serious body transformation, don’t overlook a regular yoga practice. There are countless (and well-meaning) friends who will give you all sorts of counsel about weight loss. Many friends of mine have insisted on one of a few different popular schools of thought.
Some say the only way to lose significant amounts of weight is to do strength training primarily, building up weight progressively and challenging yourself more and more. Others insist that the only way to lost weight is to begin eating in a special, restrictive way, like a keto diet, where you can completely change your body’s internal signaling and teach it to burn fat for energy. While diet changes and strength training are great for supporting weight loss, the reason yoga can be perfect for some people is that yoga is strength training. Yoga is also a way to help your mind and body undergo certain lifestyle changes.
Wait, Yoga is Strength Training?
In its simplest form, yoga can just be breathing deeply while focusing your mind. But over the centuries, the practice of yoga has developed into several challenging forms of physical exercise. In these forms of yoga, known commonly as Hatha yoga, groups of physical techniques known as asana, are grouped together into a sequence that can be either relaxing or vigorous, grounding or heart-pounding.
Yoga Classes Columbus Ohio
The kinds of yoga practiced at many modern studios are all under the umbrella of Hatha yoga. They can have Sanskrit names like Power Vinyasa, Ashtanga, or Anusara. Many studios in English-speaking countries have begun naming their classes with more descriptive names in the vernacular, like Slow Flow or Power Burn. Classes that employ a flow system (look for classes called Vinyasa or Flow) can be some of the best classes for strength building. These classes employ a succession of poses that require you to support your body weight using small muscles that you might not even know you had!
Weight Loss: Not Just in the Body
Yoga isn’t just heart-pounding or flowing either. While leading you through challenging poses, your teacher will encourage you to match your breath to your movement. This focuses your mind on the present moment, clearing it of negative thoughts and helping build the qualities of mindfulness. Mindfulness, simply put, is the state of being fully present in the moment, not burdening yourself with fears of the future or blame for past mistakes.
Mindfulness and control over negative thoughts are perfect for supporting dietary and lifestyle changes. While it’s certainly true that changing your diet is essential to weight loss, yoga can be the key to making it last. Negative and uncontrollable thoughts are often at the heart of unhealthy eating patterns. We all know how easy it is to eat something fatty, salty or sweet when we feel a little out of control. Practicing yoga can help you find the right way to control some of the damaging, unnecessary thoughts that can lead to lasting weight gain.
Yoga Studios Columbus Ohio
If you’re looking to start or continue a yoga practice, come in and say hello to us at The Fitness Loft. There are lots of great yoga studios in Columbus Ohio, but we’re the only one that blends excellent yoga instruction with a full-service gym, nutritional coaching and a supportive community feel. If you’re looking to finally find a way to change your body composition that includes a healing, supportive mental and personal element, yoga can be the secret ingredient that you’ve needed all the while.