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Looking for ways to get in shape but prefer to steer clear of crowded and noisy gyms? Yoga might be a good low-cost option to improve your physical fitness and transform your body.
Read on to learn what exactly yoga can and can NOT do to your body and what yoga to practice for visible physical benefits.
1/3 Does yoga make you skinny?
Despite its reputation as a slow and flexibility-focused practice, yoga can actually be pretty effective in helping you lose weight. What’s more, yoga not only promotes weight loss but also improves body composition, according to available research.
This is a very important point because when losing weight you want to burn fat as well as build muscle. It’s a good balance between the muscle mass and fat tissue that make up an objectively good physique.
How much weight you lose with yoga depends on a variety of factors, including how often you practice, how long, which yoga you do, and most importantly, if your diet is in check.
It’s important to remember that weight loss happens only when you consume fewer calories than you expend. Even if you hit the mat daily, this won’t help you lose weight if you don’t control how much you’re eating.
Trying to lose weight with yoga but don’t know where to start? Check out this easy step-by-step guide on yoga for weight loss.
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2/3 Does yoga make you toned?
Yoga styles that involve a lot of standing postures and long holds will help you tone your muscles just like any other bodyweight exercise would.
Also, the cool thing about yoga is that it can be a well-rounded workout that includes all elements of fitness – flexibility/mobility, endurance, balance training, and a bit of cardio.
Doing regular yoga can help you tone your arms and slim your legs without building excess bulk. Toning your muscles with yoga will take longer than lifting weights in a gym. Even so, you’ll feel you’re not only getting stronger, but also more flexible, and confident in your body. Multiple studies have shown that yoga increases body satisfaction and self-acceptance in women with eating disorders as well as encourages gratitude for the body you have.
Here are a few yoga poses and simple sequences to try if you want to tone your upper body and slim your legs:
- Vinyasa Flow – a simple sequence when you flow through Plank, Chaturanga, Upward-Facing Dog, and Downward Dog, matching movements to your breath.
- Side Plank Lifts to Wild Thing
- Three-Legged Dog to Plank to Knee to Chest
- Plank to Locust to Downward-Facing Dog
- Chair pose to Balance Chair to Standing Forward Fold
3/3 Does yoga reduce cellulite?
Cellulite is a built-up and uneven distribution of fat underneath the skin. The underlying fat deposits push through the layers of collagen fibers under the skin (often in the buttocks and thigh areas, but also in the arms, abdomen, and other trouble spots), which results in skin dimples and lumps. There are various causes for cellulite including genetics, age, diet, poor circulation, and hormones.
If you have cellulite, you are not alone. In fact, it’s much rarer not to have it. The majority of women have cellulite to one degree or another. We all have fat under our skin. So, even if not everyone shows outward signs of cellulite, it may occur to anyone.
Exercise, including yoga, can also help you decrease the appearance of cellulite to a certain degree. Moving your body on the mat with help you improve lymphatic flow, build muscle, and burn fat – all of which can improve the appearance of your skin and smooth out the dimples.
With that being said, yoga won’t bring you mind-blowing results fast. It will take time, effort, and major lifestyle changes to see visible changes to the cellulite on your thighs and legs. You might want to supplement your yoga practice with weight training and bursts of cardio if you’re looking for fast outcomes.
Also, keep in mind that cellulite cannot be completely eliminated. There are some treatments that may reduce its appearance, though. To achieve the best results, work with a reputable health care provider to decide which therapies may be right for you.
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Which yoga is best for muscle building and toning?
If you want to build muscle with yoga, go for strong and vigorous yoga styles. Some of the common yoga types to try include:
- Power yoga
- Forrest yoga
- Hot yoga
The idea here is to do exercises that will challenge you and your body. If a yoga class is not challenging you physically, it means you’re likely not getting stronger but simply maintaining the level of strength you already have.
Play with adding some equipment to your yoga routine. Small dumbbells and resistance bands are great tools to increase the load and thus build muscles.
You can also focus on doing more repetitions of yoga poses, flow faster than your normal pace or spend more time on your yoga mat.