Hi again. In today’s post I wanted to summarise an article focusing on literature and studies made on yoga exercise impact on weight-loss. There are many benefits of yoga and I will certainly review those in a number of posts later on. The question is how yoga impacts weight?
In this specific research, the authors wanted to check yoga weight-loss impact on overweight and obese individuals. As usual, overweight means at least 25 in BMI (Body Mass Index).
The answer is that there is little research demonstrating the direct impact of yoga on weight-loss. The few studies made do indicate some BMI reduction but the studies are limited and didn’t take an holistic approach, didn’t include enough people, or didn’t include random trials. Therefore, direct weight-loss impact through yoga cannot be confirmed at this stage.
So knowing that we are aiming for the perfect body and mind, the question is:
How does yoga fit into a weight-loss program?
What the authors concluded, was that yoga’s immediate weight-loss impact is still to be further investigated and tried in a larger study. However, this doesn’t mean that yoga doesn’t generate benefits. The typical weight-loss related benefits that can be seen from yoga exercise are:
- Actual weight-loss during yoga practice
- Yoga treatment of back and joint pain which leads to that the individual feels better and automatically moves and exercise more outside the yoga exercise
- Improved mindfulness which leads to reduced food consumption, less stress and better mood
- Improved mind-body connection which generates an awareness and can lead to better treatment of the body
So because of all these positive reasons between yoga and weight-loss, the authors suggest that yoga will be a good exercise to commence before a weight-loss program. Meaning that the individual that would like to lose weight, will be better off if he or she already experienced some of the yoga benefits.
As an example, on the second point from the above list, if the individual is obese but still feels fit and doesn’t have the knee’s or the back that hurts, he or she will be more likely to take the stairs instead of the lift, or maybe engage in an exercise that he or she favours (like bicycle or tennis)
Another example will be related to mindfulness and mind-body connection as per the third and fourth points on the list above. If the person is more relaxed in his mind, he will have a more relaxed approach to life, have improved self-confidence and improved mind control.
Improved mind control will lead to that the individual will be able to hold his hunger until dinner, avoid over-eating between meals and chose the right type of food for a healthier life during a meal. This positive impact will not be seen immediately and will only work from the moment the individual feels an extreme connection between food intake and body performance. Something that a yoga exercise will generate after a certain time. It becomes especially visible through the breathing that is one of the key focuses of yoga.
As per the research, yoga shall be exercised at least once a week over a 60-90 minutes’ session. Impact will of course be more immediate if it is exercised more often.
Recommendation: Before starting a weight-loss program, start with yoga as there are several benefits that will facilitate for someone to go through with a weight-loss program. Also, not mentioned in the above post, but do yoga both individually and in group, for maximised impact.
My take away from this article is that yoga is an exercise that must be integrated in a program to achieve the perfect body and mind. As the readers of this blog will already know, I am in support of an holistic approach in order to achieve perfect (body and mind) state. Yoga exercise is therefore something that will be support in order to achieve this state, as long as it is done correctly.
Thanks for reading
Mr Mibo (Mr. Perfect Mind and Body)
Source: “Yoga in the Management of Overweight and Obesity”. Bernstein, Bar, Ehrman, Golubic, Roizen. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2013. March.