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Will Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?

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.

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Kelley16172882 Kelley16172882 3 years

I think it's too simplistic to think about calories burned in a yoga class. My first yoga was Iyengar and I did it almost exclusively during my 40s (also had a kid at 40) and I was in the best shape ever. Don't dismiss the challenge of holding poses, as Iyengar does. It is work, and it also slows down your mind, teaches you to focus on small adjustments that will keep the pose in line, and in so doing you learn to control mind chatter! I think any form of yoga offers a mind-body connection that makes your body healthier and you happier. And I never worried about calories at all in my 40s. (Having to make some adjustments now with menopause, but still counting on yoga as the basis of great health and fitness!)

shapeshifteryoga shapeshifteryoga 4 years
Yoga will help you stay SLIM! Yoga practice can sculpt your muscles and give you a nicer shape, can even help you lose weight! Read about it :
floridasunshiny floridasunshiny 5 years
I did hot yoga 3-4x per week for two months, watched my diet and lost 25lbs without doing any additional exercise (no cardio, no additional classes, just hot yoga). I went down 2 sizes and I can see the muscle tone in my body coming back. In fact, all of my clothes are now too big for me. So, I really do believe yoga can help with weight loss
TheIronYou TheIronYou 5 years
I once wore my Polar during a Bikram class and at the end it showed I burned around 800 calories...I guess that was not only water weight! I believe this post gives too superficial information. Peace Mike @TheIronYou
dancer0420 dancer0420 8 years
stacyB - how long have you been going for? how many times a week did you do it? gotta get rid of that cellulite lol
stacyB stacyB 10 years
Bikram yoga won't help you lose weight? Guess you've never done it..I don't know what comes of, water weight or fat but it comes off and comes off fast. (and stays off). Not only do you sweat out all the toxins, tone up and get rid of cellulite, bikram is also designed to increase your metabolism so you after doing it regularly you can safely skip a month without the pounds coming back. Without any special diet (except never eating junkfood/fried/chinese) or other exercise, going from 145 to 125 in half a year was almost painless!
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 10 years
Kelly, for whatever reason, going to the studio (even though they are pricey) has made all the difference in the world. I guess I just tend not to push myself as hard if I am doing it on my own. It's also helpful to have someone else watch your alignment when you get tired (and hence sloppy). If you're conscientious about your practice and not naturally lazy (like me), then you should be good with a DVD in my opinion!
Kelly-O Kelly-O 10 years
Those of you that do practice yoga regularly, how do you choose to practice? At home with a book, DVD, or in a classroom setting? I'm taking steps to incorporate yoga into my life, and am just curious. We'll be moving soon and I'm wondering if doing it at home with a book or DVD will be as good, since I probably won't have access to too many classes where I'm headed.
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 10 years
It's funny -- while I know yoga isn't as great a calorie burning as running, I switched from all running to all power yoga about 3 months ago, going about 6x a week. I didn't lose weight (nor did I really want to) but I did tone up TONS and now have almost zero cellulite on the back of my legs and butt.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
You're right muffinmaggie - Half-Bound Lotus is a hard pose and that's why I show 3 different variations. so you can start at the easiest and then work your way up. Thanks for looking out for the newbies :) It's funny, but for some people, if yoga poses looked too easy, they'd be turned off. And for others, if the poses look to hard, they're turned off. I guess it depends on the person.
muffinmaggie muffinmaggie 10 years
I think the standing halfbound lotus pose would be intimidating for a beginner... I've been doing lyengar yoga for over a year now and when I first started I doubt I'd be able to do that properly. I just wouldn't want someone new to yoga to be turned off by a complicated balancing pose, yoga is accessible to everyone and i recommend it to everyone =).
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