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When people evaluate a particular form of physical exercise, they typically focus on how effectively it facilitates weight loss. Regular exercise boasts many other advantages to the human body, like lowered stress, clearer skin, and increased energy to name a few. But these advantages, while extensive and desirable, usually do not drive individuals to suffer through a workout. The motivation lies in weight loss. So the first question you might ponder in regard to this discipline is: does yoga help you lose weight?

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline originating in India. One of the six major orthodox schools of the Hindu religion dating back to approximately 5 BC, the ancestry of yoga reveals a strong meditative core. Only when the Western world adopted this practice in late 19th and early 20th centuries, did it develop more prominently as a means of physical exercise. After its expansion in the west, the scientific community verified the health benefits of yoga to one’s mind, body, and soul. In consideration of bodily benefits, yoga was proven to encourage weight loss.

For the purposes of this article, when discussing yoga, we refer to the general discipline. But you should know that while society often references yoga very broadly, there are many different types. Each of these types contains a unique focus, goal, and specific audience. For instance, you can participate in partner yoga, hot yoga, or spiritual yoga. No matter the specific variety, all yoga shares the common element of uniting the mind and body through breathing techniques and body postures. Thus, this article will answer the general question: does yoga help you lose weight?

Encourages Consistency

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You may, at least subconsciously, believe that the more you sweat, cry, and struggle, the more weight you will lose. But shedding pounds results from consistent exercise. And you are more likely to exercise consistently if you find a form to which you look forward. Yoga can be enjoyable, as it deviates from the traditional expectations of torturous exercise. Yoga also allows for diversity with various subtypes and poses, keeping the practice fresh over the course of time.

It is necessary to recognize that in a comparison of yoga to traditional aerobic exercise, the latter burns more calories. Even the biggest advocates of yoga cannot discount the advantages of activities such as running, biking, hiking, and swimming. But yoga extends further than simple calorie burn. The practice not only promotes weight loss, but creates a wholly positive mind-body experience.

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Keeps You Active

People continually look for quick and easy remedies for body improvement. This laziness leads to the invention of commodities such as weight-loss pills, potions, and surgeries. The success of these products reveals that many humans would sooner waste their money than put forth the effort to exercise.

Why do people so despise working out? The first step to weight loss is simply being active. As explained above, you must maintain this activity on a regular basis in order to see results. Many people mistakenly believe that being active needs to be painful, but it can be easy and enjoyable if you select the correct activity. Yoga is a low intensity form of activity that gets your body moving, your blood flowing, and your energy stirring.

Teaches You To Love Your Body

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The practice of yoga forces you to get better in touch with your body. The poses mainly revolve around flexibility, control, and balance. As the consistent practice of yoga caters to relatively quick and noticeable change in these facets, you will learn that your body is not your enemy. You will want to take care of your body and work to reach even greater milestones. And you will learn to love your body, flaws and all.

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Leads To Lifestyle Change

Learning to love the skin you are in consequently affects many other aspects of your life in a positive way. Once you begin to appreciate your body, you want to take care of it in more ways than just daily exercise. Yoga can spark a change in the rest of your lifestyle, leading to better control over your appetite, cravings, and laziness.

Yoga influences not only your body, but your mindset. As you exercise control over one aspect of life, you are more susceptible to similarly adopt healthy habits in eating, exercise, and internal thoughts. All these habits work together to further reinforce weight loss, all due to the impact of yoga.

Wields Evidence

The benefits of yoga surpass the figurative sense, as verifiable evidence confirms its positive effects. Scientific studies reveal that yoga lowers stress and boosts insulin sensitivity, a combination which encourages the body to digest food rather than storing it as fat. Also, the universal focus on breathing across types of yoga helps to cleanse and balance the body’s organs, giving them energy to complete their functions.

In particular, by practicing yoga you may experience improved heart health. With the most obvious effect of yoga coming in the form of increased flexibility, this characteristic makes other exercise more effective. The core characteristics of yoga do not seem to activate weight loss upon first glance, but the science reveals that even these confirm that this practice can help you to shed pounds. Even the scientists would answer “yes” to the question, “does yoga help you lose weight?”.

Easy To Practice At Home

Unlike many workout trends, you can easily practice yoga in the comfort of your own home. You can purchase a yoga mat if you so desire, but a rug or carpeted space will suffice. Otherwise, simply clothe yourself in comfortable, flexible clothing and you are ready to go. In order to introduce yourself to the practice, you may want to attend a yoga class for your first experience in order to ensure you are completing the poses correctly.

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If you plan to do so, find a teacher that resonates with you. But even this is optional. After gaining some basic knowledge, you can purchase DVDs or search online for poses and workout plans. Yoga is extremely customizable; you can experiment with the many types of yoga and poses and then select the ones which you enjoy the most. When practicing at home, find a room without mirrors, allowing you to focus inward rather than fixating on outward appearances. Select poses and routines that challenge but do not overwhelm your body and stick to regular schedule. In order to see results, you should progress through your favorite yoga poses at least 3 times a week.

A Lifelong Practice

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The characteristics of yoga allow many individuals to enjoy it and benefit from its advantages. The low level of intensity is easy on the joints and body, in general. People of all ages and stages of physical wellness can adopt this practice to experience improvements in their body, mind, and soul. Also, the varying levels, from beginner to advanced, allow a practitioner to always progress and never get bored. 

These qualities make yoga an extremely adaptable form of physical activity, one which you can enjoy as an individual for personal betterment, but also one which you can enjoy with others. You can attend class with a group of friends, take turns leading yoga at your respective homes, or simply experience camaraderie over the practice, discussing your progress in certain poses and general weight loss journey. Yoga can quickly become a lifelong practice, even if at this stage in your life you are only utilizing it as a form of weight loss.

Select Poses Wisely

While the practice of yoga facilitates whole body benefits, certain types and poses cater more specifically to weight loss. The ones which best encourage weight loss require balance and the use of multiple muscles at one time, for instance, balancing your body weight on one leg while extending your other limbs. These strengthen your muscles and invite calorie burn.

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Any poses which demand your whole body are profitable, as simultaneously working your legs, arms, and abdomen generates the greatest calorie burn. You should also select poses which stretch the muscles of the areas in which you want to lose weight. Increasing your flexibility in your hamstrings, abdominals, calves, and other regions of the body concurrently reinforces weight loss in those regions. Also, poses which involve twisting call upon abdominal muscles while cleansing your internal organs. You can find countless poses which fall under these guidelines and produce weight loss through yoga. Initially focus on executing these poses properly, but as they become habit, forget the logistics and enjoy the mind, body, and soul benefits.

In the end, yoga will affect every individual and every body uniquely. Traditional aerobic exercise will probably encourage weight loss faster and more extremely. But yoga is more likely a long-lasting practice rather than a quick healthy kick. By regularly going through some yoga poses, you will begin to see change.

Weight loss is a definite, even a probable, possibility. But even further, you could learn the valuable lessons about how to love yourself and your body. In any effect, the response to the question: “does yoga help you lose weight”, is a resounding “yes”.