How To Lose Weight Doing Yoga

How does one lose weight doing yoga you may ask? A mix of dieting or just eating a balanced diet is a good start. Dieting tends not to work on it’s own as it hard to sustain a low calorie diet for a long period of time.

In this post I will look in to what Yoga can offer in regards to weight loss. Come along on this journey of discovery as we try to answer this question, can yoga help you lose weight. Since it’s not usually a calorie burning activity, many people assume yoga isn’t useful for weight loss.

But evidence suggests that’s not the case. It can be the mental benefits of yoga that will most likely contribute to weight loss.

 Yoga And Weight Loss:

The answer is yes as any activity is going to burn calories. That was a quick conclusion so why is there so many articles on this topic.

More than likely due to the yoga explosion that has happened over the last decade in the western civilizations, may have something to do with it.

As we are weight obsessed and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. You may think of Yoga as a more meditative inducing stretching routine than a fat reducing way to lose weight.

Research shows that doing Yoga can burn fat. A study found that over 10 years time frame people who practiced Yoga lost near 5 Pounds compared to people who did not practice Yoga gained 14 Pounds.

The University of California, San Diego study found that people who did a Yoga class twice a week for six months lost an average of 31  cubic centimetres of subcutameous fat the most dangerous type of fat to have.

The poses you do build up muscle which helps you burn the fat quicker than normal.

Research has indicated the destressing manner of Yoga may be another explanation for it’s fat burning properties.

Yoga helps lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone associated to an increase in tummy fat.

Yoga Poses That Help You Lose Weight:

Yoga Various asanasFrom the image above I can see a few poses I have already covered in previous blogs.

So we are of to a good start.

This one asana I have done before and really like, is salute to the sun.

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

There are various versions of this asana, all of them good in their own way.

I won’t go through all of them as this blog will be longer than it needs.

Sun salutations is a dynamic sequence, normally practiced before sunrise but not essential.

Body and breath flow fast to create intense heat which stimulates the circulation.

Breathing through your nose, move in and out of the different poses.

Keep the body moving freely to create a flowing sequence.

Let’s begin with closing the eyes and hold your hands in prayer position in front of your heart to center yourself in stillness.

Stand with your feet together arms by your side, as if you were in mountain pose.

I hale and bend your knees swinging your arms up behind you and then forward in prayer position to above your head.

Look up to your hands, tuck your buttocks under, and extend out from the waist halfway up, keeping your knees bent.

Exhale and, keeping your palms together, bring your arms down as you bend forward at the hips, then bring your palms to the floor, and forehead and torso in toward the knees.

Straighten your legs tuck your chin in and direct your focus up toward your navel. Inhale and cup your fingers on the floor in front of your feet.

Looking up, extend and lengthen your spine, concacving your lower back.

Exhale and step right foot back leaving you in a forward lunge, followed by left foot leaving you in the plank position, then slowly release your body down to the floor.

Keeping your elbows close to the body, the legs locked and facing down.

If you have the strength, keep your whole body slightly off the floor, if not, rest your legs and chest to the floor but keep your leg muscles activated.

Inhale and roll onto the tops of your feet, lifting your pelvis and bringing your chest up and forward, straightening your arms.

Roll your shoulders back and open up your chest. Extend your legs away and squeeze your buttocks, extending out from lower back.

Move your head back as far as you can make sure not to strain the neck, you are now in upward facing dog or cobra as some people know it as.

Exhale and lift your buttocks and hips, going into downward facing dog.

Move right leg back into lunge, followed by the left leg.

You will now will be in a forward bend.

Inhale and roll upwards to mountain pose.

Stand there for a few breaths and maybe do it again alternating the leg when in lunge, so both sides of the body get a good stretch.

Yoga Can Help You Lose Weight:

In the final analysis yoga can assist you in losing weight.

Especially if you do a salute to the sun, as it a fast moving pose.

Remember to breathe through the nose and do this asana at your own pace.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.

I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.

I’m happy to help any way that I can.

copywrightNamaste Shane.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

11 thoughts on “How To Lose Weight Doing Yoga”

  1. I left a message but when I hit the submit button the screen went blank. I have every other page working good but that one went haywire when I submitted it. I was going to let you know that I really liked your goal in your post and you eventually did post an image of the Sun Salutation but if you could find a video you could link to on how to perform it you would find that people would probably watch it and also you would find people would be staying on your site longer. It wasn’t easy to read also with some places having a line between one line and the next and another would had no line. Great post basically though.

    • Hi Larry,  Thank you for the feedback.                                                                            I will check out a relevant video and add to the post                                                I am having some problems with layout.                                                               The layout in editor does not transcribe to my website not sure why, if you      have any suggestions, they would be  most appreciated.                                                                                                                                                                                      kind Regards,                                                                                                        Shane Lacey.

  2. Hi there!

    Thank you so much for the information. I have been doing yoga several times. So far it is so hard because I am not flexible enough and it is always painful! I even tried the Bikram yoga, it almost worked but I got grossed out from the smell of my yoga friends first. As I have gained a few pounds over this holiday, this yoga pose will be perfect for me to lose a few ponds. Thanks for the information 🙂

    • Good luck with your yoga practice. I have never done Bikram yoga as i have found normal hatha yoga makes me sweat enough. Yoga is more about getting the balance in your body which may assist you in controlling your weight, as there are many factors for gaining weight

  3. I’d never considered that yoga coild actually help you lose weight as it doesn’t seem the kind of strenuous exercise that you’d normally associate with shedding the extra pounds.

    The sun salute looks like an interesting pose to try and, althogh I’ve done a lot of sport (never yoga) I’ll be giving it a go today.

    What I do know is that yoga helps with mobility, and although I do a lot of walking, I don’t do any upper body work right now. I thnk you’ve given me a few ideas with this post, so thanks for the inspiration.

    • Normally speaking yoga is a passive exercise. There is so many styles of yoga. Power yoga is quite popular and is a fast moving yoga similiar to aerobics. Then there is Hot Yoga called Bikram which is practised in a pre heated room which will certainly make you sweat. You will find even in the passive styles of yoga many postures are designed for the organs to flush and replenish. Like a sluggish thyroid which controls our metabolism.

  4. Losing weight has been a struggle for my friend and colleague. In all fairness, she tried several ways already and although some of those were effective, they were all for short term only. I mean, after losing a few pounds, she ended up gaining them back the moment she stopped. I share her frustrations and I feel like I am not doing enough to help her find the vest solution.

    Losing weight by doing yoga poses never really crossed our minds. We thought yoga was just for meditation and relaxation but if this really works, I’m sure my friend would be willing to try. But looking at these yoga poses, aren’t they difficult to do for someone who is overweight? How often and how long should we do them to arrive at the best results?

    • Thank You for replying, how often and long depends on the amount of time you have. Everyday would be the best answer but not always possible. As far as yoga and being overweight, does not effect your flexibilty. I been in classes with larger people and they are more flexible than me. It really does not matter how much yoga you do as a diet along with exercise is really the only way to lose weight. It has to be a lifelong thing as soon as you stop exercising or dieting you will be back were you started.

  5. Being born in India (origin of yoga and Pranayam) I am very much familiar with yoga and it’s physical and spiritual benefits. I had gained few extra pounds due to unhealthy lifestyle and everybody strated to tease me for my large belly and then I realised I need to control my weight.I started doing yoga and Pranayam at least 5 times in a week for half an our and follow ed healthy diet.After 4 months I lost about 16 pounds in healthy way.

    • Thank you Sanjay i believe a unhealthy lifestyle is a problem for most of us. Yoga can only do so much, and it is a spiritual thing. The physical side of yoga is only one of the 8 limbs.


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