Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Profile image Divuni Mindfulness
   Health & Fitness   
May 14   
Updated Jun 21
Adding a yoga practice into your life can help you lose weight, not just by being more physically active. Let's take a look at how yoga helps you lose weight.
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There are many methods that people have utilized to help improve their physical, mental, and spiritual development. One of the most popular, though, is yoga. This ancient practice utilizes intentional movements and mindful mental activity to help align your body, mind, and spirit with the energy within and without you. But what other benefits can yoga bring to an individual?

It could also be utilized as a powerful tool to help those looking to lose some weight. This is especially true if you choose more active disciplines like Hot or Vinyasa yoga. Not only does it help manage stress, which is a key component in weight gain, but it also can improve your sleep and help you build muscle.

Along with this, yoga also utilizes mindfulness, which can play an important part in one's eating routine. By being more engaged with what you're eating and choosing carefully what goes into your body to nourish it, you will find that weight loss is not far behind.

So if you are wondering if yoga can help you lose weight, keep reading and let us break down why it is a great tool to use in your weight loss journey.

Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight? Types of Yoga To Consider

The most important thing to consider before adding yoga to your weight loss regimen is the type of yoga you choose. There is a wide range of different types of yoga, and all of them come with select benefits. But if you're looking for ones that are going to help you lose weight, the following are the ones to consider above all else:

  • Vinyasa - If you're looking to burn calories, Vinyasa is a perfect style to consider. In this type of yoga, one breath equals one movement. It can be quite challenging and yet still give you the flowing movements that yoga is known for.
  • Hot - This is a Vinyasa-style yoga but done in a very warm room. Because of the additional heat, you will sweat more and therefore definitely burn more calories.
  • Ashtanga - For those looking to build muscle to burn fat, this type of yoga is perfect. With this style, you're going to hold poses for multiple breaths instead of moving with each breath like you do in Vinyasa. It is a set cycle and will help you build strength as well.
  • Hatha - If you're looking for something with a slower pace then Hatha is a good option. You're going to hold these poses for multiple breaths and for longer than even in Ashtanga. This is a great one if you're looking to build muscle.

Benefits of Yoga For Weight Loss

For those wondering if yoga can help them lose weight and are trying to understand what the benefits are and how it ties into their weight loss journey, a yoga practice may be just what they need. In fact, yoga has a lot of benefits that can play into losing weight. Because weight loss is not only a physical activity but also a mental one as well, the fact that this practice utilizes the physical body, as well as the mental and spiritual body, can be quite impactful when it comes to losing weight.

Here are some of the chief benefits of using yoga for weight loss:

Mindful Eating

One of the main principles of yoga is the mindfulness of your inner and outer surroundings. This will cultivate a more mindful attitude towards everything in your life and that includes eating. One of the chief reasons people gain weight is that they are not cautious of what they're putting into their body nor how they are putting it into it.

Mindful eating will not only slow a person down, which will allow the stomach to feel fuller with less food, but it will also allow the individual to really think about what they're nourishing their body with. This will inevitably lead to better food choices and portioning control.

Manage Stress

Stress can be a huge component of anyone's weight gain. Often when you're stressed, you don't pay attention to what you're eating or when you're eating it.

Many people stress eat, and when they do this, they overindulge in things that are not nutritious for them. By relieving stress, you're going to be able to control your eating habits better and not have as many unhealthy cravings.

Build Muscle

One of the reasons going to the gym helps you lose weight is that you build up muscle which eventually will lead to burning fat faster. Strengthening muscles will build muscle as well and this can help create resistance for your body when doing exercise. In other words, it is a muscle-building, fat-burning loop that yoga is adept at creating.

Better Sleep

Sleep is one of the most crucial aspects of maintaining a healthy and well-balanced body and mind. When you can get a good night's sleep like you do once you initiate yoga practice into your life, your body is allowed the time to reset properly. This can affect things like eating habits and how your body processes your food. In turn, this can have a great impact on weight loss.

Some Tips on Using Yoga For Weight Loss

With all these great benefits, it is easy to see that incorporating a yoga practice can help with weight loss. Before you do though, we have a few great tips that should be able to help you not only remain consistent but make the practice work even better for you.

Find The Right Fit

It's important to try a few different types of yoga before you settle on the one that works the best. After all, each of them has its own unique practices and methods of breathing and movement which may benefit some more than others. So take your time and try to find the right style, class, and instructor for you.

Start Off Slowly

Just like with any exercise, you want to start slowly. If you haven't been active in a while, you will want to start with beginners courses and then move up as you begin to build your endurance and strength. The last thing you want to do is jump into a more advanced type of yoga and wind up injured and out of business for a while.

Adjust to Your Needs

Though there are set poses and movements in each of the yoga practices, there are also ways to adjust them to meet your body's needs. Take the time to make those adjustments so that the poses work for your body and don't put undue stress on you. The easier and more comfortable you are, the more likely you are to stick with the practice.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Though yoga is great for losing weight and helping with your body-mind connection, you should also incorporate other types of exercise. Variety really will help your body become more healthy, and, in turn, that will lead to weight loss. Add in walking or going to a dance class. Even doing fun recreational sports like tennis or racquetball could be a great addition to your yoga practice when it comes to your weight loss journey.

Related Posts
What Does Yoga Do To Your Body & Brain?
Does Guided Meditation Work for Anxiety?
What Are 5 Benefits of Mindfulness?

Final Thoughts

Adding a yoga practice to your routine can help you lose weight. Not only does it teach you mental skills that help you make smarter choices when it comes to eating, but the actual physical movement itself builds muscle and can burn calories. The combination of these three things means that yoga is a perfect tool to add to your weight loss routine to ensure a more well-rounded and consistent result which will guide you on the path to living a happier, healthier life.

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