Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Last Updated: February 21, 2013

does yoga help you to lose weightYoga is a Hindu discipline that teaches a person how to control mind and body. It isn’t an exercise program to lose weight yet it can be the avenue for weight loss because of the demand on the body.

A yoga session is based on different yoga disciplines. There are 5 common types: Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Bikram. You may recognize them more for their vernacular terms. Hatha is breathing and meditation; Vinyasa is basic poses and breathing discipline; Ashtanga is power yoga; Iyengar is body alignment; and Bikram is hot yoga. No matter which type of yoga you decide to try, your body will get a work-out.

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There are several ways weight loss is achieved with yoga:

Yoga Heightens Awareness of Eating Right

Yoga stresses inner strength and control and this includes learning more about eating the right food and avoiding certain food items. As you become more aware of your body, you also become more in tune to eating until satisfied, not until you’re full and eating only when you’re hungry and not because social events and the time of day dictates that you eat. This will be beneficial to the fast weight loss goal most overweight people set for themselves.

In addition, you will voluntarily decide not to eat food with preservatives, bad fats or processed food and you will want to stay away from fast food chains.

Yoga Relieves Stress

The general attitude towards stress for most people is to drink and eat. Some choose to eat sweets like chocolates while other go to bars and start drinking. If a stressed person opts to join a yoga session instead, he or she avoids the high calorie(how many calories does a person burn in a day?) binges and weight loss is possible because of the lifestyle change.

Stress is also an energy drainer which is another reason why many people reach for a quick snack or couple of beers after work when the logical action should be to get some rest. Or find relief in physical activity.

Regular Yoga Sessions Can be Habit-Forming

It’s easy to become enthralled with yoga because the commercial form of yoga has turned it into a social activity. Celebrities endorse yoga and this adds to its appeal. As long as you do yoga at least 4 times a week and you choose the high impact power yoga, you can lose weight. Most yoga sessions are 90 minutes long which means you are sustaining physical activity for 90 minutes. If you haven’t been physically active before the yoga sessions, then the chances are higher that you will be able to get into shape eventually. However, if you’re already maintaining a physical fitness program or regular workouts, the chances are not as high that you will lose weight unless you decide to make severe changes in your daily diet.