Sweat, detox, push, high energy, power, go to the edge are too often the words used to describe yoga classes for weight loss and weight management. Yet let’s think about this. Exhaustion, stress, and depletion is one of the main culprits for weight gain and difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight (whether over weight or under weight). And contrary to popular ideas, detoxification occurs through the liver and kidneys, urination and defecation. Very little of detoxification comes from sweat, mostly shallow, and toxins that come from contact. So if you stress the kidneys and liver from extreme sweat or high energy exercise which exhausts the system and dehydrates the body, exactly what has been accomplished?
STRESS! Digestion slows down, immune system becomes less efficient, and our ability to make rational and conscious decisions is impaired. Gentle more accessible yoga practices reduce hormonal stimulation (HPA and the release of cortisol) of the body (Ross and Thomas, 2010).
What science is discovering is yoga practices which are gentle on the nervous system, that introduce introspection and body awareness, and allow for self compassion & self reflection have better results in achieving and maintaining healthy weight and body image.
Consider slowing down and really checking in with you, rather than fads & trends.
Ross, A., & Thomas, S. (2010). The health benefits of yoga and exercise: A review of comparison studies. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(1), 3-12.