If it’s good enough for Madonna, it’s good enough for you!
“Yoga is a workout for your mind, body and soul,” Madonna once said. According to reports, she was introduced to yoga by Sting, and this is what continues to keep the once curvy Like A Virgin nubile pop star a toned, lean, performing machine. Find out what these two ageless hotties have known all along.
Yoga helps you lose weight
- Yoga involves graceful movements that build strength and muscle. This gives your body a toned look – no ugly sagging skin due to drastic weight loss.
- Some yoga poses tone specific areas: arms, legs, abs, chest. Jennifer Aniston, for one, loves the Tree pose, which targets arms and legs. Another of Jennifer’s favorites, the Child pose is one of the poses that tone abs. You can learn Child and Tree in beginner yoga class but will continue to use them even as you advance.
- Specific yoga poses can also raise your metabolism. Poses such as Sarvangasana (the shoulder stand) and Matsyasana (the fish pose) stimulate your thyroid gland, boosting the conversion of fat into muscle and energy.
- Yoga also helps relax your mind. When your mind is serene, you are less likely to succumb to the mindless stress eating that only yields to more unwanted pounds.
- Yoga works best in combination with running, walking or other aerobic exercises in your weight loss regimen. However, if yoga will be your main workout, you must do a vigorous 90-minute class at least three times a week to see results. If you’re just starting yoga, or you’re out of shape, always choose a beginner class.
What types of yoga are most effective for weight loss?
Vinyasa or flow yoga, a form of yoga based on a sequence of poses called sun salutations, is best for weight loss. Vinyasa includes these physically intense, sweat-inducing yoga styles:
* Ashtanga: Madonna’s choice, this is a very vigorous form of yoga. What’s great is that once you learn the poses, you can even do Ashtanga Yoga at home, in your office or in your hotel if you’re traveling for business.
* Power Yoga: Extremely popular because it gives you a high-intensity cardiovascular workout.
* Hot Yoga: This is vinyasa yoga performed in a hot room, which makes it more effective as you will sweat more profusely.
Now you’re not a celeb who has all the time to work out –
How do you squeeze yoga into your already packed fitness program?
- Break it down. If you don’t have time for one long yoga session, do it in installments: for example, 15 minutes after you get up and 15 minutes before bed, or any other time of day that’s convenient for you.
- Yoga first thing in the morning. For yoga instructors, the best time for yoga is within the two hours before sunrise, when spiritual energy is high. You have fewer distractions at this time, so there’s less chance your yoga session will be bumped off by other commitments. Doing yoga in the morning also prepares you for the rest of the day.
- Yoga for lunch: Many studios also offer quick one-hour classes at lunch time. A dose of power yoga will also make you less sleepy, more productive in the afternoon.
- Yoga at home: After you’ve learned the poses from your instructor, you can easily do yoga on your own or use a yoga DVD to guide you along. This way, you don’t have to stress about catching the next yoga class at the gym, since you can do it anytime at home.
There you go, the weight loss benefits of yoga have all been lined up for you. If you feel you don’t have the time for it, we’ve even suggested ways to squeeze it into an otherwise busy day. Now if that still doesn’t persuade you, perhaps the photos of Madonna, Sting and Jennifer Aniston, all yoga practitioners, will do the trick!