The answer to this question if you should try yoga for weight loss would be a straight-up YES!—no tall tales. And if you think otherwise, then try 3 minutes of any of the yoga holding poses. Your body will give you your answer the next morning.
As with any other fitness training, yoga is a great aerobic fitness route that can help you lose weight. If you know what you’re doing and are serious about your weight loss goals, you can see visible results in a month.
First, I have to commend your decision to embark on a weight loss journey. It’s a wise and bold decision, one that comes with a lot of sacrifices. This effort alone puts you one step closer to your 30-day yoga weight loss goal.
This article will help you hit that goal on the mark.
But, first things first, you need to know some basics about weight loss and your body to achieve any significant, healthy, and safe weight loss, as well as maintenance.
Weight Loss Basics & Facts
You need to know that weight loss is as much about your workout as it is about your nutrition. “The right ratio should be 80% nutrition and 20% workout,” says Dr. Shalini Riyaz, Health and Fitness Consultant, Community Medical Wellness Center, Delhi.
For the best yoga weight loss results, you must adjust your diet. Combining a calorie-controlled diet with exercise is a master combo that will max out benefits. Water is an important part of the weight loss process. To improve metabolism and keep your body processes working efficiently, drink enough water, at least, 2 liters daily. Unfortunately, most people find it difficult to drink more water than taste buds demand. If this sounds like you, then a little lemon squeeze will give the water some taste.
You have to reduce sugar and carbs consumption. Instead, go for fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods. High-protein meals will help with calorie burn and lean muscle building. Health experts also recommend trying spicily for speedy weight loss.
Also, try early morning yoga on an empty stomach. This is very effective at burning fat because your body will rely on its fat reserves for fuel, instead of on your previous meal.
Check out our complete article on healthy eating for weight loss.
Calories and the numbers
To lose weight you have to burn calories, and the more calories that leave your body, the faster you reach your weight loss goal. You can achieve this from both routine exercise and casual daily activities.
The following numbers enumerate some vital fast (or fat) facts you need to know:
- Any exercise can lead to a weight loss of 20 kg
- A pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories
- 20 kg is about 44 pounds
The above stats show that you will burn 154,000 calories if you lose just 20 kg. That’s a lot!
Yoga exercises like Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, and Power Yoga are notoriously effective at burning calories and whipping practitioners into shape in a relatively short time. If you weigh, say 150 pounds, an hour-a-day performance of any of these yoga moves will lead to about 476 calories burned. You burn about 680 calories an hour if you did Bikram Yoga.
The higher a person’s weight, the more calories she will burn.
For example, a 180-pound person burns 572 calories an hour performing Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, or Power Yoga, while she burns 816 calories under one hour of Bikram Yoga.
How much weight loss per month?
It’s interesting to find out how many calories you can burn in just one month of yoga. All other factors being favorable (diet, rest, and attitude), how much calories can a 150-pound person, for example, burn in a month if she does 1-hour yoga, say, 3 days in a week?
If she does Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, or Power Yoga, in one week (3 days a week), she will burn 3 days X 476 calories X 4 weeks, which is 5,712 calories. That would be 1.632 pounds or 0.742 kg of fat.
If she does Bikram Yoga, in one week (3 days a week), she will burn 3 days X 680 calories X 4 weeks, which is 8,160 calories. That would be 2.331 pounds or 1.06 kg of fat.
For the 180-pound individual:
If she does Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, or Power Yoga, in one week (3 days a week), she will burn 3 days X 572 calories X 4 weeks, which is 6,864 calories. That would be 1.961 pounds or 0.891 kg of fat.
If she does Bikram Yoga, in one week (3 days a week), she will burn 3 days X 816 calories X 4 weeks, which is 9,792 calories. That would be 2.8 pounds or 1.272 kg of fat.
Of course, the figures can vary widely or narrowly. The numbers we have used would be for the beginner who prefers to take things soft and slow. Whatever amount of weight you’ll lose at the end of one month depends on your current body weight, how long you train per day, how many days you train a week, what type of yoga workouts you do, as well as attention to your diet, rest, and general attitude.
Safe Weight Loss
According to CDC the recommended pace for safe weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week; that is about 0.45-0.90 kg per week. At this rate, you’d lose 4-8 pounds per month or 1.8-3.6 kg per month.
- The right attitude will decide how far you go with your weight loss. You need the right amount of passion and discipline to achieve good results (in one month).
- While passion gets you started, dedication keeps you going. After achieving the desired weight scale, you should adopt an effective weight maintenance program for long-term results. Weight loss and maintenance should be a lifestyle habit and consistency will help.
- The type of yoga you do is as important as how often you practice. Exactly how much weight you lose depends on these factors and your current weight.
- Rest time is as important as workout time. Give your body enough time to recover, for increased growth and other benefits.
- For extra gains, combine yoga with simple cardiovascular activities like walking, jogging, hiking, biking, dancing, or climbing.
9 Best Yoga Poses & Exercises for Weight Loss
The following 9 yoga poses and exercises will help you lose weight, as well as build flexibility and improve health. We’ve deliberately chosen simple styles everyone should find easy to do.
Check them out below.
1. Power Yoga
Power Yoga modifies traditional yoga styles into more Americanized techniques. It’s designed to burn a lot more calories, while preserving the essence of classic yoga, such as breathing, meditative, and spiritual exercises.
It will help you achieve quick weight loss and relieve stress. You will also enjoy benefits like improved stamina, flexibility, metabolism, body toning, and mental concentration.
There are several forms of Power Yoga, the best poses for weight loss which include: Surya Namaskara (or Sun Salutation), Pawanmuktasana (Wind Releasing Pose), Trikonasana, Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), Garudasana (Eagle Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Navasana (Boat Pose), and Savasana (Corpse Pose). Other forms exist.
If you want to lose weight faster or prevent obesity, Power Yoga can be the key.
2. Chaturangadandasana—Plank Pose
The Chaturangadandasana or Plank Pose is designed to strengthen your core. It’s a simple but very intense exercise.
There are several variations of the plank pose. Try multiple styles to see which will suit you best. But be warned—none will be easy!
In the traditional pose, lie flat face-down on the floor, while you lift and support your body with the underside of your forearm and your toes. Hold this position for at least one minute. It won’t be long before your body begins to vibrate, your abdominal muscles start to tense up, and your body begins to drip.
The Plank Pose will also engage the muscles of your arms, legs, and glutes. It strengthens your core and spine, as well as relieve back pain.
This pose alone can help you lose a great deal of weight in a relatively short time if you are serious about your workout.
3. Virabhadrasana—Warrior Pose
The Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose helps you tone your thighs and shoulders, as well as enhance your mental focus. Holding the pose for longer helps with better results. You should feel your quads begin to tense up. The holding position also helps strengthen your core and tone your abdominal muscles; contract your ab muscles while you hold.
The Warrior Pose also helps you improve body balance and tone your back, legs, and arms.
4. Surya Namaskara—Sun Salutation
The Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation can be performed as a warm-up exercise before a Power Yoga or as a Power Yoga itself. It warms up the body, releases tensed muscles & stiff joints, and gets the blood flowing. Stretch and tone your major muscle groups, trim your waist, and improve your metabolism with the Surya Namaskara. As a Power Yoga, Sun Salutation concentrates on all the core muscles of your body.
A daily dose of 10 Sun Salutations will help you achieve weight loss and body toning. Add intensity to the workout by holding certain positions. This sets you on a speedy course toward your weight loss goal.
5. Trikonasana—Triangle Pose
The Trikonasana or Triangle Pose works focuses on the midsection and the lower body. It works on your tummy, waist, hamstrings, and thighs for strengthening and toning. Additional benefits include improved blood circulation and better body balance.
6. Sethu Bandha Sarvangasana—Bridge Pose
Add the Bridge Pose to your 30-day Yoga Weight Loss Challenge and see the result you want—quickly. This asana is great for weight loss and toning of the glutes, and, thighs, abs, and shoulders. Expect to see happy improvements with digestion, blood pressure, and back pain relief, to mention a few from my personal experience.
7. Lightning Bolt Pose
Targeting the core muscles and the lower body, the Lightning Bolt technique is a good pose to stretch your back. It’s time for that stubborn back pain to give way. The squatting position focuses on your thighs, glutes, and core for strengthening and toning. Though it’s a simple stance to get into, holding this position for longer is quite difficult, making it perfect for calorie burn.
8. Dhanurasana—Bow Pose
The Bow Pose uses full-body stretching to improve your flexibility as well as strength and tone your muscles. The intensity of this position also helps blood circulation, massages the internal abdominal organs, and improves digestion.
Lose belly fat, while strengthening your thighs, chest, and back with the Dhanurasana.
9. Adho Mukha Svanasana—Downward Dog Pose
Do the Downward Dog Pose for total body toning and improved blood circulation and mental concentration. Combined with purposeful controlled breathing, holding this pose will add extra muscle engagement and toning. This asana will also isolate specific muscles for strengthening, like your arms, thighs, hamstrings, and back.
Practicing yoga is a reliable and fun way to lose bodyweight, and the benefits go beyond burning calories. You will achieve more flexibility, improve health & fitness, as well as enhance body & soul awareness. Still, the benefits go past these too!
For weight loss, incorporate yoga in your daily routine and take care of your dieting. Combine these with the right attitude—passion, discipline, and consistency—and you will see visible results in a short time.
Before you start, know your numbers. This gives you a good launch platform from which you can monitor and gauge progress every step of the way.
For added gains, you can combine any two or more of our top 9 yoga weight loss exercises.
My name is Grace Gyimah, a devoted wife and mother of 2. I’m a licensed Social worker, currently working with the Veterans administration. I’m so glad that you have taken the time to check out Gurlzcare today. As a woman I take joy and pride in seeing my fellow women’s needs being met; hence the birth of Gurlzcare. From the latest trends in fashion, fitness tips, home, makeup, and many more; our goal is to take care of you. Thanks for visiting today and have an awesome shopping experience.