Yoga and Weight Loss
Great news for all the yoginis out there! The Journal of the American Dietetic Association recently published a study which found that yoga is linked with more eating awareness, leading to less weight gain. Practicing yoga leads to healthier eating habits because mindfulness is such a major component of yoga.
The study collected data from people who practiced yoga more than one hour per week, people who walked for at least 90 minutes per week, and people who got more than 90 minutes of moderate to strenuous activity per week.
The findings: People who ate mindfully (meaning, those who were conscious of their reasons for eating and who stopped eating when full) had a lower body mass than people who ate mindlessly in response to sadness, stress, or when they were not hungry.
The yoga practitioners scored highest on a Mindful Eating Questionnaire. Engaging in the other activities (walking, strenuous activity) was not associated with mindful eating. Som in sum, yoga can = mindful eating = weight loss!
This is definitely motivation to pick up my yoga practice again! I used to go 3-4x/week and now I’m lucky if I make it to one class. The focus on the breath and mindfulness that is associated with yoga is my favorite part and it carries over into the rest of my day. If you spend your time in the gym on the treadmill or cardio classes, try a yoga class. It’s a wonderful complement to your existing routine (runners swear by it for their tight leg muscles)
But remember, while yoga is wonderful for your body, mind, and spirit, don’t neglect other forms of exercise, such as cardio and strength training. A combination of all 3 is ideal!