Is Yoga Good for Weight Loss

By Lily •  Updated: 01/11/22 •  6 min read

In an increasingly health-conscious world, it is all too easy to equate a slim body with a healthy one. Of course, your weight has an impact on your physical health overall – presenting both positive and negative effects, depending on your body type – but it is essential to remember that being able to fit into a pair of small skinny jeans does not mean that you are healthy.

Soapbox grandstanding aside, if you have been wanting to lose weight for a while, you have probably already come across various exercises and techniques, some more effective than others.

Different exercises work for different people, and aside from regularly going to the gym and doing a few basic routines, there is no “one size fits all” exercise.

That being said, we are confident that there is an exercise – a technique or a practice – that will work for you. And today, we hope to broaden your prospects by introducing you to yoga, exploring all of its health benefits, and answering the question: can yoga help you lose weight? Let’s find out.

Yoga warrior pose

What is Yoga?

There is no doubt that you have already heard of yoga before. The term may have conjured up images of zen-like health gurus contorting their bodies in all sorts of interesting ways. The truth is far simpler than that.

Yoga is a broad term used to refer to a multitude of different techniques, all with the aim of strengthening the connection between your mind and your body. As such, with any yoga session, you can guarantee that you will get a solid workout all around.

Of course, yoga is an extensive practice, and some forms focus more on the mental side of things while others serve to hone your strength and endurance.

Either way, it can be extremely gratifying to practice yoga, and it is important not to be intimidated by what may seem like an esoteric practice reserved for monks on the mountainside – in short, yoga is for everybody and every body.

Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Being a form of physical exercise, yoga is bound to help you burn a few calories and shed a few pounds with enough use.

That being said, it is essential to remember that yoga is not solely intended for weight loss. Instead, it focuses on the relationship between your mind and your body.

While that may sound esoteric and weird, yoga has proven to be very beneficial even to the junkiest of weight-loss junkies. Yoga can help to reduce stress and the effects of anxiety, both of which can easily deter you from continuing your weight-loss journey.

Therefore, the benefits of yoga are priceless. A session a week can work wonders for both your mind and your body.

young woman exercising at home, doing vinyasa flow yoga in her bedroom

Different Types of Yoga

As previously mentioned, there are many branches of yoga, each with its own focuses and techniques. We are going to cover some of the more popular forms of yoga, most of which are beginner-friendly and entirely beneficial for your health, both physically and mentally.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra presents a very calming style of exercise which, funnily enough, hardly involves any exercise at all. The practice has many associations with restorative yoga, which specifically focuses on relaxation and mindfulness.

Yoga Nidra incorporates the use of props – such as bolsters and blankets – as well as simple relaxation techniques to increase comfort and reduce stress.

The exercises are often very basic, meaning that beginners (or rather, entry-level yogis) should immediately feel at ease.

The only downside to Yoga Nidra when trying to lose weight is that the practice does very little in the way of physical exercise.

Rather, the emphasis is on meditation and mindfulness, both of which can positively influence your mental health and reduce any anxieties surrounding your weight-loss journey. In this way, Yoga Nidra is the perfect supplementary exercise for your regular workout routine.

Vinyasa

If Yoga Nidra left you craving that physical burn, then Vinyasa (or “power yoga”) may be just what you need. This type of yoga emphasizes the relationship between the movement of your body and your breath.

You can expect plenty of challenging exercises here, all of which will give you a solid workout and help you attain genuine control over your body.

Because of the extent of the workouts present in Vinyasa, you can expect plenty of variety in the postures you perform. You may find it similar to an aerobics lesson, so you can expect to burn plenty of calories with Vinyasa.

Bikram

If, after trying out both Yoga Nidra and Vinyasa, you still desire something a little more niche, then Bikram may be the right practice for you.

This type of yoga is unique from the previous two in that there are rigid specifications for it to be performed correctly, though it is still certainly a fine place for beginners and intermediates to find themselves.

Bikram is also known as “hot yoga” and is characterized by a routine of the same 26 poses repeated during every session, as well as the temperature of the rooms in which it is practiced – exactly 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity every time.

Naturally, it is easy to be turned off by this type of yoga at first glance, but you may find that the predictability of the sessions and the strange constraints are comforting.

As a bonus, Bikram has been known to help people burn between 300 to 500 calories during every 90-minute session. It may not be for everyone, but it is worth a shot.

Conclusion

Yoga is a potent form of exercise that can provide even more benefits than you think. Not everything can be covered in just one article, but hopefully, your interest has been piqued!

There is no need to feel intimidated by yoga. If you adopt it into your lifestyle, it is guaranteed to help you in both your weight-loss journey and your everyday life. So what are you waiting for? Get started now in your new, healthier lifestyle!

Lily

Hi, I'm Lily! Like you, I have struggled with my weight. It was not an easy journey but I was able to lose 40 pounds and have kept it off for 14 years. My goal is to share with you all the research, tips, and tricks that I have learned over the years to help you lose weight also.

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