Yoga and Weight Loss: Is it Possible?
Updated: Jan 11
When many people think of yoga, they think of a relaxing activity of stretching and improving flexibility. Likewise, when people think of weight loss, they assume you have to run a mile or participate in some other extreme activity. However, that is simply not true! Most people are surprised to learn that yoga and weight loss go hand in hand! Keep reading on and we’ll discuss some common misconceptions, how weight loss with yoga is possible, and some easy to use yoga poses to get started!
Misconceptions on Yoga and Weight Loss
There are numerous misconceptions surrounding weight loss and yoga. Try to see if you can discern fact from fiction:
…can assist in physical, mental, and spiritual health.
…is too slow-paced of an exercise for weight loss.
…is only for women who are naturally flexible.
If you answered ‘fact’ for number one, great job! You are correct! Yoga has been scientifically shown to improve many aspects of wellness, including stress relief, mental and emotional health, promoting healthier eating habits, increased activity, better sleep, and balance.
According to the National Institutes of Health (part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services), yoga also:
Aids in relieving low-back pain and neck pain
Helps people with chronic diseases manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life
Assists people who are overweight in losing weight
Helps people quit smoking
As you can likely see now, if you answered ‘false’ to number two and three, you are correct! Yoga has been proven to help with weight loss. It also has many health benefits for men and women of all ages and physical conditions.
Can I lose weight using yoga?
Yes! You can absolutely lose weight using yoga. Though it is more about what you gain than about what you lose. Yoga has been proven to improve mindfulness. This, in turn, leads to more mindful eating, too. After extensive research, a report in the scientific journal for Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concluded:
The yoga practitioners reported less stress eating, reduced appetite, fewer cravings, and a shift toward healthier, more mindful eating. Yoga provided them with social support and healthy role models. The subjects believed that yoga led to physical and psychological changes that supported weight loss including increased muscle tone, improved metabolism, reduced stress, as well as increased awareness, improved mood, and greater self-acceptance and self-esteem. This weight loss experience was markedly different than past attempts, in that the weight loss was easier, and subjects felt more confident in their ability to maintain lasting weight loss.
As you can see, there is not only scientific research to prove that yoga can help you lose weight, it is also shown to help you keep it off. In fact, another study from Harvard Medical School reported that people who practiced yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight during middle adulthood. People who were overweight actually lost weight. Overall, those who practiced yoga had lower body mass indexes compared with those who did not practice yoga.
Yoga Helps You Lose Weight and Keep it Off
In conclusion, there may not be a better activity for weight loss than yoga! As you have read, many studies have confirmed that people find using yoga for weight loss to be easier and more effective. In fact, they even kept the extra weight off versus when they used other exercise programs! Yoga and weight loss are possible and you should get started as soon as you can. Check out our post about yoga poses for weight loss, your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
Ready to get started?
If you need a little push to get you started you should check our #1 choice Yoga Burn challenge by Zoe Bray-Cotton an international coach and yoga instructor. The program is designed for women, by a woman.