Most people will tell you that you need to lift weights or do cardio to burn fat and tone up. But if you have ever tried a toga class, those sore muscles will tell you that you can definitely use the power of your mind-muscle connection to tone up. Keep reading to find out why yoga is so important to your health!


1. Burns Fat

By holding the yoga postures for more than one minute, your body starts to trigger fat burning and boosts your metabolism, helping to mobilize that stubborn fat. By using the yoga poses, you are able to hit those stubborn areas that you can’t from weights or cardio alone.


2. Tones your muscles

Since yoga uses your whole body together, it is great for toning up! One of the key things that helps this is the “mind-muscle” connection - basically, this means you become more aware of what muscles are working and are able to control them better. This then crosses over to your workouts so can feel when certain muscles aren’t working when they should be! The other trick to toning with yoga is time under tension - yoga poses require you to hold a pose for an extended period of time, causes your muscles to work in a way they are not used to. Nail these poses and your workouts will be a piece of cake!


 

3. Helps with stress

Practicing yoga helps to relieve stress, it’s as simple as that. The combination of deep breathing and full body movements helps you to focus on what you are doing, and less on things you can’t control. By reducing your stress levels, you reduce the effect that cortisol has on your body which is your fat storing enemy!

 

4. Helps reduce injuries and improve everyday activities

Working out causes your muscles to shorten, while yoga helps you to lengthen them out which greatly reduces your injury risk. On top of this, yoga poses work most of your muscles through their full range of motion - this helps to strengthen weak spots and improve flexibility. Long, strong, flexible muscles are healthy muscles that will help you in almost everything you do!


5. Transitions

Yoga is different to a conventional workout as you have to transition from pose to pose - there is no stop-start like weights training. By transitioning between poses, your muscles are forced to move different ways while still under tension - this helps to shape your muscles and make them three-dimensional, improving both tone and function.

 


If you haven’t tried yoga before, start off nice and easy - slowly moving a little deeper into each pose as much as you feel comfortable, and concentrate on your breathing. Slowly increase the amount of time you hold each pose, working up towards 1-2 minutes when you start feeling more comfortable.


Focus on transitions - move into each pose slowly, and come out slowly into the next one, feeling your body move as one. It’s the most relaxing thing you’ll ever do ;)


For other great exercise ideas that focus on fat loss and health maintenance, make sure you check out my workout programs here!