We all have our reasons for doing yoga. We do it to connect with our true selves, relieve stress, enjoy "me time" … and who are we kidding? To get that banging body! If you're new to yoga, you may think of it as just stretching, as several of my friends have expressed to me. But there's a lot more going on than you may know. If you're looking to shed some extra pounds and keep them off, taking yoga classes is tried and true and here's why:
1. If you feel unmotivated, like myself, by going to class you've committed yourself to see it though! Classes are generally 1 – 1 1/2 hours long and you even have the choice of leaving, but why would you waist the money? When you exercise on your own, you can stop at anytime, and not having the choice can help. As always you should be safe and take breaks when needed, but when you're around a bunch of others who are in it with you is great motivation to keep going.
2. When you do yoga you're working your muscles and doing cardio at the same time. Forget sweating your ass off at the treadmill, then grunting your way though lifting heavy weight. Yoga is the all-in-one workout. When you have more muscles, you actually burn more calories when you're resting!
3. Stretching even elongates your muscles which also helps you to have a leaner body. After practicing yoga regularly, you even start to feel a difference in your posture. You can actually feel taller when you start doing some more advanced spine stretches.
4. Quicker results in fewer workouts has been my experience. If you practice 2 -3 sessions a week for a month, you'll see and feel results like you never have before if this is your first yoga venture. The heart-pumping and toning postures have that effect. Just make sure you take a somewhat challenging class for your level and always listen to your body to avoid injury.
5. Be conscious of what you eat. This one is tricky if you go home after a yoga session and eat half a pizza, you'll just undo all the good that was done. It can be a scary challenge making big changes to your eating habits. Yoga will help you with this because it will teach you to unite the body and the mind. If you set your intention beforehand to eat healthy and really visualize feeling great during your meditation, you'll find it to be a more natural change.