Will Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?

Bikram, vinyasa, and other challenging forms of yoga can help fit people lose weight.
Many yoga poses increase flexibility and strength, particularly in the back and abdominal muscles, that may aid weight loss.
There are many health benefits when partaking in yoga, such as weight loss.
It might be best to start with gentle yoga before advancing to yoga to lose weight.
Some believe that yoga causes some weight loss because it focuses on mind/body awareness.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Yoga can help you lose some weight, although results do vary, and also depend upon the type that you do. Probably the most beneficial weight loss type is power yoga, which combines greater cardiovascular activity with traditional poses. It is still not, in many experts’ opinions, as potentially successful as cardiovascular exercises like running, fast walking or swimming.

However, some find that power yoga is a great jumpstart to an exercise program. It may be more challenging for the person who is not in good shape to begin with. Learning this type may also require taking some gentle yoga classes first to learn familiarity with the poses.

Many have also posited that hot yoga, performed in a room set to 105° F (40.55° C) is excellent for weight loss. Studies do show that this type does cause temporary weight loss. As one sweats, one loses water weight. Yet this type of loss is not permanent, and it doesn’t necessarily burn a lot of fat.

Regular mat yoga, often called Hatha yoga, does cause some weight loss, over consistent practice of at least one class a day. It can also cause muscles to become more toned and flexible, a desirable benefit. A one-hour class does not burn the same amount of calories as one hour of fast walking. On average, the one-hour yoga class burns about 100 calories.

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However, a study conducted by Alan Kristal in connection with the National Cancer Institute showed that those who practiced yoga one hour a week lost an average of 5 pounds over a four-year period. This data was compared to those who did not practice yoga and gained 14 pounds during the same time period. Thus practicing yoga, even once a week theoretically helps one shed a small amount of weight, while keeping weight gain at bay.

Some believe that yoga causes some weight loss because it focuses on mind/body awareness. Such awareness may translate to different eating habits, and more care regarding what kind of food one puts into the body. People who have greater body awareness may also notice when they feel full and stop eating. This belief actually suggests that it is not the exercise but the philosophy of regular practice that may result in weight loss.

Even if yoga does not offer huge weight loss benefits, it certainly offers fitness benefits, specifically for the muscles. Greater body awareness and honoring the body may also result in changing habits or attitudes toward eating. Further, it may encourage one to seek out cardiovascular exercise with more proven weight loss records.

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anon171348
Post 4

Pranayama is great. you will lose weight with ease when you do pranayama. most important, you won't feel hungry. your hormones would be balanced and you make better choice of foods.

anon150017
Post 3

well, that sounds like a completely retarded study. if all the other variables were not kept the same, then that doesn't prove anything about what yoga does/doesn't do? Yes, the argument can still be made that people who do yoga start cleaning up other parts of their health (and I'd agree that's probably true), but this study hasn't really proven anything.

Pilgrim
Post 2

Pranayama helps lose weight more effectively :

Pranayama, also one part of Yoga definitely helps in losing weight. However, the immediate opinion for many who already know about Pranayama is mostly with closing nostrils in a fashion and doing some breathing exercises. This however can be named as 'forced Pranayama'. It is always recommended to practice these kind of breathing exercises under the guidance of an expert. However, the very natural pranayama may be practiced on own and can be perfectionized by individual. As, always told in the pranayama books, most important rules of pranayama applies anytime even in this, what I was refer here after as 'Natural Pranayama'.

This can also be understood as 'art of breathing'.

The most important things to be observed in pranayama ( some of these can be difficult to feel or to be noticed in regular routine ), are :

1. Breathing-in ( inhaling ) must be faster than breathing-out ( exhaling ).

2. The stomach must rise up while inhaling and must go in during exhaling.

3. As much as possible, breathing in from left nostril ( without actually closing the right nostril with hand ) and breathing out as much possible from right nostril can have very positive effects on health.

Following these steps and practicing Pranayama can have many positive effects on the health. Most of them due to the internal organs getting their proper share of energy. This is especially due to the needy exercise the internal organs get with such proper breathing which can be understood as followed. During inhaling, when the lungs expand and cause a pressure on the diaphragm that lies between the stomach and the Lungs. this diaphragm further causes pressure on the stomach and subsequently on the intestines. When intestines experience this movement it helps in proper digestion. This whole movement doesn't just end with intestines but gets passed on to most of the muscles in the body in all directions. This internal exercise of the body is more important or equally important like physical exercise we all do in our routines. This internal exercise of the muscles helps in toning them properly and in all improves permeability of the muscles structure and of other organs which helps in proper bodily fluids reaching to the needy places with ease. Thus up to the cell level which is now self explanatory how Pranayama can help in better health bodily and psychologically. Over such practice when needy energy is available to all corners of the body through un-used fat or other substance in the muscle structure gets properly heated up to get converted into energy naturally the body synchronises to the exact weight requirements and over weight is toned down.

( ...to be continued ) - regards, Pilgrim

sputnik
Post 1

I think it is yoga's philosophy that helps, in the long run, to loose weight. Since in yoga your focus is turned inward, one becomes more aware of oneself and ultimately achieve inner peace.

The food tends to get its own place, where you do not eat to satisfy some other need, but you eat enough of food to satisfy your hunger only. So the exercises itself might not burn calories as some other physical activity might, but the slow, controlled stretching and poses tone the muscles, focus your thoughts, and the whole process puts you back in a peaceful, humble, focused state of mind.

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