Can Yoga Really Make You Sweat?
Try These Free Yoga Workouts For Weight Loss
Can you really use yoga to lose weight?
Well, that depends.
It depends on your fitness level, health restrictions, and goals.
If your primary goal is weight loss then there may be better forms of fitness that you can pursue. By better, we mean more efficient.
Yoga does not burn as many calories per hour as many other types of popular exercise options, including running, weight lifting, or biking.
Weight loss is a direct function of a calorie deficit. To maximize weight loss, you’ll need to use yoga alongside other types of exercises.
Yoga can help you get the most of your other workouts by increasing your power, stamina, and cardiovascular ability, and by keeping you refreshed for each workout so that you can push yourself harder – all of which helps with weight loss.
But can you just do yoga for weight loss?
Yes, of course you can. You’ll just have to be mindful about your caloric intake (something that yoga helps you do). Still, if your goal is weight loss, then we recommend combining yoga with other types of exercises for maximum results.
However, there are a few situations when yoga can be useful as your only workout for weight loss.
Beginners who are just starting out.
Chronic injuries such as back pain or knee pain.
When you are trying to get your nutrition under control.
When you are trying to create a morning habit.
How Can Yoga be Useful for Losing Weight
As we now know, any movement can be helpful for weight loss. If you are sitting around a lot, and you just need to get started moving, yoga can be a great way to begin.
Yoga in itself can also be used as an exercise, especially when it comes to fast-paced vinyasa classes, or, better yet, power yoga.
Let’s take a look at some of the many ways that yoga can help with weight loss!
Low Impact- When you are brand new to fitness, or have not exercised in a while, you will most likely be sore for a few days after starting most types of exercises. Even with yoga, you might feel sore after the first time doing it. However, since yoga is low-impact, it is easier to continue practicing it daily. Even if you just do a ten to twenty minute class each day, you are still moving and increasing your endurance to be able to do more over time. For beginners who need movement, yoga is a great way to start a weight loss journey since you can do it more often, keeping you moving. Let’s compare this to HIIT (high-intensity interval training). HIIT is a popular, very intense type of exercise that is typically only done about once a week. The problem is, if you are only doing it once a week, and it is all you are doing, then the rest of the week you are not having any movement. It is better to have an exercise that you can do more often, such as walking, biking, or yoga. While these practices might have a steady state of cardio, you are doing them more often. This allows the tight fascia in your body to begin opening up and becoming more fluid, and your muscles will feel more open as well. Just remember, when you are sore after an exercise, this is from something called micro-tears. Micro-tears are tiny tears in the muscles that happen from exercising for the first time in a while, or increasing your routine/weight. When micro-tears heal, this is how you build muscle, making you stronger in the long run.
Strength- A yoga practice can also help to build strength. As your muscles become stronger, your metabolism will become faster. That is why weight lifting can be a great way to lose weight. Yoga is actually a low impact alternative to weight lifting. In fact, other than pulling exercises, yoga can be a substitute for most resistance training.
Alternative to Cardio- While cardio can be helpful in losing weight, too much of it can also lead to increased appetite as you burn calories. When you burn a lot of calories fast, your body might make you feel hungry to try and regain some of those calories. Our body creates energy with food, and if it believes it does not have enough in its system, it will try and give you the signal to eat more. Yoga, on the other hand, is a good alternative to cardio, helping to burn calories without feeling as hungry afterwards.
Improves Recovery– Many people have trouble working out multiple days in a row. In fact, it is important to sometimes have recovery days. Yoga is a practice that is less intense on the body, allowing you to be able to do it more often. Yoga can also be used on recovery days as a gentle exercise. In addition, yoga will often soothe sore muscles and help to release tension from the body.
Mindfulness- A very important part of wellness is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the process of being fully aware and focused on the present moment, here and now. When using mindfulness with exercise and eating, you can increase your awareness of your food intake, whether or not you are hungry, and if the foods you are eating actually make you feel good. With fitness, mindfulness can help you become more aware of how your body is feeling. This can help to notice if you feel sluggish or have been sitting around too much. This can also help you to become more aware of your posture and any soreness within the body that you might otherwise ignore. Yoga uses meditation and deep breathing to promote mindfulness which, in turn, can help with weight loss.
Stress Relief- Yoga is a great way to relieve stress. By using meditation, breathing techniques, and mindfulness, yoga can help to relieve stress and refocus the mind. Did you know that stress can actually prevent weight loss? When you are feeling stressed, your cortisol levels will rise, and this can actually lead to weight gain and exhaustion. Cortisol can actually increase your appetite and slow down your metabolism.
Prevents Injuries- Yoga improves flexibility and muscle strength, making it easier to prevent injuries. Many people, when just starting out with fitness, might try to do more than their body is capable of. With yoga, you will be able to increase the flexibility throughout your body, making it harder to pull muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In addition, by strengthening the soft tissues of the body, your bones will be more protected and held in place.
Promotes More Intensity with Other Training- By being more flexible, more mindful, having more strength, and creating more ways to recover after training, yoga actually makes it possible to do more in the long run. This allows you to go harder with your other training, helping to lose more weight while being safe and aware of your body.
Easy Way to Build a Habit- Yoga is a great way to start a daily fitness habit. Let’s say that you want to get started, but cannot seem to get yourself to do more than a few minutes a day. The great thing about yoga is that you can do it on your own time, and you can find many yoga workouts that are just two to five minutes long. This allows you to get started on your fitness journey, eventually warming your way up to longer classes. You can improve your endurance this way as you go at your own pace, and you can also build more mindful and healthy habits throughout yoga practices.
Types of Students Who Can Benefit Most From Yoga as a Means for Losing Weight
One of the great parts about yoga is that it can be helpful for everyone! When it comes to weight loss, anybody can include yoga in their fitness routine to assist them on their journey.
Beginners Who are Just Starting Out- For those who are new to fitness and looking to burn off fat, yoga is a great way to get started. Any movement is better than sitting down, so even if you were to begin with a more gentle practice, you can work your way up to more difficult classes over time. For those who have more difficulty exercising, yoga is also a great option.
People With Chronic Injuries or Less Mobility- Let’s say that somebody does not have great mobility in certain parts of the body due to chronic injuries or even just from age. There are yoga practices, such as yin or restorative, that have you on the mat for the majority, or all, of the class. You might also try chair yoga which gives you the option to stay seated or use your chair as a prop for balance.
Those Who are Trying to Get Nutrition Under Control and Stay in Shape- For those who are really struggling to stay in shape, yoga is a great way to find a practice that best suits you. If you struggle with nutrition and healthy eating, yoga can help to promote mindfulness and awareness of your body, making it a great choice for you.
Yoga also offers many different types of practices and routines, allowing you to pick which ones make the most sense for you to be doing. This gives you more options to support you in losing weight and allows you to move at your own pace. With so many types of classes to choose from, there is something for everybody.
Limitations of Yoga for Losing Weight
Keep in mind that any exercise has its limitations. Yoga can definitely help to lose weight, but it will not offer a lot of cardio for those who are looking for it. Though there might be some aspects of cardio involved in certain practices, like a fast-paced vinyasa flow, more often than not, yoga will focus on flexibility, mindfulness, and even strength building.
No Progressive Overload- While yoga can increase muscle mass and better define muscle as well, it will not be able to do exactly what strength training can do. With strength training, you have the options to lift and work with heavier weights instead of just your own body weight.
No Strength Exercises for the Middle Back- Yoga doesn’t have a lot of exercises for pulling. So exercises like rows and pull ups cannot be easily replicated with yoga exercises.
Doesn’t Burn as Many Calories as Cardio- While yoga has more benefits than just calorie expenditure, something that has been discussed earlier, if you’re looking to burn that most of calories in an hour, then you may find that other forms of cardio will be better for that pursuit.
It is important to understand what yoga is meant for to have proper expectations for the practice. You can find a lot of benefits through yoga, and if you are looking for even more muscle mass and cardio, there are other practices that you can use for those. This is why yoga can be a great practice to use in combination with other routines.
Choosing The Right Yoga Program For Weight Loss
Yoga Sweat is our power yoga class for beginners, designed to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning. No flexibility required!
This is yoga for fitness. This… is yoga the Body By Yoga way.
Yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles at the same time.
It’s how you get that lean, totally ripped look.
There’s a reason why yoga is almost every pro athlete’s best kept secret.
There’s a reason why the top physical therapists and sports scientist in the country all draw on yoga exercises.
And there’s a reason why you should be adding yoga to your fitness routine.
This is a fun and challenging 25 yoga workout for beginners from our hit Yoga Boost series for beginners. If you thought you couldn’t sweat form yoga, then you better think again!
This is one of our favorite workouts. Here is why we like it.
The Best Body By Yoga Program For Weight Loss
Yoga Body Strong is our power yoga program for weight loss.
More than just sculpting you a lean, toned body, Yoga Body Strong is smart fitness..
Some workouts break your body down, leave you aching, in pain, and dreading your next workout.
Yoga Body workouts give you energy, make you feel great when you’re finished, and make you stronger in the process.This is slow-burn, power yoga that has been designed to give you more than just a magazine body.
Learn more here.