It is a common health goal to consider doing yoga for weight loss. Whilst yoga on the whole isn’t as well-known for burning calories as other exercises, some types of yoga can certainly help you lose weight. If coupled with a yoga-mindset, yoga can definitely help with also reducing calorie intake through a holistic heathy lifestyle.

Can yoga help you lose weight?

In short, the answer is most likely yes, however, there are a few fundamentals to take into account.

Losing weight generally occurs when calorie intake is less than caloric expenditure. In other words, calories taken in through food and drink during the course of the day, need to be less than the calories required for exercise and motion in general.

To effectively use yoga to lose weight means not only participating in yoga regularly, perhaps four or five times per week. It also means reducing calories to meet weight loss expectations.

This actually comes quite naturally to many starting yoga. This is because as well as the physical benefits of increased flexibility, strength and endurance, most types of yoga practice mindfulness, which brings your focus onto your body and how you are feeling about yourself, your life, your self image and your future intentions.

If you are therefore positive to lose weight with yoga, the mindfulness should help you in your every day life to stop the snacking and continue striving to your end goal.

Also, yoga generally inspires people to eat healthily and eat foods that are light and don’t leave the body feeling sluggish, with a mindfulness for portion sizes and not over-eating.

Which is the best type of yoga for losing weight?

Another point when taking into account yoga for weight loss is the type of yoga you choose to practice.

Health experts say that you can burn between 180 calories and 360 calories in an average yoga session, depending on your body weight and the type of yoga.

The best types of yoga for weight loss are Bikram yoga, Power yoga, Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow yoga, as these are energetic and physically demanding.

Other types of yoga will also help you to lose weight, although results may be slower as the practice is more focused on stretching, breathing and meditation, as well as cleansing the body to improve digestion and hormone balance, which all plays a part in weight regulation.

Bikram yoga is a highly popular yoga for those wanting to burn calories. As the class is performed in a room heated to around 40 degrees Celsius, this makes the work-out more challenging. Subsequently this can result in higher calorie consumption, some estimate it can be up to 1000 for a 90 minute class. But this does depend on factors such as age, weight and how hard you work!

Yoga poses to consider

There are certain yoga poses for weight loss that you will get to learn by joining a class and attending regularly so you can advance your yoga practice.

Downward dogs alone are excellent yoga exercise for weight loss as they tone the thighs and hips.

Shoulder stands and “fish pose” assist with weight loss as they boost the metabolism through stimulating the thyroid.

Also, twisting poses that “wring out” and massage the digestive system aid with optimising digestion.

Discuss your personal goals with a yoga teacher

The best way to achieve your personal health goals, such as weight loss, is to discuss them with a yoga teacher. Getting help from the start will mean you can tap into their expertise and they can guide you, from the type of yoga to try, to specific poses that can help.

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