With its countless and often-advocated health benefits, including everything from lowering stress levels to lengthening spines, yoga is attracting more students than ever before.
And in a day and age when many of us are looking to see smaller numbers on our scales, it comes as no surprise that people are turning to the ancient discipline to help battle the bulge. But can yoga actually help you lose weight?
“There’s always a bit of a hesitation for anyone to broach the subject, because losing weight isn’t exactly what yoga for weight loss is all about. That said, there’s a huge transformative aspect to yoga,” explains Natalya Grod, a Toronto-based yoga and Pilates instructor who has nearly a decade of teaching experience. “With other forms of exercise, weight loss can be a very harsh and judgmental process, whereas yoga provides a more positive and welcoming environment for it.”
The benefits of yoga
The hallmarks of any yoga practice are controlled breathing, meditation and a wide range of body postures performed in a quiet, non-judgmental, non-competitive setting — which is a marked departure from the loud, often-intimidating scene at your local gym. And with the wide range of yoga styles, from the slow and purposeful postures of hatha yoga to the fast-paced flow of ashtanga yoga, there’s something in it for everyone.