One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is: “Is yoga good for weight loss?”
We love teaching and practicing strong, dynamic types of yoga as a means of physical activity. I have been to classes, where I would really sweat and feel my heart pumping. I was convinced that it felt like cardio training. Then I’d look at my watch and notice my heart rate being lower than expected.
What is happening in this strength based class, using my own bodyweight, is that I’m burning calories, which is great, so this can help with weight loss. But am I really working in my “fat burning zone” as an aerobic exercise (70-80% of my maximum heart rate)? I can get close in some sessions of power yoga with handstands, but not maintain that rate, as yoga poses change. Perhaps there are other verified studies that prove this wrong and I’d love it if it did. I would love to say that yoga gives as good of a cardio blast as HIIT workouts or running, but science states otherwise.
So, Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
Yes it can, providing you do the following:
- Practice yoga on a regular basis (at least once a week, more is better, even 5 sun salutations in the mornings on your own)
- Ensure you do at least 3 x 30 minutes of cardio per week
- Try a mindful approach to your eating habits
- Try mediation: This helps focus the mind, reducing stress and improving self image
- Remembering positive affirmations e.g. “I am strong”, “I can do anything I put my mind to” – easier said than done but give it a try
Toning and building muscles can also help with weight loss…
Does Yoga Tone the Muscles?
Hand on heart, strength yoga helps with muscle toning and sculpting! Yoga is an activity that can show results quickly if you practice regularly. Our dynamic classes can mimic weight training where you are using your body and gravity to build muscle strength. Over time of regular practice, you may see more definition in your arms, back and bum. This is clear feedback that has been given to me.
For example, the plank pose certainly strengthens the arms and shoulders whilst also engages the core – which will also help burn belly fat.
Also, toning the muscles helps with injury prevention. If you injured your knees or back, you will see that yoga helps build muscle around the joints and bones. I have seen many frustrated people making the effort to lose weight, only to be let down by injuries so they have to stop their cardio training. So, yoga keeps you fit enough to keep training.
In summary, yoga builds strength and flexibility; in doing so helps you stay injury free so you can be as active as you would like, to achieve the goals you have set yourself.
Yoga For Beginners
For those focusing on weight loss, yoga may be completely new to you. Yoga classes (even live streaming classes) can be daunting if you are new, as it’s hard to know what to expect. Our beginners yoga classes is a great resource if you are new to yoga.
If you live locally why not join us for a face to face yoga class on the deck, overlooking Cookham Moor?