4 Ways Yoga Can Reduce Weight (yoga for weight loss)

When it comes to workouts that are both good for the mind and the body, yoga seems to take the cake. Not only can it help with strength and flexibility, but it can work wonders on alleviating anxiety and reducing stress.

But, for those looking to embark on a weight loss journey, you might find yourself wondering if doing just yoga will get you results.”

Can yoga reduce weight? No doubt, the practice can be beneficial with a workout site like FlexifyMe, but can you really lose weight with yoga?

Thankfully, if you’re a yoga lover, we’ve got good news for you. Yoga can be an effective weight loss strategy.

This is especially true if you opt for practices that get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. “It is possible to lose weight by just doing yoga, but, it depends on what type of yoga you’re doing,” says Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher at FlexifyMe.

“Generally speaking, weight loss goals will more likely be accomplished through quicker-paced vinyasa or power yoga styles that get your heart rate up. You’re less likely to see weight loss with slower-paced styles of yoga.”

It is possible to lose weight with yoga, based on the ways that it strengthens, stretches, and calms your body.

Here are the numerous ways that yoga can help you lose weight.

1. It lowers stress.

Yoga is known for its stress-busting powers. It turns out that diminished stress can have just as much benefit for your body as it does for your mind.

“Yoga can lower your stress levels by reducing the stress hormone, cortisol,” says Holistic Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher at FlexifyMe.

“Cortisol is the culprit for weight gain, sending signals to your brain to crave glucose (sugar) in order to combat low blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can lead to overeating and weight gain.”

Stress can also cause you to hold on to more belly fat. Lowering your levels of cortisol can help prevent your body from retaining weight in this area.

Do you need to lower your stress levels? We all do. Get a Free DEMO Yoga Session Online today.

2. It strengthens your muscles.

Anyone who has done yoga knows that holding those poses aren’t easy. This is because they really work your muscles.

“Yoga improves overall strength and flexibility, ultimately enhancing your other workout efforts,” says Koshal Rathore, one of the Weightloss Yoga Trainers at FlexifyMe. “The more flexible you are, the better you will be at other workouts. Yoga will open you up so [that] your muscles can work to their fullest potential, allowing you to get more out of each workout.”

3. It is aerobic exercise.

“Yoga is considered a form of aerobic fitness training, because you move the body through a series of postures for an extended period of time, rather than using short bursts of energy,” says Koshal.

“This form of training aids with weight loss. It taxes the cardio-respiratory system, making you use more energy to keep the body going. Basically, you’re expending calories at a fast rate during a more intense yoga session.”

4. It puts you in a healthy mindset

One of the most beneficial ways that you can lose weight with yoga is to tap into a healthy mindset. “Yoga starts to train the body and the mind to lead a healthy lifestyle,” says Koshal.

People who do yoga often find that they treat their body differently after doing yoga, including making better food choices, maximizing sleep, and practicing self-love—all of which can contribute to weight loss.

So, how can you ensure that you are going to shed those pounds when trying to lose weight with yoga? For starters, opt for classes that include as much movement as possible, such as vinyasa, Ashtanga, or power flow.

“The movements are typically more dynamic and the flow is a bit more athletically challenging. So the postures and sequences of the flow would involve strength and in some case cardiovascular endurance,” says Koshal.

“It will feel like a workout, not just a stretch and mind cleanse! It’s also very important to not just flop into the posture. Engage your muscles, lift and be active, and fire up your muscles.”

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Additionally, you can try supplementing your yoga practice with some additional strength training and cardio.

“Since yoga is a form of aerobic training, the best pair for it is something like weight lifting, pilates, or barre, aimed at strengthening the core,” says Koshal.

“The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate. [This] means you’ll burn more calories at rest than someone who doesn’t do any type of strength training.”

If you stick to a class with lots of movement like the ones we have within Aaptiv, there’s no reason why you can’t lose weight with yoga.

Commonly Asked Questions for Weight loss with Yoga

Predicting individual weight loss is tricky, as it depends on various factors like your current fitness level, diet, and overall lifestyle. However, research suggests that consistent yoga practice alongside a healthy diet can lead to 3-5 pounds of weight loss in 3 months. The Harvard Health Blog, a reputable source for reliable health information, highlights this potential.

Focus on progress, not numbers, and celebrate non-scale victories like increased energy, improved flexibility, and better sleep. These positive changes indicate a healthy trajectory for weight management.

The "best" yoga style for weight loss depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here's a breakdown of popular options:

  • Vinyasa and Power Yoga: These dynamic styles with seamless transitions keep your heart rate up, promoting high calorie burn.
  • Hatha Yoga: This traditional style emphasizes mindful movement and poses, building strength, flexibility, and overall body awareness.
  • Yin Yoga: This gentle practice focuses on holding postures for longer durations, improving joint mobility and reducing stress, both beneficial for weight management.

If you're a beginner, consider starting with gentler styles like Hatha or Yin and gradually progress to more dynamic options as you gain confidence and strength. Platforms like Flexifyme offer beginner-friendly classes and personalized recommendations based on your goals.

Consistency is key when it comes to yoga and weight loss. Aim for 3-4 yoga sessions per week, targeting at least 30 to 60 minutes each. However, individual needs vary, so listen to your body and adjust your practice accordingly. Shorter, daily practices can be effective, and remember to take rest days for optimal recovery.

Here's a breakdown based on your experience level:

  • Beginners: Start with 2-3 shorter sessions (20-30 minutes) per week, focusing on gentle styles like Hatha or Yin Yoga. Build your foundation gradually before increasing frequency or intensity.
  • Intermediate: Aim for 3-4 sessions per week (30-45 minutes), exploring diverse styles like Vinyasa or Power Yoga for more calorie burn.
  • Advanced: You can practice 4-5 times per week (45-60 minutes), incorporating higher-intensity styles or challenging sequences.

Platforms like Flexifyme offer a wide range of classes for different levels and time commitments, making it easy to find the perfect practice for your needs. Remember, it's about building a sustainable habit, so choose a frequency that fits your lifestyle and motivates you to stay consistent.

Absolutely! Online yoga classes provide convenient access to expert instruction and diverse routines, making them a fantastic tool for weight loss. Platforms like Flexifyme, recognized by organizations like Yoga International, offer features like:

  • A library of free and paid classes: Choose from beginner-friendly routines to advanced sequences focused on calorie burning, strength building, and mindful movement.
  • On-demand access: Practice anytime, anywhere, and fit yoga into your busy schedule.
  • Qualified instructors: Learn from experienced and certified yoga teachers who guide you safely and effectively.
  • Personalized recommendations: Platforms like Flexifyme can suggest classes based on your goals, fitness level, and preferences.

Remember: Consistency is key. Find a platform you enjoy, set realistic goals, and track your progress to stay motivated on your online yoga journey.

Yoga is incredibly safe for beginners, even for weight loss. Start with gentle styles like Hatha and choose modifications for poses that feel challenging. Many online platforms, including Flexifyme, offer dedicated beginner sections with clear instructions and supportive instructors to guide you safely through your practice.

Here are some tips for safe yoga practice:

  • Listen to your body: Don't push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Take breaks when needed and avoid pain.
  • Respect your limitations: Modify poses as necessary to ensure your safety and comfort.
  • Choose the right equipment: Use a yoga mat to prevent slipping and consider props like blocks and straps for support.
  • Consult a doctor: If you have any pre-existing health conditions, consult your doctor before starting yoga.

With proper guidance and mindfulness, yoga can be a safe and effective way for beginners to lose weight and improve overall health.

Further resources:

  • The American Council on Exercise (ACE) provides excellent resources on safe and effective yoga practice.
  • Yoga Journal, a reputable publication in the yoga community, offers beginner-friendly articles and tips.

Fueling your body optimally is crucial for maximizing yoga's weight-loss benefits. Keep atleast 1-2 hours of gap between the last meal and the Yoga session. Here are some guidelines:

Before practice:

  • Focus on easily digestible foods: Opt for light snacks like fruit, yogurt, or whole-wheat toast with avocado. Prioritize complex carbohydrates for sustained energy and avoid anything too heavy or fatty.
  • Hydrate well: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your practice to stay hydrated and support your performance.

After practice:

  • Replenish nutrients: Choose protein-rich meals or snacks to promote muscle repair and recovery. Options like grilled chicken with quinoa, salmon with roasted vegetables, or Greek yogurt with berries are excellent choices.
  • Don't overeat: Listen to your body's hunger cues and avoid overindulging to maintain a calorie deficit.

Remember, a balanced diet overall is key. Consult a registered dietitian or certified nutritionist for personalized guidance on nutrition for weight loss and yoga practice.

Additional resources:

  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides reliable information on healthy eating principles.
  • Yoga International offers articles and recipes specifically tailored for pre- and post-yoga meals.

Yoga's impact on weight loss goes beyond just burning calories. Here are some additional benefits:

  • Stress reduction: Chronic stress can hinder weight loss by impacting hormone levels and promoting unhealthy eating habits. Yoga's relaxation techniques and mindfulness practices effectively combat stress, creating a more favorable environment for weight management.
  • Improved sleep quality: Poor sleep disrupts metabolism and hinders weight loss efforts. Yoga's focus on breathwork and relaxation promotes deeper sleep, leading to better hormonal balance and weight regulation.
  • Increased body awareness: Yoga cultivates a deep connection with your body, helping you make healthier choices and develop mindful eating habits.
  • Boosted energy levels: Regular yoga practice improves circulation and oxygen flow, leading to increased energy levels and motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

These holistic benefits contribute to sustainable weight management by addressing the underlying factors that can hinder progress.

Yoga can complement your existing exercise routine beautifully! Here are some ideas:

  • Cross-training: Alternate high-intensity workouts like cardio or strength training with yoga sessions for recovery and flexibility.
  • Warm-up or cool-down: Use gentle yoga routines as a warm-up before your primary workout or as a cool-down to improve relaxation and recovery.
  • HIIT and yoga fusion: Platforms like Flexifyme offer combined HIIT and yoga classes for a complete workout that combines calorie burning with stress reduction.

Remember, listen to your body and find a balance that works for you. Don't push yourself too hard or neglect rest days.

Several platforms offer high-quality online yoga classes designed for weight loss, but Flexifyme stands out for its:

  • Diverse class library: Explore beginner-friendly classes, power yoga sequences, restorative routines, and even weight-loss-focused programs.
  • Experienced instructors: Learn from certified and passionate teachers who guide you safely and effectively.
  • Personalized recommendations: The platform suggests classes based on your goals, fitness level, and preferences.
  • Flexible options: Choose from free and paid memberships, allowing you to try different classes before committing.

Flexifyme also features articles, podcasts, and community forums to support your overall well-being journey.

Remember, the best platform is the one that fits your individual needs and preferences. Explore different options, listen to your body, and enjoy the process of discovering the power of yoga for weight loss and overall health.

Additional resources:

  • Yoga Journal provides reviews and comparisons of popular online yoga platforms.
  • The Yoga Alliance offers a directory of certified yoga teachers and studios, including online options.

It depends! While free classes can offer a taste of the practice, their effectiveness for weight loss depends on several factors:

  • Quality and focus of the class: Do they target weight loss specifically? Are the instructors qualified and experienced?
  • Your commitment level: Can you consistently practice the free routines, or will you need more motivation and variety?
  • Personal goals: Do you need beginner-friendly flows or more advanced sequences for significant weight loss?

Ultimately, paid platforms like Flexifyme, recognized by Yoga International, often provide a wider library of classes with diverse styles, experienced instructors, and personalized recommendations for your weight-loss goals.: They offer free trials, so you can compare the experience and see if the investment is worth it.

Consider these key factors:

  • Class library and variety: Does it offer beginner-friendly options, weight-loss-focused routines, and diverse styles like Vinyasa or Power Yoga?
  • Qualified instructors: Look for certified teachers with experience in guiding weight-loss practices.
  • Personalization: Does the platform offer recommendations or customized programs based on your goals and fitness level?
  • Community and support: Does it provide forums or resources to connect with other yogis and stay motivated?
  • Free trial or affordable pricing: Can you try the platform before committing or find a price point that fits your budget?

Flexifyme excels in these areas: Their extensive library, experienced instructors, and personalized recommendations, coupled with a supportive community and free trial options, make it a strong contender for weight-loss-oriented yogis.

Absolutely! Beginner-friendly yoga builds a strong foundation for weight loss: It improves flexibility, builds core strength, and increases overall fitness, paving the way for more vigorous routines later.

Platforms like Flexifyme offer dedicated beginner sections with clear instructions and gentle flows specifically designed for weight management. Remember, consistency is key, so choose a platform with diverse beginner-friendly classes you enjoy and can stick with regularly.

Different styles offer varying benefits:

  • Vinyasa: This fast-flowing style keeps your heart rate up, burning more calories and building endurance.
  • Power Yoga: Similar to Vinyasa but with more emphasis on strength building, offering a powerful workout for weight management.
  • Hatha Yoga: This traditional style focuses on breathwork, alignment, and holding poses, building core strength and flexibility, which support weight loss.
  • Yin Yoga: This gentle style targets deep tissues and joints, improving flexibility and reducing stress, both beneficial for weight management.

Flexifyme offers a diverse range of all these styles: You can explore and choose what resonates with you, aiming for a mix of styles for optimal results.

  • Mountain pose (Tadasana): This seemingly simple pose strengthens your core and improves posture, a foundation for weight-loss efforts.
  • Downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This full-body workout strengthens your arms, core, and legs, boosting metabolism.
  • Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana): Similar to downward-facing dog, plank engages core and upper body muscles, promoting strength and fat burning.
  • Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II): This standing pose opens hips, strengthens legs, and improves balance, contributing to weight management.
  • Cobra (Bhujangasana): This gentle back-bending pose strengthens back and shoulders, promoting flexibility and improved posture.

Remember, listen to your body and modify poses as needed: Focus on proper form and breath awareness rather than pushing yourself beyond your limits.

Both styles offer valuable benefits for weight loss, but they differ in approach:

  • Power Yoga: More vigorous and fast-flowing, it burns more calories and builds muscle quickly, leading to faster weight loss potential.
  • Hatha Yoga: Builds strength and flexibility slowly and steadily, laying the foundation for sustainable weight management. It also reduces stress and improves sleep, both crucial for weight control.

Ultimately, the "better" style depends on your fitness level and preferences. If you're a beginner, starting with Hatha yoga for weight loss is a wise choice: It allows you to build a strong foundation, improve flexibility, and avoid injuries. Once you're comfortable, you can try incorporating shorter sequences of Power Yoga into your routine to boost calorie burning and build muscle.

Platforms like Flexifyme cater to both preferences: Their beginner-friendly Hatha classes will guide you safely, and they offer diverse Power Yoga sequences to progress to when you're ready. Remember, consistency is key, so choose a style you enjoy and can stick with for long-term weight management success.

Vinyasa's dynamic flow offers several benefits for weight loss:

  • High calorie burn: The continuous movement keeps your heart rate up, maximizing calorie expenditure throughout the practice.
  • Muscle building: Holding poses in the flow strengthens various muscle groups, leading to increased metabolism and better fat burning.
  • Improved endurance: Vinyasa builds stamina and cardiovascular health, allowing you to sustain longer, calorie-burning workouts.
  • Enhanced coordination and balance: The flowing sequences improve your body's awareness and control, aiding in overall fitness and weight management.

Flexifyme provides a wide range of Vinyasa classes for different levels and preferences: You can explore shorter or longer flows, beginner-friendly options, or more challenging sequences as you progress. Remember, listen to your body and modify poses as needed to maximize the benefits for weight loss and avoid injury.

Modifying poses is crucial for safe and effective weight loss with yoga. Here are some tips:

  • Use props: Blocks, straps, and bolsters can support your body and allow you to access the full benefits of the pose without strain.
  • Listen to your body: Don't push yourself beyond your comfort zone. If a pose feels uncomfortable, modify it or take a break.
  • Focus on alignment: Proper alignment ensures you're targeting the right muscles and maximizing the pose's benefits for weight loss.
  • Seek guidance: Platforms like Flexifyme offer classes with modifications demonstrated by experienced instructors. You can also consult a certified yoga teacher for personalized modifications.
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Dr. Koshal Rathore
Dr. Koshal Rathore

With over 8 years of experience as a Yoga Therapist, I blend ancient Yogic wisdom with contemporary research to manage chronic pain and improve overall well-being. Holding a Master's in Yoga Therapy and currently pursuing a PhD, my expertise extends to areas like weight loss, flexibility, stress, diabetes, and prenatal care.

My research on the effects of Yoga on Musculoskeletal disorders was recognized in the 'UGC Care Journal'. As the Head of Yoga at FlexifyMe, my dedicated approach supports individuals globally, offering specialized online Yoga and Physiotherapy sessions, emphasizing a vision of a pain-free world.

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