Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?


If you’ve been wondering “does yoga help you lose weight?”, then it’s important to understand some of the basic fundamental principles related to weight loss.

Losing weight is a balancing act of energy in mixed versus energy out. Your body will burn a set amount of calories every day – this is known as your basal metabolic rate. If this number and the amount of calories you burn off during your activity for the day add up to more calories than you consumed, then you will lose weight. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.

yoga class

A western style yoga class (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Calories, physical activity, your body’s metabolism, and self-dedication are all factors that come in to play when you’re trying to lose weight. Consuming fewer calories is one side of the weight loss equation, while the other involves burning off calories. The only way to burn extra calories in a day is to exercise. There are hundreds of ways you can exercise and yoga is certainly one of them.

Doing Yoga will definitely help you lose weight if you also watch your calorie intake, however, yoga is not the most effective way to burn calories on a per hour basis. You will burn more calories jogging or riding a bike (even on the treadmills and bikes at the gym) per hour than you would doing yoga. However, doing yoga also has plenty of other health and psychological benefits aside from weight loss. These include:

  • Flexibility – You will stretch and maneuver your body in ways that you never imagined, improving flexibility and range of motion in your muscles and joints. This will help prevent injuries
  • Strength – Yoga poses will require you to move slowly in and out of certain poses and also support the weight of your body in ways that you probably never have. You will get stronger in your arms, legs, and core specifically! More muscle mass and stronger muscles also mean that you burn more calories, helping you lose weight.
  • Pain and Injury Prevention – In yoga, you will practice poses that will help you improve your alignment and posture. Say bye-bye to back tightness and spinal compression.
  • Better Breathing Practices – Yoga will teach you how to consciously and effectively focus on our breathing, which has a significant on the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain and muscles. This does wonders for your daily functioning and productivity. Better breathing is known to reduce stress

These are just a few of the common physical improvements that those who practice yoga experience. As a bonus, there are a few things that you will notice mentally as well:

  • A Calmed Mental State – You will concentrate so intensely on the slow body movements that it will bring you to a new state of peace which you have never experienced.
  • Reduced Stress – Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and keep your body in a healthy state. While you are doing yoga, you will be so focused on completing the movements that you will find yourself in a seriously meditated state. Yoga emphasizes the importance of living in the moment. Stress can oftentimes contribute to weight gain. Certain people may find themselves eating more often or making bad food choices if they are stressed. Yoga clears the mind and helps you unwind and become more self-aware.
  • Mind-body harmony – Those who start practicing yoga often feel like they are uniting their mind and body and experience self-awareness. This new feeling will help motivate you to make the right decisions when you eat as well as keep you training.

Other Benefits Of Yoga

downward dog

The downward dog pose (Photo credit: My Yoga Online)

Yoga is a great way to get involved in a class atmosphere! You will probably make some new friends, too, which is great because friends will keep you accountable for showing up to the class and making sure you are meeting your goals! There is nothing more motivating than hearing compliments coming from your friends about improvements you are making physically and mentally.

Yoga will increase your mindfulness and improve the relationship you have with your body. Mentally, you will become more aware of yourself and motivated to make better food choices throughout the day. This is undoubtedly the spot where most people struggle.

Remember, when practicing yoga, you are doing something more significant than exercising to lose weight; you are creating an experience in your mind that will improve your overall mindset towards physical and emotional well-being.

The full practice of yoga in India improves all parts of one’s lifestyle: diet, mental attitude, physique, stress levels, and more. Yoga will turn your attention inward, and as you gain skill, mental self-control, and become one with your psychological reality, you will find it much easier to make the right decisions throughout the day to see changes in your body.

Practicing Yoga – How Do You Start?
You can start doing yoga by yourself in your house or you can participate in a yoga class at a health club or community center near you.
When you first start visiting a yoga class, you will find that the teacher refers to “your practice.” This is because yoga is an individual experience and everybody will have a different relationship with the hobby. As you practice, your style of yoga will evolve, change, and improve as you develop your skills over time.

Anybody can decide that they want to start doing yoga. Most people think that you need a certain amount of physical strength or flexibility in order to even participate in a yoga class and do the movements. This is not true! As you practice the different poses and get more comfortable, you will get better and better! Yoga is a fun way to get yourself involved in a group hobby to live longer and improve your physique. The key is to just get going!

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  1. ravindra


    February 19, 2016 at 11:57 am

    very good suggestions

  2. Cyril


    February 5, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I don’t think I wrote out my workout very calerly! I ran a total of 6.5 miles and it probably took me 55 minutes or so. Within the 6.5 miles, I ran 25 minutes at tempo pace. I don’t take Max running. He doesn’t really like to go on runs. He will hike for a long time though! We only let him off his leash if there are not people around. He gets too excited and sometimes jumps on people, so he is usually on his leash.

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    May 1, 2014 at 4:46 pm

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