Is Yoga Good for Weight Loss?

by Joanna

I look forward to the days I go to yoga with my friend Debbie. It’s a different type of exercise for me and changing up routine is good.As a matter of fact, I’m waiting with bated breath for the next class since it’s been a few weeks because I’ve been sick!

But a lot of people wonder: can you lose weight doing yoga? Well, you aren’t going to lose the same amount of calories per hour that you would with a higher intensity exercise, like running (660 calories per hour), aerobics (460 calories per hour), competitive tennis (470 calories per hour) or swimming (400 calories per hour). 

There are different types of yoga that burn different amounts of calories. But did you know that there are different styles of yoga?This list from Spark provided the following descriptions:

Ashtanga yoga (also referred to as Power yoga) is a fast-paced, intense yoga style. It focuses on constant movement from one pose to the next. However, this system does allow each student to work at his/her own pace.

Bikram, or Hot yoga, is practiced in an environment where the temperature is 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat promotes intense sweating that will loosen tight muscles and facilitate cleansing of the body.

Hatha yoga is a general term. These workouts usually include basic introductory yoga poses, and move at a gentle and slow pace.

Iyengar yoga may be the most popular style practiced in the United States. With this style, poses are held for a longer duration. The purpose of this is for students to recognize the subtleties of each posture and to pay attention to their musculoskeletal system and body alignment. Using props (blocks, belts, blankets, etc.) to accommodate a variety of fitness levels and special needs is common in Iyengar yoga.

Vinyasa yoga includes more aggressive stretches. These workouts focus on sun salutations and the connection of breath and movement.

So back to the question. Is yoga a good weight loss strategy?I would say some sort of stretching should be part of your routine, and yoga is a great way to accomplish that.The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.

I talked to an older gentleman just the other day who said he wishes he had started yoga 30 years ago.Heed his advice – start now, it’s never too late!  See you in yoga class!




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