Tuesday, December 31, 2013



If you need some help and inspiration for your New Year's Resolution this may give you the boost to start a practice or be persistent with your yoga practice in the coming year! 

One of the questions I get a few times a day is "Is yoga going to help me with weight loss?" "Do I need to add cardio to my yoga routine?" 
Now most of the yogis crazy about yoga have come to yoga not for the weight loss benefits but because of the divine feeling of connection with spirit it gives us. The flexibility and the toning of the body and the weight loss effects are an added bonus. 
Yet even though yoga's main focus is yoking the spiritual and the physical yoga is actually extremely effective for weight loss. 
Here is how and why in just a few bullet points. 
1. Yoga has a calming effect on the nervous system thus it can be effective for emotional, stress eating. 
2.  Some poses in yoga can stimulate digestion and assimilation thus helping with appetite, satiety and therefore weight loss (indirectly and directly)
3. Doing yoga burns calories!!!!
4. Doing (my) POWER YOGA burns a lot of calories. :)
5. Doing my Interval Yoga is a well rounded routine in which you are doing cardio, stretching, toning, strengthening and awareness meditation in one. Therefore you DO NOT need to add cardio or running to an Interval Yoga class. But you do need to add some cardio or interval training to a traditional Vinyasa or Hatha Yoga class. 
6. To be precise Interval Yoga is much more effective for weight loss than Cardio is because I incorporate Interval Training into the class- which is in essence Intervals of Intensity. They are proven to be much more effective for weight loss than running or spinning alone.

Actually just 10 minutes of Interval Training can give you the same weight loss results as a 50 minute cardio session can give you. Better yet Interval Training can be amazing for post exercise calorie burn.  In fact you can burn an additional 200 calories throughout the day after a short interval training session. 200 calories on top of the calories burnt during the exercise itself.  And your metabolism is much higher for the rest of the day. 
A study (PDF) from the University of New South Wales followed the fitness and body composition changes in 45 overweight women in a 15-week period. The women were divided into two groups and assigned interval or continuous cycling routines. The interval “sprint” cycling group performed twenty minutes of exercise, which repeated eight seconds of “all out” cycling and then twelve seconds of light exercise. The continuous group exercised for 40 minutes at a consistent rate. At the end of the study, the women in the interval group had lost three times the body fat as the women in the continuous exercise group. (An interesting note: the interval group’s loss in body fat came mostly from the legs and buttocks area.)
7. Interval Yoga will increase your endurance and cardiovascular capacity just the way cardio does. Interval training has been proven to achieve the same results in a quarter or a fifth of the time required for a cardio workout. In other words you can Do yoga and intervals and in just 30 minutes you can work on your flexibility and strength while incorporating cardio elements into your yoga and this way you are going to improve your cardiovascular endurance and achieve weight loss results.

8. IF YOU ARE DOING MY VINYASA OR BEGINNER CLASSES AND STRIVING TO LOSE WEIGHT. THEN YES! YOU CAN ADD A CARDIO ROUTINE TO YOUR YOGA PRACTICE.  I recommend my 10 minute short Interval workouts but if you are a runner you can do intervals of running or spinning etc. Just make sure you stretch after running :D 
9. Yoga can stimulate or balance your glands- adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, etc and thus help you with hormonal balance and address hormonal weight gain. 
10. The twisting poses in yoga are extremely effective for mid section weight loss. The media have been saying for years that you can't spot reduce when losing weight. Lately this myth has been proven wrong. In fact you can trim down certain areas of your body with an effective and mindful exercise and diet approach.
I have done that myself many times and I know for a fact that a mindful approach to movement and fitness can sculpt and shape your body. 
11. This is an indirect benefit - but yoga can prevent future injuries thus keeping you active throughout your entire life. Yoga can help you achieve structural balance which is key in any long term weight loss or fitness plan. 

In order to keep this short I am gonna wrap it up here. If you have any questions or requests for future posts please let me know.


Sunday, December 22, 2013


Q: Hey Ali!  I was wondering how you keep your stomach so flat! I know your yoga practice obviously has alot to do with it but I was just curious if you do anything else, because I\'m pretty fit and petite but alot of the times my belly is super bloated idk why! Its not anything I eat because I have it when i wake up as well. If you have any clue what can be causing this, or what I can do to help it that would be wonderful! Thank you for your time !

A: Hi K., I am just offering my personal approach and what works for me. 
Yeah I do have a few tips on how I  get or keep my stomach flat. These lifestyle choses work for me almost all of the time.

My rule # 1: Drinking water on empty stomach or 30 minutes before meals. I do not drink water with food or after meals. I aim for a few liters a day. I don't measure it but I drink a lot of water and a lot of herbal teas. For example this morning I had an unusual tea : Lovage Tea. it's slightly salty and reminiscent of celery juice! Delicious, detoxing, flushes the kidneys.

#2:  Keeping my diet high in carbs from whole fruits and veggies and low in fats. Somewhere between 5-15% calories from fat. This also gives me a lot of energy. (high fat diets tend to cause candida issues and therefore bloating. The yeasts ferment and make you bloated, plus they can keep your blood sugar high even if the diet is lower in carbs) 

#3: Practice Ujaii Breath - with mula bandha- root chakra lock. A yogic technique that is pretty simple and effective. 

#4: Of course practice yoga- core strengthening poses, twists, interval exercise sets.

#5: My biggest vice is coffee - unfortunately whenever I have it i notice that it causes some bloating. It's too acidic and irritating for the gut. 

#6: Good digestion is key but that goes with all the previous rules :)

This are the first few most important things that come to mind. If you guys have anything else to add to the list please leave it in the comments bellow. 

Love and Blessings