• Can yoga change your body shape?

    Can yoga change your body shape?

    A healthy, toned body is just the start of the physical transformation you expect by practising yoga regularly. Yoga is so much more than just a powerful way to relax, it is a complete workout for both the body and the mind and has the potential to increase fat loss, develop muscle tone, and build flexibility, leading to a more toned lean-looking physique. 

    When you start practicing any type of yoga, including beginner yoga, blood flow increases to the muscles bringing oxygen and essential nutrients to the active tissue. This not only allows the muscles to function at their optimal level, but also helps to build muscle strength, allowing damaged muscles to repair more quickly, and extracting sugar from the bloodstream, thus lowering blood sugar levels. 

    All you have to do is try a few sun salutations or any flow at a good, steady pace, to realise that yoga can count as calorie-burning cardio. A beginner yoga session can burn between 180 and 460 calories depending on several factors, including the type of yoga you’re doing, the length and intensity of the class, and whether you’re male or female. Like most workouts, the amount of calories you burn depends on your intensity, however there are many postures and flows we do that certainly increase your heart rate and boost cardiovascular fitness, making it easier for you to grow and retain a healthy body shape. 

    Yoga poses involve a lot of stretching and use resistance to induce muscular contraction. By stretching the muscle, the muscle fibres lengthen and re-align, which is an amazing way to shape the body, giving our students a tighter and leaner physique. 

    The breath work we do during yoga fuels the metabolic system, which promotes increased fat burning and can result in weight loss. Daily practice will also promote hormonal balance, thus making it easier for you to maintain a healthy body weight and shape. 

    Practically everything we do in most yoga classes, including beginner yoga, involves engaging your core. Not to mention the fact that balancing in general, requires control of all of your muscles. When you simply hold downward dog, you use every muscle in your body, especially your core. Whether we are holding core-centric poses for an extended period of time, or continuously flowing from pose to pose, each movement raises the heartbeat, strengthening your muscles and resulting in a more toned, shaped body.

    The ways in which yoga can shape your body also exceeds beyond yoga class. The postures and movements we do during class have an influence on your body’s cortisol levels, helping to regulate the blood glucose levels and reduce stress. This will help to supress appetite and prevent emotional eating outside of class, which often leads to weight gain. 

    One of the best parts about yoga, is that there’s so much diversity between class-to-class, meaning it’s perfectly fine to practice every day.  Just ensure you are listening to your body, giving yourself adequate rest in between and choosing classes of varying intensity. Your body needs time to restore, so it’s great to make sure your incorporating a few Yin Yoga classes into your schedule, or maybe even Yoga Nidra, for optimal rest time. 

    What you get from yoga practice is so much more than just the physical benefits such as a shaped physique. Yoga brings with it many physical and psychological benefits that not only give you the tightly toned body you’ve dreamt of, but also improve your mental health and overall wellbeing in ways that can completely transform your life.

    About the Author

    Demi fell in love with yoga when she travelled to India when she was 20 years old. She loved the feeling of bliss she experienced both during and after class, and how that feeling would stay with her throughout her day. It was also in India, that Demi learned how much she loved to write about her travels. She believes that stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us understand. They imprint a picture in our minds. This led her to her job as a Content Writer. She loves helping businesses tell stories. Especially when the stories involve educating readers on the endless benefits of yoga and Pilates- two of her most loved fitness regimes