Trying to slim down and wondering if yoga is the answer? In order to lose weight, you need to burn calories, and like anything physical, doing yoga can help you achieve that goal, but it depends on what style of yoga you do. You want to choose vigorous vinyasa, power, or ashtanga classes rather than slower-paced styles such as Kripalu or Iyengar. These classes move quickly so they really get your heart pumping — you can burn over 400 calories per 90-minute class! These styles also incorporate poses that strengthen your muscles, and more muscle mass helps keeps your metabolism fired up.
What about Bikram? While this style of yoga involves practicing in a super-hot room so you sweat your butt off, sweating alone isn't what results in dropping pounds. You'll experience water weight loss, but as soon as you rehydrate with a few gulps from your water bottle, you'll "gain" it right back.
In order to see results, practice 90-minute classes three to five times a week. Although yoga is an awesome total body workout, weight loss might happen more gradually than you want. In order to lose weight faster, I recommend supplementing your exercise routine with heart-pumping cardio sessions such as running, cycling, or hitting cardio classes at your gym.
Aside from burning calories and strengthening your muscles, yoga also helps you focus on having mind and body awareness. When you bring your attention inward, you may notice a shift in your perspective about how you treat your body and what you put into it as fuel. Doing yoga regularly can inspire you to take care of yourself as you become more aware of your physical and mental states.