I’m a big fan of my power yoga, a good ol’ hot vinyasa flow that’s a workout and a half and leaves you in a puddle of your own sweat, unsure of your legs’ ability to get you to your car. BUT, there’s something to be said for restorative yoga too, and New Jersey-based yoga teacher Jillian Pransky can definitely attest to that. Before she discovered gentle yoga, Pransky was a corporate-headed marketing director, marathon running, type-A, super stressed lady. Restorative yoga, which, in all honesty I have previously referred to as “active napping”, is obviously a stress reliever, something Pransky was in serious need of – so how does that relate to weight loss? [caption id="attachment_60288" align="alignnone" width="579"] Active napping, amirite?[/caption] The science is there,in one study of 15000 adults in their 50s, yoga made a difference of almost 20lbs; those who practiced yoga for 4 or more years at least once a week lost an average of 5lbs, while those who didn’t practice yoga gained an average of 13.5lbs. How is this possible? Yoga makes everything easier. EVERYTHING. That includes weight loss. It’s the whole mind-body connection thing at work. Yoga can actually change your brain, enlarging the hippocampus, which regulates stress, and the superior parietal cortex for improved focus. Excuse my nerding out about the brain science, but that’s freaking awesome. That means you’re more likely to make healthier food choices, and more likely to go back to those healthy choices when you slip up, instead of totally freaking out and falling of the wagon completely. Being in the moment can cut binge-eating, and that’s what yoga is all about, self-love and mindfulness. Another fun science-yoga connection? Fat tends to end up in the stomach when your body has a rise in cortisol. Cortisol is, yup, you guessed it, a stress hormone, another way that yoga helps shed belly fat, without even breaking a sweat. There are so many health benefits of yoga, so many types of yoga for whatever pace you want, so many places that offer yoga, basically, if you don’t go to yoga this month, then clearly my nagging has lost its power. GO TO YOGA ALREADY.