When you first start doing yoga, you might not expect a ton of changes to be seen in your body.
The thing is, the practice itself is very gentle and calm for the most part, so people underestimate the amount of change that can be seen in your body after practicing yoga for a while.
If you are wondering if yoga will make a difference in the way you look, the answer is a definite YES!
But let’s take a closer look at how yoga can change your body shape:
1) Increased fat loss
As mentioned earlier, yoga is not just gentle stretching and meditation, it can also be an intense workout.
By practicing yoga regularly, you will start to see your body shape change as your muscles become more toned, helping you to burn more fat as you go through your day-to-day life.
Depending on the type of yoga you practice, you can expect to burn anywhere between 200-600 calories per session.
This is pretty low when compared to the likes of high-intensity cardio, but yoga has plenty of other benefits that make it a great addition to anyone’s workout routine.
Including yoga in your routine could also help to lower your cortisol levels, which can help to prevent stubborn belly fat.
But that’s not all – as you practice yoga, you will be more inclined to follow a healthier diet, which will help to keep the weight coming off.
It may also help to keep your heart healthy as well, as yoga has been shown to improve blood pressure and heart health in numerous studies.
All in all, yoga will help you to increase fat loss, which will be a great plus if you are trying to shed a few pounds.
But it’s not all about losing weight, you will get stronger, too:
2) Strong arms
One of the most common misconceptions is that yoga is only for people who want to relax and chill out.
While a bunch of yoga poses are done in a seated position or laying down, there are also many poses that require you to lift your own body weight.
Some examples of these include arm balances, handstands, and even lifting yourself up into a downward dog.
By practicing these poses regularly, you can expect to see a significant increase in the strength of your arms.
This also means that you could see a reduction in any sagging or drooping skin that you might have been worrying about, too.
Your muscles in your arms will become stronger and more defined, which will give your arms that look that shows “I work out” and “I’m in the best shape of my life”.
Many people seem to overlook how important strong arms are, but yoga has been shown to improve arm strength while not requiring you to lift a ton of weight at the gym.
Not only will you be able to lift things that you could not before, but your arms will also feel much more toned and defined.
It is really important to have some sort of muscle definition, if only just to feel healthy.
But the benefits don’t stop at the arms…
3) A strong core
As well as strengthening your arms, practicing yoga will also make your core incredibly strong.
In fact, many yogis are able to achieve the same core strength that a group of core-focused athletes would have.
The reason this happens is that a strong core is essential for performing many of the yoga poses.
If you have a weak core, you won’t be able to perform many of the poses correctly, and this can lead to injury.
Yoga helps to build core strength because many of the poses require you to engage your abdominal muscles as part of the exercise.
This means that you will strengthen your core, which will also help to improve your posture and make you look much slimmer as well.
A strong core paired with the increased fat loss can lead to gigantic changes in your body shape, and you might even start to see some abs coming through after a while.
Now: a strong core is incredibly important, and not just because you might like the way it looks.
Having a strong core will be the basis of injury prevention, not just during yoga but in everyday life, as well.
The thing is, your core is your center of balance and stability, so if you do not have a strong core, you will be less stable and more prone to injury.
Having a strong core can help to improve your posture, and this is important for both physical and mental health.
Now, what about the legs?
4) Flexible but lean legs
Yoga is also a great way to increase your flexibility and improve your range of motion.
Many people who practice yoga have extremely bendy legs, which can be really good for your appearance.
Not only does this mean that yoga will make your legs look leaner and longer, it also means that you are less likely to injure yourself after practicing yoga for a while.
Being more flexible can also help you with your posture, which can only be a good thing!
Another great thing about flexibility is that you don’t have to be a yoga pro to achieve it.
Even if you don’t practice yoga regularly, you can still perform stretches to increase your range of motion.
And the best part?
A lot of the poses in yoga will require some strength in your legs, and when you hold the poses for a while, you will notice increased muscle definition in your legs as well.
So not only will you be more flexible, but your legs will also look great when you are performing basic tasks in your daily life!
Your quads might pop a bit, your calves will be more defined, and even your hamstrings and glutes might benefit from certain poses.
And even if you want to focus on shedding a few pounds, yoga is still good for your legs:
There are many poses that are perfect for strengthening your legs and helping to feel better.
Alongside the increased flexibility, you will also notice increased muscle tone in your legs, which can help to boost confidence as well.
But yoga doesn’t just change your body shape from the outside:
5) Healthy digestion – less bloating
One of the lesser-known benefits of yoga is that it can help improve your digestion.
People commonly associate digestion problems with eating too many processed foods, but stress is also a huge cause of poor digestion.
By practicing yoga regularly, you can reduce your stress levels and see a positive change in your digestion at the same time.
Not only can this help to reduce bloating and make you look slimmer, it also means that you are less likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
Having a healthy digestion will also help you to lose weight more easily and make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.
You see, many people who struggle with losing weight their entire life actually have more than enough discipline, they just suffer from really bad gut health.
When your gut health is bad, your body might not be able to hold on to nutrients as well as it could, you might be bloated all the time and look heavier than you are, and you might feel more tired than you should as well.
Of course, if you feel more tired, you’re less likely to be active throughout the day and get things done, which can also stand in the way of you and your journey.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, yoga could be just the thing to sort it all out.
Your digestion will run smoothly and you will have no more issues!
But bloating is not the only thing that will go away with yoga:
6) Hot yoga – less water weight
While regular yoga is great for many things, it might not be the best option if you are aiming to shed some water weight.
That being said, hot yoga is an excellent option for people who want to jump start their weight loss journey.
By practicing hot yoga, you will be working your cardiovascular system intensely.
This means that you will be burning more calories than in a normal yoga session, and sweating out lots of water.
When you sweat, your body releases toxins, but it also releases water, so doing hot yoga can be a great way to get rid of some stubborn water weight.
It is important to note, however, that this weight that is lost during a hot yoga session initially is not fat – it’s just excess water your body has stored.
In order to avoid a bunch of excess water weight accumulating again, you should hydrate enough.
I know, it sounds ironic, but drinking more water actually decreases your water weight.
The reason for that is simple: if you are dehydrated, your body clings to every drop of water it gets, and in the process, it stores water that is not necessary.
In order to prevent this from happening, make sure you drink an adequate amount of water.
My tip: aim for about half a gallon (or 2 liters) of fluids per day, and you should be fine!
However, hot yoga can be a great way if you want to lose a bit of weight because it will also burn a bunch of calories and you will feel amazing afterward.
Speaking of feeling amazing:
7) Lower Stress Levels – less overeating
As well as helping to improve your digestion and metabolism, yoga also helps to reduce stress levels and make it easier to manage stress better in the future.
This means that you will be less likely to turn to food when you feel stressed out.
If you are prone to overeating, practicing yoga can be a great way to break the cycle.
This process will take time, but as you learn to control your emotions and release any negative energy that you have built up, you will be less likely to overeat.
By calming your mind, yoga can also make it easier to sleep, which means that you will be less likely to feel stressed the following day.
You see, a lot of people think they lack discipline when it comes to food because they keep overeating.
What they often don’t understand is that in reality, stress can be a huge culprit in making you overeat and use food as a coping mechanism.
When you find something to lower your stress levels, like yoga, you can break this cycle and be a lot healthier as well.
Practicing yoga can also help you to relax and unwind, which means that you will be less likely to turn to food when your mind needs something else than food.
This means your entire body will slim down and you will lose some fat.
But yoga will also change your body overall:
8) Better posture
We all want to stand up tall and look confident in our own skin, but for many of us, this isn’t easy.
By practicing yoga regularly, you can expect to see a significant improvement in your posture.
Not only will this make you feel more confident, it will also be healthier for your body in the long run.
Having good posture doesn’t just make you appear more confident, it is also one of the best ways to reduce back pain.
If you have been struggling with back pain, practicing yoga regularly can be a great way to reduce this pain and improve your posture at the same time.
And the best part?
Your posture makes a huge difference in how your body appears to other people, your entire body shape can change by simply changing your posture!
And speaking of your entire body shape changing:
9) Overall muscle definition will increase
Yoga is not only a great way to increase your flexibility, it is also a fantastic way to build your muscle tone.
Not only does this mean that your body will look more toned and less flabby, it also means that you are less likely to suffer any injury in the future.
Having strong and toned muscles will also help you to maintain a healthy metabolism and help to reduce the amount of sugar that is stored in your body.
This means that you will be less likely to suffer from diabetes or put on weight. In addition to this, yoga can also help you to increase your stamina and improve your circulation as well.
Now: the more muscle you have in your body, the more your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) will go up.
This means, that even when you are resting, you will be burning more calories than before.
Of course, that will help your entire body change shapes!
And the best part?
I would ditch the scale. You see, your weight might not change a lot, while you are physically becoming a LOT smaller than before.
This is because muscle is a lot heavier than fat, so when you lose fat and get some muscle definition, your weight might be the same, while you look like a completely different person!
But you will also feel like a new person, which brings me to my last point:
10) You will have more self-esteem
Finally, another excellent benefit of practicing yoga is that it can help you to build up your self-esteem.
If you have been struggling with your feelings about the way you look, often feeling ashamed or embarrassed, yoga can help to break this cycle.
By practicing yoga regularly, you will be taking control of your life and improving your confidence.
Not only will this be good for your mental health, but it will also be great for your appearance, too!
Having more confidence in yourself and your abilities can make a huge difference to your health and self-esteem.
Plus, if you feel happier in your own skin, it is likely that you will feel more attractive, too!
The thing is, the way we carry ourselves throughout the day, not just with our posture, but with the energy we give out, makes a huge difference in how people perceive us.
I know this is not technically a way for yoga to change the shape of your body, but it will definitely help with changing your appearance.
Confident people are immediately more attractive!
Yoga is not only good for your health, it can also help to improve your appearance, too.
From increasing your flexibility to reducing your stress, yoga has many benefits, and they will be reflected in your body shape.
If you have been wanting to make changes to your health, but you don’t know where to start, yoga is a great place to begin.
It is a low-intensity exercise but the changes it can make in your body shape should not be underestimated!
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