A New Twist on Weight Loss – Yoga!

women in pilates class

In an era where everything from drinking coffee to banking is done with a click of a button, we all want weight loss to be speedy, painless, and all too convenient for us as well. Unfortunately, however, weight loss still remains something you can only achieve with a disciplined exercise and diet regimen despite those magic tea bag commercials and belly fat reducing belts in the market.

With a demanding career and a family to juggle, most people find it hard enough getting some time for a breather, let alone rigorous exercise- and yet, a breather might just be the kind of thing you need if you’re serious about fitness and weight loss.1 While yoga is something everyone readily approves of and would like to try at least once, if not for the long run, yoga for weight loss often raises valid questions- isn’t Yoga all about inhaling, exhaling, and holding yourself in peculiar positions for a long time? How can that ever amount to weight loss?

The fact is that yoga for weight loss, unknown to many, is one of the best ways to stay fit and in shape in the long run. However, you have to know which exercises to include in your schedule so as to get your desired outcome. There are yoga positions and stretches that focus on building muscle, strengthening the core, as well as burning calories. The key to using yoga for weight loss is about knowing how to use the right combination of yoga postures. Also, no exercise is ever known to work unless you watch your diet.

So, what are the exercises that qualify as yoga for weight loss?

The type of yoga that will help you achieve your weight loss goals is known as Vinyasa or Flow Yoga, which includes a series of postures popularly known as sun salutations. 24 sun salutations done every day at a speed of four rounds per minute would have Jennifer Aniston asking for your fitness mantra.  Vinyasa includes many well-known yoga moves that are ideal for weight-loss, including:

Ashtanga Yoga

This is yoga at its vigorous best and is therefore ideal for those looking for a cardiovascular workout in their yoga routine. Also, Ashtanga practitioners are among the most disciplined yogis, and if done well, it can be just the form of yoga for weight loss you are looking for. What’s more, Ashtanga Yoga is the kind that can be practiced at home once you get the hang of it, so if going to a class is not something you have time for, you can very well do this at home.

Power Yoga

Power Yoga is probably the most popular of all yoga forms – especially amongst urban, big-city dwellers. Its rhythmic, as well as sweat-drenched workouts give you the kind of calorie-burning sequences you need if you’re looking for a serious weight-loss regimen. Power Yoga may not be recommended for people with health issues, but a 90 minute Power Yoga workout three times a week should send all your weight-loss woes flying out the window in a jiffy.


Yoga postures are good for melting fat deposits in various areas from the abdomen to the hips, thighs, and other areas. Asanas, especially the ones involving forward and backward bending and twisting, may be just the kind of effective exercises that qualify as yoga for weight loss.


This is the fast in and out movement of the abdominal muscles, which is a life-saver when it comes to belly fat. Practicing this in sets of twenty twice a day and then increasing the count as you build your stamina may just be the thing you need if you have fat trouble in the abdominal region.

Hot Yoga

This is Vinyasa Yoga done in a hot room to ensure that you sweat by the gallon and therefore burn those calories at the speed of light. However, it is important to note that if you’re a beginner, overweight, and out of shape or just have a very low fitness level, you should join a beginner level class to make certain that you don’t overexert your body and lose motivation.

As already mentioned above, no fitness routine will work wonders unless you follow it up with a strict diet. We’re not talking about fad diets and skipping meals. Any dietician worth his or her salt will assure you that a balanced meal is what you need to get results and maintain them.

So whether you do kickboxing, aerobics, dancing, or yoga for weight loss, it can be extremely difficult to get the kind of weight loss results you want and then maintain them for years if you’re not disciplined about what you put in your mouth. If you decide to join a yoga group in a self-help approach, you also get the benefits of group support which can be instrumental in maintaining weight loss.2

What are the food habits and other healthy practices you need to follow along with yoga for weight loss? 

Food habits you’ll need to incorporate:

  • Have an early dinner (by eight or nine) and go to bed as early as you can
  • Include fiber rich fruits and vegetables in your meals
  • Let any snack be fruits or vegetables
  • Avoid sugar-rich and cholesterol rich foods such as sweets and dairy products such as cheese, milk, etc.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day

Other healthy habits you’ll need to make yoga for weight loss a success

  • Once you’ve consulted your dietician, it’s important to set a diet routine and stick to it
  • Overcome addictions such as smoking,  alcoholism, and substance abuse
  • In the same light, avoid alcohol and cigarettes even in small quantities
  • Don’t oversleep: About 7-8 hours of sleep a day is more than sufficient
  • Get into some other relaxed form of exercise such as walking or swimming to complement your yoga program

Once you’ve made the above lifestyle changes, all you need to do is to perform yoga for weight loss without any further ado. It’s important to persist with yoga even after losing weight if you want to continue experiencing the benefits.3

If you maintain this way of life, you’ll reap the benefits in no time.

Here’s wishing you good luck and speedy, efficient weight loss!


1 Yoga: Tap into the many health benefits. (16 Jan 2010) Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/CM00004

2 Wadden, Thomas and Albert J. Stunkard. (2002) Handbook of Obesity Treatment.New York: TheGuilford Press.

3 Yan, Kyeongra. A Review of Yoga Programs for Four Leading Risk Factors of Chronic Diseases. (27 October 2007) School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh eCAM submission (2007; 4(4) 487-491.


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