Can You Lose Weight With Yoga?

Yoga is a practice that has many health advantages. A yoga session can help you relax, become more mindful, and develop your flexibility. As yoga is quite gentle, many people underestimate the physical benefits that it can have. One of these benefits is weight loss.

Yes, yoga can help you lose weight – as long as you’re in an energy deficit! If you’re still skeptical, keep reading. In this article, we’ll cover several reasons why yoga can help you lose weight.

Can You Lose Weight With Yoga


One of the main benefits of yoga is developing mindfulness from regular practice. As you become more mindful, you become conscious about what your body goes through. In turn, you start being aware of what different foods, drinks, and other activities do to your mind and body.

Research has shown that people who performed yoga regularly might resist comfort food and binge eating better than those who didn’t. They were also more aware of their body, so they noticed when they became full.

These findings are all down to the mindfulness that yoga helps to develop. Body awareness can stop you from overconsuming unhealthy foods, which can help you lose weight over time.

Better Sleep

Better Sleep

Good quality sleep is essential if you want to lose weight. Research has shown that those who have fewer hours of sleep lose less weight than those who have more. Most people need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep, but the modern world has made achieving this difficult.

A lot of yogis have found that they sleep better when they regularly practice yoga. Some forms of yoga help the body relax. Focusing on breathing work and holding static poses can help reduce tension, ease pain, and remove muscle knots. This makes it easier for the body to let go of stress, which can help you sleep quickly and deeply.

Burning Calories

The most important part of losing weight is that you must be in a calorie deficit. It’s simple physics. If you consume more energy than you burn, you will put on weight. If you use more energy than you consume, you’ll lose weight. This means eating a little bit less and moving a little bit more. Yoga is one form of activity that can help burn calories.

Yoga isn’t seen as an aerobic exercise, but there are types of yoga that involve more activity. To burn the most calories, opt for more intense styles. These include Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and power yoga. Hot yoga studios generally perform power yoga and Vinyasa classes. At these classes, you’ll be moving constantly, burning energy as you do so.

Restorative yoga doesn’t involve burning much energy, but it does involve holding positions for a long period. Some research also showed that it helped overweight women lose fat around the stomach. More studies are needed, but this displays that yoga can be an effective way of burning calories.

Preventing Muscle Loss

If you’re losing weight, there’s a chance that you’re also losing muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat. If you lose muscle, your metabolism decreases, which can make it more difficult for you to lose weight. Yoga can prevent this from occurring.

As yoga positions are held for long periods, they can be considered as isometric exercises. Other than improving balance, reducing stress, and improving range of motion, these can also help build and maintain muscle. This makes yoga a good way of preventing muscle loss that comes with losing weight, which can help you reduce more pounds overall.

Reduces Stress

Reduces Stress

Studies have shown that there is a link between stress and cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that promotes weight gain. Yoga can help you manage your stress levels, which can be beneficial on a weight loss journey.

Yoga promotes both mental and physical relaxation. Entering a relaxed state can help you reduce stress and anxiety levels. The poses also help you become more flexible, reduce tension, and manage pain better.

Over time, practicing yoga positions can help alleviate physical symptoms, such as muscle knots. This can release tension and make you feel relaxed. As it’s a light form of exercise, yoga may also promote the release of endorphins. This can make you feel happier and better overall, which may be beneficial when managing stress.

If you are less stressed, you won’t produce as much cortisol, so you won’t crave high-sugar foods. Yoga is a great way to reduce stress, and in turn, control your weight.

Types Of Yoga To Lose Weight

While all yoga forms have benefits, certain styles can help you burn fat over others. When people want to lose weight, they prioritize burning calories, maintaining muscle, or reducing stress levels.

Best Yoga For Burning Calories

If you want to burn more calories, try Vinyasa or hot yoga. In Vinyasa classes, you focus on performing one move for one breath. The moves flow in a sequence, but they still offer a great workout. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, Vinyasa is suitable for all levels.

If you’re up for a challenge, try hot yoga classes. You’ll perform Vinyasa moves in a very hot room, which makes you sweat a lot. The heat makes it harder to perform the moves, so you’ll get a good workout in.

Best Yoga For Maintaining Muscle

Like Vinyasa, Ashtanga is a flowing form of yoga that follows a sequence. In this form, you hold poses for several breaths before moving on to the next one.

Hatha is like another form of Vinyasa, but this is done at a slower speed. Each pose is held for several breaths before performing a new one.

In both Ashtanga and Hatha, your muscles work hard to keep you holding each position. With regular practice, you’ll see your strength increase as the poses become easier to hold.

Best Yoga For Reducing Stress

Yin yoga is best for those that want to relax and let go of stress. In this form, you perform floor poses that are long and slow. These positions help to encourage healing, rest, and stress relief.

Restorative yoga is similar to Yin, as it promotes rest and relaxation. This form uses blocks and props to help you into certain poses. They support you as you enter a stress-free state.

In Short

Yoga is a wonderful form of activity that can help you reach weight loss goals. Losing weight depends on several factors. These include sleep quality, low-stress levels, and burning calories. Yoga can help with all of these.

As long as you keep in a calorie deficit, adding yoga poses to your daily routine could help you lose more weight overall.

Laura Simmons
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