One of the best features of the Mountain Trek Lodge in British Columbia is the beautiful, large yoga studio with a wall of windows that look out over Kootenay lake and the Purcell mountain range. It’s easy to spend time in that room yet many guests ask us why it is we do gentle yoga every morning before we head out hiking for the day. There are three main reasons for this:
- Yoga limbers up our bodies and gets them ready for a day’s worth of outdoor activity.
- When combined with intentional breathing, yoga helps to calm the mind and allows you to start the day with intention: it’s easy to put your work and home cares aside and just concentrate on you.
- And finally, we do yoga for weight loss.
Yes, that last one’s correct. Yoga actually helps with your weight loss program. This may surprise many people because yoga is such a gentle, slow, methodical experience and it’s not as obvious a fat flush activity as Cathy’s evening cardio fitness regime. Yet yoga for weight loss is a key component of the Mountain Trek program because it’s integral to moving your body and boosting your metabolism.
Yoga For Weight Loss – How Does It Work?
Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses energy and burns calories. You can learn more about it in our blog post about metabolism but, in short, it describes the process of serving our body’s energy needs – if we’re expending a lot of energy (high metabolism) then we’re burning up the calories we’re consuming. And, in the case of Mountain Trek’s program, we’re rebooting the body’s metabolism and not only burning calories consumed each day, but also energy stored in our fat cells.
In other words, by waking up and doing a 45-minute gentle yoga session, we’re getting our bodies to move immediately and boosting our metabolism so that we start burning calories. We then maintain that movement throughout the day so that by the end of your stay at Mountain Trek, your metabolism is functioning at a higher level and you’re burning more calories on a daily basis.
To tell us more about yoga for weight loss and, specifically about Mountain Trek’s yoga program, we spoke with Sage Leboutan who is our resident kinesiologist as well as a yoga instructor and guide. She grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia (where Mountain Trek’s lodge resides) and, in between getting her Degree of Kinesiology from UBC in Vancouver, she taught yoga in Central and South America.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Sage. How long have you been doing yoga and why did you get into it?
I have been practicing yoga for 8 years, originally I started in my first year of university for stress and weight management. It was my 1.5 hours / day I used to unwind and connect to myself.
Can anyone do yoga?
Yes, definitely anyone can do yoga regardless of shape, size or experience level. What’s most important is an open mind and willingness to try.
Nowadays there are so many different styles of yoga to choose from; including chair yoga which is suitable for people with reduced mobility or suffering from injury.
What type of yoga is offered at Mountain Trek?
At Mountain Trek we offer ‘Hatha’ yoga. The sequence is designed to specifically target sore, tight muscles from all the hiking we do everyday. It begins with gentle stretches lying or sitting on the mat and gradually builds. Guests find themselves in standing positions part way through the class and then it finishes with a cool down gentle stretch and a “savasana” – lying on your back, breathing deeply and letting all your muscles relax.[fbcomments]