The 5 Best Types Of Yoga
For many of us, yoga is stretching, de-stressing and mastering meditation rather than stimulating our calorie burn. But that does not mean you can not (or should not) resort to yoga to lose weight.
After all, yoga develops the strength of the whole body as no other thing does. Developing muscle is the key to unlocking the potential of your metabolism, helping you burn more calories during each workout and even in savasana (that impressive posture at the end of the class when you stay there trying not to fall asleep). Also, depending on your yogasanas (for example, yoga postures), a correct yoga class can increase your heart rate just like any other high-intensity workout. Yes really.
Also, as far as mind-body balance is concerned, the full concentration that is taught in yoga is essential for a healthy and sustainable weight loss, which helps reduce stress and even stimulate intuitive eating practices. A 2016 investigation by the National Institutes of Health shows that the full range of physical, mental and social benefits that yoga brings make it an integral tool to lose weight.
Therefore, whether you are a yoga veteran or have done it as an activity on your “recovery day,” or have even completely ignored it in favor of other calorie-burning activities, it is time to activate the burning of fats with yoga. The key is to find the right kind of yoga for your weight loss goals.
For this reason, we collaborate with the best experts in yoga and weight loss to identify the best types of yoga to help you lose weight. Here they are, arranged from a light burning to a level that gets that fat to mourn.
The Big Five: Bikram, Iyengar, Forrest, Hatha, and Vinyasa
Not to be confused with “yoga with heat,” Bikram is a 90-minute practice that goes through 26 specially ordered poses, challenging postures and sequences to increase your heart rate.
Okay, to clarify, sometimes Bikram classes heat up similarly to “hot yoga” classes, but extra sweat does not cause more calories to burn.
“Sweating a lot during a workout can lead to water loss, and this may be reflected on a scale immediately after, but as soon as you rehydrate those pounds they will come back,” explains Kristin McGee, famous yoga instructor and author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch, and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You.
On the other hand, it is the continuous and rapid movements that make the Bikram stimulate not only the flexibility but also the weight loss. In fact, researchers at Colorado State University who studied the benefits of Bikram found that what you could burn during a typical class was the equivalent of burning calories generated by a quick walk. For best results, do not leave Bikram for at least eight weeks.
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Being a form of hatha yoga, Iyengar does not involve as much movement as other types of yoga, but because of the degree of detail required in this practice, both regarding asanas (postures) and pranayama (your breathing), it is ideal for developing muscle, and mental determination. Have you ever been told to hold your midsection, and in seconds you’re shaking, and sweat starts to drip to the floor? Yes, Iyengar is something like that.
“Iyengar yoga flows like Vinyasa yoga, with continuous and linked movements, but maintaining the postures for a longer time which is beneficial to increase strength and calm the mind and which often prevents us from unconsciously pecking,” explains the instructor Alanna Zabel, founder of Aziam Yoga.
You read it right; there’s a type of yoga called Forrest. Designed by Ana Forrest, it is intended to address the problems caused by the modern lifestyle. We are all guilty of spending too much time hunched over our computers and mobile phones. The result: weakened back muscles, rounded shoulders and a lazy trunk.
Read more: 16 Easy Exercises To Lose Belly Fat
The Forrest can fix this. With intense sequences of poses, extended postures, and deep breathing, this style focuses on developing the trunk to strengthen it from the inside out.
“When your trunk is strong everywhere, and your spine is properly strengthened, this allows your limbs to move faster and stronger,” says McGee.
While this is a good omen when it comes to losing weight on the yoga mat, a strong trunk will also help you get more results on the treadmill or do squats. Enter weekly Forrest sessions in your exercise routine to take all your workouts to the next level.
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You will see this type of yoga in any class routine. This is not a specific type of yoga, but a general term for a yoga practice focused on the physical aspect and not on the spiritual mentality. Yes, your body will feel this information!
The Hatha consists of a combination of postures, both sitting and standing, with movements that are not linked to each other. Beware: the hard part of Hatha is that you never know what you will get when you enter a class. Each instructor has their preferences regarding speed and intensity.
Read more: 7 Interval Workouts That Burn Fat Quickly
If you want to increase your calorie expenditure look for a Power Hatha yoga class, which strengthens and works for large muscle groups (remember, working bigger muscles results in more calorie burning).
This style of accelerated yoga does not stop from beginning to end of the class, adding the cardiovascular element that you need to burn calories and lose weight. The Vinyasa offers a stylistic approach when it comes to practicing yoga, which means that it links a series of asanas together that flow from one to the other very quickly.
“As for the practice of asana as an athletic effort, the body needs speed and intensity to obtain weight loss results,” says Bethany Lyons, founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga in New York City. Expect to leave the Vinyasa class as if you had been put to the limit in a boot camp session.
Also, by focusing on the same asanas class after class, the Vinyasa allows you to progress in the same way you would when you follow a training program of several weeks in the gym. With each class, you systematically and progressively build on what you have already achieved, which is the key to any effective training.
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