Yoga for Weight Loss. What is Yoga?

By: Lana Waterfall


Will doing yoga help me lose weight?

Doing yoga regularly offers many benefits, including making you feel better about your body as you become stronger and more flexible, toning your muscles, reducing stress, and improving your mental and physical well-being. But will it help you lose weight?
Practicing any type of yoga will build strength, but some types may not raise your heart rate enough to make them the only form of exercise you need to include in your weight loss regime. It depends on the type of yoga you select and how frequently you practice it.

In order to lose weight, you must eat healthily and burn calories by doing exercise that raises your heart rate on a regular basis. Some types of yoga, such as Iyengar, in which yoga poses are held for several minutes with a resting period between each pose, will build muscles and improve your posture, but will not give you the cardiovascular workout you need to lose weight. On another hand, if you are standing in a pose for several minutes and sweating, this will definitely help you lose weight.
If you plan to make yoga your primary form of exercise, you must do a vigorous 90-minute yoga class at least three times a week. Many people also choose to combine yoga with running, walking or other aerobic exercise in order to reach their weight loss goals.

What kind of yoga will help me lose weight?

The type of yoga you need to do is called Vinyasa or Flow Yoga. This style of yoga is based on the performance of a series of poses called sun salutations. Vinyasa includes many popular, athletic and sweat-drenched yoga styles. For weight loss purposes, try:

Ashtanga:
Ashtanga Yoga is a very vigorous style of practice with a few distinct advantages for those who want to lose weight. Ashtanga practitioners are among the most dedicated of yogis, and beginners are often encouraged to sign up for a series of classes, which will help with motivation. Another advantage is that once you learn the poses, Ashtanga Yoga is ideal for home practitioners.
Power Yoga:
Power Yoga is extremely popular, because it provides a very vigorous cardiovascular workout.
Hot Yoga:
Vinyasa yoga done in a hot room ups the ante by guaranteeing youll sweat buckets.
Keep in mind that if you are just starting to do yoga, are very overweight, or are quite out of shape, always choose a beginner-level class.

Yoga Workouts at Home

Keep exercising by doing yoga at home on the days you cant make a class. Follow along with a video or audio recording if you are new to yoga. When you are ready to plan your own workouts, use these yoga sequencing ideas to help you come up with yoga sessions of varying lengths that will fit your schedule.

Certain poses, or asanas, work extremely well for weight loss, with benefits that far exceed mere calorie burning and muscle strengthening. Yoga speeds up the metabolism by stimulating endocrine glands that regulate the metabolic rate.

Certain poses can also help with trouble spots:


  • Shoulder stand and fish pose: Both rouse the thyroid, helping to give your body a metabolism boost.

  • Valrasana (spinal twist), a lengthening childs pose, and cobra pose: These twisting poses massage the abdomen, target internal organs and aid with optimal digestion.

  • The dogs: Downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog poses are particularly helpful in toning hips and thighs.

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