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Losing Weight With Yoga- Is It Possible?

Updated on December 12, 2016

Can You Lose Weight With Yoga? The Answer Might Surprise You

Reports say that supermodel Christy Turlington, David Duchovny, Madonna, Halle Berry, Liv Tyler and even Jennifer Aniston do it. Also, many athletic professionals do it to because it helps improve their game. What is it that all these people do? The answer is yoga. Believe it or not, this mind-body, sophisticated exercise is able to do everything from change your life’s outlook, lighten your buns and yes, lose weight.

You may be wondering, can this work at your own level, no strain workout really help in weight loss? It’s true that yoga is far from aerobic exercise power. Compared to three hundred calories lost during one hour of walking, a one hundred fifty-pound yogi will only burn about one hundred fifty calories when doing yoga regularly. However, it is, after all, still exercise and many yoga practitioners believe it does help shed weight.

Yoga helps you lose weight and is a great way to put you in touch with your physical body. Celebrity trainers who have worked with Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna are familiar with the weight loss powers of yoga. They have seen it happen to their clients as well as themselves. Even for beginners, yoga can give a great workout.

Yoga and Weight Loss

Overweight yoga practitioners lost five pounds in the same period of time that people who did not do yoga gained fourteen pounds. It takes a minimum of a half hour weekly session to get results. From the standpoint of science, it is not clear how yoga helps keep the pounds off. However, some theories point to the fact that it may be related to the mind body aspects of yoga.


What is mindfulness? This is the capacity to detect what is happening within while you do an action. Mindfulness helps change a person’s relationship of body and mind and later on to everything else, such as to eating and food. You are more likely to be able to change if you do yoga. For example, if you are thinking about getting on a diet, becoming healthier, changing your lifestyle and your patterns of eating, yoga enables you to make these changes by strengthening your spiritual connection to your body.

Also, a stronger connection between body and mind is forged by yoga. This helps you ultimately become more aware of how it feels to be full and what you eat. In essence, yoga helps you accept the fact that your physical body is not your enemy. Instead, it makes you more consciously aware of your physique and this all translates to better control of your appetite as a whole.

Power Yoga

Power yoga is the kind of yoga you want to do if you want to really lose weight. What exactly is power yoga? This is a USA version of the traditional techniques of kundalini yoga. It is believed that there are heart benefits and fat-burning potentials of power yoga not unlike the kind you get from doing aerobics.

While yoga traditional types are founded on static poses and techniques of breathing, power yoga combines more rapid, faster movements with meditative breathing. The results are that through power yoga you get a more aerobic workout than if you actually did aerobics.

When you are exercising and using a lot of oxygen, this is what aerobics means. So when you are doing more active poses and traditional breathing of yoga, you are actually doing something very similar to aerobics. You are essentially burning tons of calories when you breathe through power yoga poses. This will then help you lose weight whether you are a beginner or are already more advanced.

Building Muscle with Yoga

Believe it or not, you can build muscles with yoga. You won’t burn as much as a hard cardiovascular workout but you will eventually get more fit when you do yoga consistently and regularly. What helps you lose weight is not as much the exercises, although, these play a big part of course. Instead, the fact that there is mindfulness involved and a greater mind and body connection is built is the key to helping you achieve all those weight loss goals. In fact, experts say that mindfulness may be the key to achieving any goal, so your entire life actually improves.

There are a lot of different reasons that people do yoga. In terms of weight control and losing weight, you will definitely see results. Even beginners who do yoga regularly and actively will find that both their lives and their bodies have changed.

You Can Make It Work

Yoga can be a great introduction into the fitness world for a beginner. The beginner poses are not that hard to do and are very basic. The benefits of yoga will not just be physical but also mental and spiritual. If you have never done yoga in the past, there are a few things to keep in mind.

If you are a beginner, it is a good idea to do your practice poses in a mirror-less room. This way, you will feel the pose internally rather than be pressured by how you look on the outside. Feel each movement and experience every sensation down to the smallest moves. Try to find where your body feels most challenged but not straining. Accept where your limits are but do try to push them a little. This is how improvement begins. When you are tired, give yourself permission to rest. Positive self-talk combined with a yoga session is a good idea. Praise your efforts to yourself and appreciate what you are doing. Faithfully and regularly attend class. If you are doing at-home workouts, set a specified yoga-session day and stick to this. You are not just doing a body workout when you do yoga but are also developing great inner qualities such as gratitude, kindness, wisdom, discipline and patience. Find an instructor or a video that combines firmness and gentleness, one who is an inspiration to keep you going.

Create a Better You

Creating a better you can be as simple as getting yourself a DVD about yoga or finding a class near where you live and attending. Keep going with this momentum and do it regularly. Remember, your yoga efforts are an inspiration to other people and not just to yourself. You will eventually inspire people to become more in tune with themselves just the way you are, both outside and within.

Stress Buster Yoga

A known stress-reliever, yoga is also one of the workouts most effective for fighting your most stubborn stores of fat. Particularly the ones that begin to appear after the age of forty. Yoga is a great way not just to burn away excessive fat but also to help ease the stress that comes naturally from daily living. Stress is a natural part of life and you need to do your part to alleviate the stress in your life. Yoga is a great way to clear your mind and your body of excess, unnecessary junk. When you do yoga, your body produces endorphins and you are then able to relax and deal with the stress that comes from daily life. You will as a result become more productive at work and also do more work, creating a better all-around life in general.

Gentle Yoga Also Works

To lose weight, you don’t need to do high intensity yoga, it turns out. This is particularly useful information for those with joint problems. In Seattle, a study was done by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with overweight folks who did once a week yoga for four years or more and all lost an average of five pounds. Those who never unrolled a mat gained weight up to almost fourteen pounds. Those who begin doing yoga at a healthy weight tend to keep their weight healthy throughout their lives.

No one knows for sure how such a little bit of sweat works so well. Gentle yoga changes the body and your mindset, which in turn affects your behaviour.

Cheating on Your Diet is OK

When you do yoga regularly, a little bit of cheating in your diet won’t really upset you too much. When you drop sizes doing yoga, you really won’t care too much about how much you eat on your next meal. Your appetite is also affected when you do yoga, since exercise has a tendency to be an appetite suppressant. The fact that you don’t get too hard on yourself when you cheat on your diet promotes self-love and this helps you get back on track very quickly. When you do class, the work you do creates a flowing compassion that affects every life area you happen to have.

Restorative Yoga is Also an Option

You also have the option of doing a type of yoga called restorative yoga. This type of yoga is regular yoga that makes you hold the poses for much longer. You then burn twice the fat in your body than you would normally. People who did stretches for the same amount of time as you would not burn as much fat as you would. This applies to both men and women. In fact, men who begin to do even just the breathing exercises of yoga each day have been found to lose four pounds of fat on average in just ten days. Is this something you are interested in? Whether you have done yoga in the past or have never attempted it, yoga is gentle enough for every age and quite easy on the joints. You can start with the most gentle version of yoga and move your way upwards from there. Make sure you inform your medical practitioner before starting any exercise.

The Key is Your Breath

The secret to yoga and weight loss success is in the breathing. When you focus on your body and on your breathing, it is not hard to focus on everything else. This means that you will become more in tuned such as when you feel a craving for sweets when in fact you are just thirsty. When you are in tune with your body, you will tend to know you are feeling thirsty rather than craving for sweets. The best part is that once your body and mind change into becoming more in tune, the results are longer lasting and you will be able to keep your new slim figure for a long period of time. Even if you slip up once in a while you will see that it is easier to get back on the right track and become in tune with what your body really wants all the time. After all, your body really does not want food all the time. At times, what feels like hunger can actually mean needing more rest or more fluids. Enjoy the benefits of yoga and weight loss for a lifetime.

Give It a Few Months

If you begin to do yoga for weight loss, give it about six months to see real results. If you are, say, trying to lose those last twenty pounds, you will see your felt begin melting away. You may even stop wanting the occasional slice of cake or that extra glass of wine. There is a powerful shift that will begin to happen in your body and mind. The best part is that no matter what state of mind of motivation you have at the moment, yoga is gentle enough to start even if you have been out of shape for years. You will cultivate awareness in the present moment and will see yourself begin to stop eating naturally. You may burn less calories when you do yoga. In fact, cortisol, the hormone produced when you are under stress, may even cause you to have unwanted pounds exactly where you don’t want them. You will love the fact that levels of cortisol decrease when you start to do yoga and this will in turn help you lose fat in your belly, in your thighs or wherever you tend to accumulate them.


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