For many years, people have used yoga as an effective tool to enhance their mental, physical, and spiritual development to obtain the best version of themselves.
No doubt, it has many health benefits. But, does yoga help you lose weight?
Fortunately, if you’re a yoga lover, we’ve got good news for you. Yoga can be an effective weight-loss strategy.
The more active forms of yoga have been found to help people shed weight, and have been backed by many experts as well.
So, it is totally possible to slim down with yoga, based on the ways that it strengthens, stretches, and calms your body.
Without further ado, let’s break down how it can help you achieve your body goals and what are the best yoga poses for weight loss.
How Can I Lose Weight With Yoga?
First, there are different kinds of yoga, and depending on the type you choose, it can help you lose about 180 to 360 calories an hour.
So, for you to lose weight with yoga, you need to understand which type of exercise will target many muscles at once.
Yoga helps people lose weight in many forms, but especially by focusing on their mental and physical aspects.
When you begin doing yoga, you start to see things from a different perspective. Yoga usually starts with your inside before it can change you physically.
The more you practice the more you become aware of your consciousness, truthful to self, and enhance the sense of connectedness.
Yoga makes you become “woke”. You disconnect from your ego that constantly dwells on the negatives.
Typically, your ego clings to unhealthy attachments, forcing you to make bad decisions.
But, when you start practicing yoga, your mind becomes tamed and your soul is set free.
Physically, yoga offers numerous postures or asanas, contained in several sequences or flows.
Different postures provide different physical benefits, as well as detoxification, which purifies both your mind and body.
This, in turn, affects directly your weight loss by breaking down that unwanted body fat and hold you back from bad eating habits.
Which Type of Yoga is Best for Weight Loss?
As we mentioned earlier, there are many types of yoga. Each type has a unique effect on your body. However, most intense types are usually used for weight loss.
Here are the most common and effective types of yoga for weight loss:
This type of yoga is more intense that emphasizes strength training with arm balance as well as core strengthening postures.
Ashtanga places focus on the purpose of each posture, with meditation, history, and focus as its pillars.
Vinyasa includes uninterrupted movements from one pose to another, alongside some pushups between other strenuous exercises.
This type of yoga usually includes core and power that allows you to concentrate on stretching or cool flow.
The advantage of Vinyasa yoga is the diversity, meaning you should find the right instructor that will provide challenging classes.
This is also commonly called ‘Hot Yoga’ and uses up to 26 preset postures done in a place or room with temperatures over 100°F (41 °C).
This way you will sweat a lot as the heat allows you to work up your muscles and stretch them to the limits.
If you choose this yoga technique, it is advisable to drink a lot of water, particularly during the exercises.
Another type of yoga for weight loss is Forrest.
It is perfect for people who spend a lot of time hunched over computers or desks.
Staying hunched over for long hours leads to damaged lower back muscles and rounded shoulders.
But, Forrest can help you correct your posture using intense sequences, deep breathing, and long holds so that you can strengthen your entire core.
While Forrest can help you lose weight, having a strong core will help you become stronger and powerful for your daily workouts in the gym.
Hatha is physically oriented for yoga rather than spiritually oriented.
This means that your body will feel this exercise. It features a combination of different poses involving standing and sitting.
The difficult thing about this type of yoga is that it does not follow a specific routine or exercise.
Your instructor will decide the intensity and speed of the exercise.
Hatha yoga will help you burn a huge amount of calories. Thus, helping you built strength while working your core.
Unlike other types of yoga, Iyengar does not involve too much movement.
However, the degree of detail involved in the exercise including postures and breathing makes it an excellent type of yoga for weight loss.
How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?
Many factors determine the number of calories you can burn with yoga.
This includes the type of yoga you are doing, the intensity, speed and length of the exercise.
Generally, yoga can help you burn between 180 and 460 calories.
For instance, a 160 pounds individual can burn up to 183 calories in an hour of basic yoga exercise like Hatha, according to Mayo Clinic.
How Often Should You Do Yoga To Lose Weight?
Though, it can help you lose weight, yoga is not as effective calorie burner as lifting weights, running and other exercises.
However, yoga edges most of the other strenuous exercises because it also helps you reduce stress and calm your body and mind.
You can do yoga as many times as you wish, even every day of the week, as long as you don’t begin to feel the impacts of overtraining.
Is Yoga Better than Cardio?
If you have been doing yoga but worried if it has the same effects as cardio, we got your back.
According to recent studies, yoga may just have the same benefits as cycling, brisk walking, and swimming.
Movement-focused yoga such as Hatha, Iyengar, and vinyasa helps reduce weight as we have seen above.
Yoga might also be better than cardio because it is efficient.
Instead of spending time trying different cardio workouts, yoga can connect all the dots and help you do it all at once.
But, when it comes to burning body fat, cardio is better than yoga because it burns more calories.
According to a report published by the American Council on Exercise, one hour of a basic form of yoga (like Hatha), and posed stretching burns around 180 calories for a 160 pounds individual.
However, moderate aerobic exercise burns around 475 calories for the same weight.
And, since it takes around 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat, cardio is your best option if you are looking to lose weight quickly.
However, yoga exercises have their benefits that you can not get with cardio.
Because it involves a lot of stretching, yoga can help you enhance your flexibility and prevent injuries during strenuous exercise.
Yoga also helps you target and tone selected muscle groups in your body more efficiently than cardio.
Moreover, it helps improve your self-esteem and sense of your well-being as well as reducing depression.
There is still not a clear way of comparing yoga to any form of cardio exercise.
But, since yoga doesn’t have the same calorie-burning effect as cardio, it is recommended that any yoga exercise for weight loss should include some moderate aerobic workouts.
Best Yoga Poses for Weight Loss
There are numerous yoga poses you can use in your weight loss journey, including:
It’s one of the most common yoga poses, which makes getting it right extra important. To do it:
- Lie flat on your stomach with your hands protracted outward and forward and palms facing down.
- Keep your hands below your shoulders.
- Lift your upper body and raise your head.
- Lower your abdomen, and thighs remaining flat on the mat.
Boat pose remains one of the best ways to focus on your abdominal strength, which helps you do so many other yoga poses. To do it:
- Lie flat on your mat with your hands outside your body.
- Slowly lift your legs and upper body to form a V shape.
- Keep your hands stretched, parallel to the floor.
Chair pose strengthens the muscles in your thighs and feet, tones your core muscles, and increases ankle mobility. To do it:
- Stand straight with your feet closed and hands by your side.
- Stretch your arms above your head and bring your palms together.
- Slowly bend your knees in a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
The plank is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.
- Place forearms on the floor with elbows aligned below shoulders.
- Arms parallel to your body at about shoulder width.
- If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together.
Practicing Bridge Pose can be a potent lesson in learning to slow down and listen to your body. To do it:
- Lie on your back, and bend your knees; as your feet stay flat on the ground.
- Lift your tailbone so that your lower back and hips are off the ground.
- Place your hands below your hips and clasp them together.
- Use your glute and abdomen muscles to hold your back and bottom-up.
- Release your fingers and gradually lower your tailbone back down.
- Take a few seconds break and then repeat.
If you are looking for how to tone your body with yoga, the above poses may help you achieve that.
Is Yoga Better than Gym?
One of the most searched questions on Google by people looking to lose weight is “Is yoga better than the gym?”
While you will lose more calories at the gym than on the yoga mat, there are many reasons yoga is better.
First, yoga benefits your mind, body, and spirit while working your body muscles. On the other hand, the gym may only focus on improving your physical condition.
Yoga also benefits your entire body, internally and externally.
Yoga exercises are beneficial for your digestive system, the lymph system, the circulatory system, and more.
It is also the best way to detoxify your body and can also enhance your cardiovascular system.
Besides just building your muscles, yoga teaches you to learn how to accept yourself, with your weaknesses and your strengths.
On the other hand, the gym is likely to make you feel like a failure if you can’t perform all the exercises.
Last but not least, yoga relies on your strength to help you shed weight.
Through different poses, you lose weight and your entire body becomes toned and your core strength grows.
All this is done using your entire body weight as the weight for the exercise instead of the regular dumbbells or barbells.
What Happens to Your Body When You Start Doing Yoga?
A lot of things happen to your body when you start doing yoga, including:
1. You Will Become Mindful of The Type of Food You Eat.
When you start your weight loss journey, you need to make some adjustments in your diet plan.
The newfound awareness of your body as well as the detoxing exercise of yoga, you will suddenly realize you don’t want to fill up your body with junk foods.
And, this is the first step to a healthy weight loss.
2. You Will Get in Shape.
As we have already covered, yoga can help you lose weight. The moment you start stretching you will start burning calories.
Doing it daily will make you lose weight faster and get that toned body you always desire.
Unlike other types of exercises, yoga helps and allows you to manage your weight easily.
Daily yoga improves your metabolic system, which will increase the rate of fat burning. Thus, resulting in significant weight loss.
Yoga also promotes hormonal balance, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
3. You Will Reduce Your Stress Level.
Aside from the physical benefits, one of the best benefits of yoga is how it helps a person manage stress that has many negative effects on the body and mind.
The incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being.
Final Thoughts – Yoga For Weight Loss
Does yoga help you lose weight? YES! However, there are numerous types of yoga, each with varying levels of intensity.
The most active types of yoga are ones suitable for weight loss. Nevertheless, yoga is not as effective as cardio or gym if you are looking to lose weight fast.
Yoga has many benefits compared to gym and cardio, besides just helping you lose weight.
If you are looking to lose weight with yoga, use one of the types we have shared earlier and tell us how it goes with you.
Or, if you have been using yoga for weight loss, leave us a comment below sharing how it worked for you. We would love to hear from you!