We all dread the appearance of cellulite. Even if you eat right, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep it can still start making an appearance.
Usually just in time for summer.
If you have spotted the signs of cellulite on your thighs or stomach, then you are probably looking for things you can do to help get rid of it. There are all sorts of ‘remedies’ out there and some are decidedly unappealing.
If the idea of someone sticking a laser under your skin to remove the fat feels like a step too far then you might be interested to know if something a bit more enjoyable, like yoga, could help you feel happier in your skin.
In this article, I’m going to answer the popular question: “Does yoga help with cellulite?”
I’ll look at how effective yoga is for reducing the appearance of cellulite and the ways in which you can get the best results.
What is Cellulite?
Unfortunately, cellulite is a reality of aging for around 90 percent of women. The dreaded dimples are caused by your fat cells begin to be pushed up tightly against the skin. The reason the dimples appear with age is that as we age our skin becomes a little thinner. This thinning allows the fat to be seen.
Things that affect how much cellulite you have, include:
- Blood flow – lower circulation will cause your skin to age faster, and your fat cells will be pushed more tightly against your skin, making the cellulite more obvious.
- How much fat – we all need some fat on our bodies otherwise we’d be all skin and bone, and unhealthy, but too much fat means there is more to be seen.
- Muscle tone – if your muscles are toned they lie more smoothly, which reduces the uneven appearance of cellulite.
- Diet – Most of us don’t have enough fiber in our diet but eating more can prevent the appearance of cellulite.
- Clothing – if you regularly wear clothes with tight waistbands you are increasing the chances of developing cellulite as it traps blood in the area where cellulite forms.
You might be thinking to yourself that yoga is great but what has it got to do with cellulite? Since cellulite can be reduced by having good blood flow, toned muscles and less fat then, really any form of exercise is going to have beneficial effects.
Again, I hear you asking, “but why yoga?”
If you’re going to pick a form of exercise yoga is a great choice. It’s low impact, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your joints or let’s be honest most women’s real concern with exercise, you’re not going to pee yourself. It tones your muscles without going overboard.
It’s progressive, which means it’s a great place to start, and it will keep you moving forward. And as well as all that it makes you feel good in body and soul.
So, Can Yoga Reduce Cellulite?
The quick answer is, yes!
Yoga helps with a lot of the factors that influence the appearance of cellulite, so it can both delay the appearance of cellulite and it can also reduce it once it has appeared. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for cellulite, once it’s appeared you can’t fully get rid of it, just reduce its appearance.
If you want the more in-depth answer then, here it is:
All forms of yoga help to build your muscle tone as you’re moving around your body weight. This toning effect smooths your muscles which reduces the dimpling effect of the cellulite.
If you practice a flowing style of yoga, like vinyasa or power yoga, then your heart rate will be elevated while you train. This increases your blood flow, not just while you are training but all the time. This improves the condition of your skin and tissues.
Yoga can help you to maintain a healthy weight. It helps with this in two ways. Firstly, it’s exercise so you’re burning calories which will help reduce the amount of fat you have. This second way it helps is that it makes you feel good. If you’re in a good place your less likely to overeat.
Does Hot Yoga Help with Cellulite?
There are some people who absolutely swear by hot yoga. If you believe everything you read, you’d think it could cure all the worlds ills. The question for us though is it better for reducing cellulite than regular yoga.
With hot yoga, you will burn more calories. This is because your body must work harder when you exercise in the heat. If you do the same work out in a toasty 105-degree room, you will burn more calories than if you do it in an air-conditioned room.
A word of warning though, hot yoga is hard! If you’re new to exercise or struggle with motivation, then it might not be for you. If you try it and its not for you, then you’re not alone, and you shouldn’t write off yoga completely.
If you can stick out the heat, then a take my hat off to you and in a few months, you are probably going to see a whole new person in the mirror!
What are the Best Poses to Reduce Cellulite?
Most of us first see cellulite appearing on our thighs, so that’s one of the spots you want to be targeting. Hands down the best pose for this is the eagle pose. It works both your inner and outer thighs and will also help you to work your core as well.
Next up is the shoulder stand or supported shoulder stand depending on how experienced you are. This pose will help to tone both your legs and your bum. Inverted poses like this one are also great for stimulating your metabolism and your circulation.
If you find your cellulite is creeping up to your hips, then you might want to try a high lunge with a twist. This will put the focus onto your core while still working your thighs.
There are some great videos on youtube if you want to check these moves out. This one has a total of ten poses to try, or you could try a longer, more specific class with moves aimed at reducing cellulite.
To maximize the impact of these moves you should aim to include them in your routines 3-4 times a week.
The Bottom Line
Does yoga reduce cellulite? The answer is yes, yoga can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. For the best results, stick with vinyasa and power yoga, and if you don’t mind getting a sweat on, then hot yoga might give you a little extra boost.
Try and include the eagle, shoulder stand and high lunge with a twist poses into your routines.
Have you seen any positive results on your cellulite? Which poses do you swear by? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below?