Yoga has become a popular practice for many reasons, with everyone from “soccer moms” to spiritual gurus proclaiming its various benefits. Many of those purported benefits involve fitness, so you might be wondering if yoga classes or home practice would make a good addition to your weight loss plan.
To answer that question, let’s first talk about how weight loss works. You already know that you need to burn more calories (through exercise and daily activities) than you take in (via eating). We definitely recommend that you take on more physical activities in order to increase your calorie burn on a regular basis.
But will yoga burn those calories? Yes, in the sense that you will burn more calories than you would otherwise from more sedentary activities. Movement is movement, after all.
Will yoga burn enough calories for weight loss? That depends upon your calorie intake (according to your eating plan). In most cases, a yoga practice doesn’t create the type of calorie burn that you get from aerobic exercises like walking, running, cycling, swimming, and so on. But it does burn some calories.
And, some types of yoga practice expend more energy than others. A more deeply meditative practice would create a low calorie burn, whereas a “flow yoga” (quickly moving between poses) or “hot yoga” practice burns considerably more energy.
Yoga can be also helpful for improving flexibility, which prevents injuries. The benefit of stress reduction can help you sleep better at night and feel more productive during the day. And finally, it’s always better to choose forms of movement that you enjoy, because you’re more likely to stick with them. So if you enjoy yoga, then it will make a great addition to your exercise routine and weight loss plan.
As far as calorie burn goes, you might need to engage in some other forms of activity in order to increase your energy expenditure. But because this is a very individual issue, we recommend that you make an appointment with us to discuss your weight loss plan overall. We can help you design an eating plan and exercise regimen that will meet the goal of burning more calories than you consume, and guide you as you change your lifestyle to maintain permanent results.