Q&A – Can you lose weight with yoga?

People practice yoga for all different reasons. Some people like slow types of yoga so they can unwind after a hard day at work. Others love to stretch it out so they feel more subtle and flexible. Some choose yoga for the spiritual connection, and others to lose weight and maintain a good physique. One of the great benefits of yoga is just that – it can fulfil everything and many use yoga as a holistic mind and body workout.


Yoga for weight loss

With regards to losing weight with yoga…yes, it is totally possible and many yoga-goers use it to keep off the pounds. However, yoga for weight loss, usually requires an integrated health conscious attitude as well. For example, it is not effective to go to yoga and continue with eating a poor diet.

The basics rules for losing weight still apply, which means calorie intake needs to be less than calories burned throughout the day. It is only when you reach calorie deficit that weight is lost.

To this effect, it is important to combine regular yoga sessions with a fresh, healthy diet, where calorie intake is lowered to achieve your weight loss goals.

The good news is that practicing yoga tends to come hand-in-hand with a healthy lifestyle. With a yoga mindset it is easier to choose foods that digest quickly and leave the body feeling lighter. Being mindful with portion sizes and cutting alcohol consumption will also help dramatically with losing weight.

This is because yoga teaches mindfulness and focuses on what changes you want to make in your life. Listening to the inner voice will help you to form goals and stick to them.

To be effective with yoga for weight loss it is also important to attend a class, or carry out a home session, four or five times a week. This does depend on the type of yoga but this is a rough guide.

Speak to a yoga teacher about your goals. They will be able to advise you not only on the type of yoga that is best to lose weight, but also on the frequency required. 


Which is the best type of yoga to lose weight?

There are many types of yoga and each style varies in it’s key benefits.

The best types of yoga to lose weight include Bikram yoga, Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga and Vinyasa yoga, simply because they are high energy and more demanding, physically.

How many calories can you burn from yoga, does vary, depending on the source. It also depends on your body weight and how much effort you put in.

According to Health Status’s Calorie Calculator you can expect to burn on average the following calories from the various types of yoga.

  • Hatha yoga – 189
  • Ashtanga yoga – 351
  • Bikram yoga – 477
  • Vinyasa yoga – 595

As you can see, there is quite a difference between Hatha yoga, which is more slow and stretchy. Compared to Vinyasa yoga, which is intensive and fast paced.


Good yoga poses for weight loss

There are some yoga poses that are great for weight loss, especially for tackling those stubborn fat stores.

These include:

  • Chair pose – for firm butt and thighs
  • Plank – for all round, namely arms, shoulders, back and abs
  • Boat – for abs and back
  • Willow – for sides and abs
  • Crescent – for abs, hips and thighs

Can you lose weight with yoga? The answer is yes, absolutely!

Unless you are experienced in yoga and also disciplined to practice regularly on your own at home, a yoga class may be a good option for you.

You will gain the experience of a yoga teacher who can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Opt for a small class if possible, where you can get some one-to-one attention and try a few studios before you sign up, to see which you like best.

Search for yoga classes in your area to help with your weight loss goals.