The stereotype around Yoga is that the practice of it yields inner balance, stress relief and relaxation, but isn't tailor made for men and women who want to lose weight.
In essence, "downward dog" equals thumbs down from the masses who need to drop some mass.
But the segment of the population that struggles with their weight no longer have to wait for the perfect exercise regimen.
It's already here.
Studies have shown that Yoga not only helps you find peace of mind but also can contribute to significant weight loss and warding off ailments such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The remarkable benefit of Yoga for those who are overweight or obese is that not only can they lose weight, but the low impact nature of it allows them to avoid the strenuous nature of traditional cardiovascular exercise.
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That isn't to suggest that Yoga burns more calories than running on a treadmill or striding effortlessly on an elliptical. But not everyone who is 30 or more pounds overweight feels comfortable or capable enough to indulge in an overly taxing workout program.
A particular Yoga practice that bodes well for this market is restorative Yoga, which simply stresses relaxation as the main aspect of this Yoga type. Restorative Yoga lends itself to men and women that are overweight because it doesn't involve routines centered on balance or complicated movements.
Not only is weight loss more than just realistic but is a huge component of restorative Yoga, in addition to tempering terrible disease that typically afflict those men and women dubbed "obese."
The 73rd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association in Chicago reaffirmed the restorative Yoga theory when Maria G. Araneta, PhD, MPH of the University of California in San Diego reported results that showed her subjects, all of which are clinically obese, lost more weight with Yoga than stretching, nearly three pounds more during a study that lasted nearly one year.
Araneta also included a sentiment rooted in common sense and offered a sense of encouragement for those who struggle mightily with their weight: restorative Yoga, coupled with light aerobic activity, could be the perfect combination for obese clientele.
In addition to those who struggle with their weight, restorative Yoga is quite applicable for an older age group that perhaps can no longer take the strain on their joints, tendons or muscles from weight lifting or running. The 45-55 age group especially gravitates toward Yoga, and the results for them are quite similar as those for the obese segment: increased weight loss.
Any form of Yoga certainly won't rival CrossFit or an Iron Man competition in terms of intensity but not everyone is equipped mentally or physically for that type of program. For that group, Yoga is more than just a lesser alternative but rather an activity that excites, motivates and stands solely on its own two feet as its own entity.
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