A Review of Some Fat Burning Yoga Workouts
Article by Brian Garvin & Jeff West
If you have ever watched The Biggest Loser you will know that trainer Bob Harper is a huge fan of yoga as an overall great workout for mind and body. Not a season goes by without at least one episode in which The Biggest Loser participants find themselves in yoga poses which call into action muscles they did not know they possessed while sweat rolls off them in a river. That’s thanks to Bob and one of his intense yoga sessions; he does it every time.
When considering the health benefits of traditional yoga you might think first about its effects on the mental well-being of practitioners. The concentration and serenity required of those who practice yoga helps them tune in and understand their bodies in a way few other people can manage. And then there are the commonly cited physical benefits, the flexibility and increased lubrication of joints and muscles, the inner organ health, the detoxification, increased dexterity, better posture…
Yes, the list of the physiological and psychological benefits of traditional yoga goes on and on but one thing that people generally do not think of yoga is that it can be an effective fat burning exercise.
Take the Crunch – Fat Burning Yoga video by Susan Ivanhoe for example. The 45-minute tape presents a yoga class in the vinyasa style which focuses on sequential poses, flowing from one to the other. The poses themselves are classic yoga asanas that anyone with any experience of yoga at all will be familiar with, but it is the way they are linked and flow together that make this a particularly effective fat burning workout.
Another video workout called Yoga Zone – Fat Burning contains two twenty minute sessions intended for the beginner or intermediate yoga practitioner. It targets those areas on the body that tend to accumulate most fat and according to one buyer, “The tape elevates the heart rate and keeps it elevated during the entire two sessions.”
Of the various types of yoga, some are known to burn more calories than others. Hatha yoga is gentle with emphasis on breathing techniques and meditation. It is a great overall exercise for flexibility and mental health but is not a great fat burner. Better is Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga which focuses on the flow of asanas, the movements between and during the poses creating a more fat burning workout.
Bikram yoga, also called hot yoga is another style of yoga which is said to melt away fat. It was begun by Bikram Choudray in the 1970’s and is made up of 90 minutes of poses and breathing exercises performed in a room heated to 105