Are you spending hours on the treadmill, or working yourself to exhaustion during every workout in an effort to achieve your goal weight? If so, your body (and your mind) are about to thank you. Ditch the strenuous workouts and roll out your yoga mat. That’s right — we’re talking about yoga for weight loss! While cardio and HIIT are notorious for torching calories, don’t be so quick to undermine yoga.
This mind-body exercise may be known for its tranquil effects, but yoga can serve as an effective weight loss workout too! Find out the benefits of yoga for weight loss, which yoga practice is best, and our top yoga poses that can help sculpt and tone!
Yes, Yoga Can Help Support Weight Loss: Here’s Why
If you’ve ever tried to hold an inversion or advanced yoga posture, you know it takes serious strength! You may notice dedicated yogis have chiseled abs, lean arms, and strong legs — thanks to their yoga practice! Yoga can help build full body strength and increase lean muscle mass in the body. Increased muscle mass increases metabolic rate — so, while you’re busy sculpting your body, your body is hard at work burning extra calories.
Best of all, you don’t need to exhaust yourself every day to see results — choose your own intensity! There are so many different styles of yoga for weight loss, making it easy to find a class that meets your needs.
When stress levels rise, you may notice an increase on the scale too. Unfortunately, weight gain is an unsolicited side effect of too much stress — thanks to a rise in cortisol levels. When your body is in a constant state of fight or flight, it makes it difficult to shed excess pounds.
Luckily, yoga is known for its anti-stress benefits. Research shows yoga can reduce cortisol and even relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, making yoga an effective weight loss practice. Plus, your practice will benefit mood, sleep, and overall well-being!
So, even if you start practicing yoga for weight loss, you may find the mental and emotional release to be just as rewarding.
Let’s face it, mindlessly munching on snacks and treats isn’t doing anything for your waistline. It can be easy to develop unhealthy habits, and you may not even be aware you’re doing them!
Adopting a yoga practice can increase mindfulness, which has been shown to benefit weight loss by reducing mindless snacking out of boredom or habit. When you’re more conscious of the foods you’re eating, how hungry or full you are, and how a meal makes you feel, you’re more likely to make healthier choices in the kitchen.
How to Use Yoga For Weight Loss
When considering yoga for weight loss, think long-term. Rather than focusing on how you want to look, consider how you want to feel! Shift your mindset and ask yourself why you want to lose weight in the first place. When you find reasons beyond your external appearance, you’re more likely to put in the work and show up for yourself — both on and off your mat.
Here’s how to use a yoga practice to help support weight loss efforts.
Practice Frequently: Try to make it to your mat 3 times a week or more!
Use Your Yoga Practice to Destress: keep that cortisol low!
Hydrate: Remember to hydrate before, during, and after your yoga practice.
Switch it Up: Try different styles of yoga such as HIIT and Vinyasa. You’ll activate different muscles and keep your metabolism firing.
Which Types of Yoga Are Best For Weight Loss?
Lean and lengthen while building strength. When you want yoga for weight loss, look to yoga sculpt. The fusion of heart-pounding HIIT movements combined with lengthening yoga postures makes Yoga Sculpt a great exercise to shed unwanted pounds and achieve your fitness goals.
This fast-paced, full-body flow will have you activating every muscle in your body — trust us, you’ll be sore in muscles you never knew existed.
The calorie-blasting, dynamic movements of Vinyasa makes this one of our favorite practices when we want yoga for weight loss — browse the FitOn yoga category to find the perfect Vinyasa yoga class based on your unique yoga flow preference.
Yoga Poses For Weight Loss
If you thought burpees were bad, try holding Chair Pose! This full-body exercise will ignite your core, burn out your lower body, and sculpt those long, lean lines. Here’s how to practice chair post.
Step #1: Start in mountain pose, with your big toes touching
Step #2: On your exhale, bend your knees and sit back into an imaginary chair, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor
Step #3: Inhale your arms toward the sky, with your palms facing one another
Step #4: Tuck your tailbone under to engage your core and protect your low back
Step #5: Sink your hips down lower as you shift your weight into your heels
Step #6: Stay here for 5-10 breaths
We have a love-hate relationship with planks, and chaturanga is no different! This challenging pose will sculpt your arms and your core and create strength throughout your entire body. Here’s how to do chaturanga.
Step #1: Start in plank pose with your hands at shoulder-width distance and your fingers spread apart
Step #2: Ground your fingers down, pushing the floor away from you as you lift your gaze slightly forward
Step #3: Engage your core and inner thighs
Step #4: On an exhale, bend your elbows and slowly lower your body toward the floor until your shoulders are at elbow height
Step #5: Stay here for 5-10 breaths before lowering to the floor or shifting into upward facing dog
Build a strong core, test your balance, and strengthen your whole body with boat pose.
Step #1: Sit up straight, lift your legs off the floor, and balance on your sit bones.
Step #2: Hold behind your knees and extend your heels toward the sky.
Step #3: Activate your feet, press the inner arches together, and spread your toes.
Step #4: Extend your arms forward and spread your fingers open.
Step #5: Draw your upper arm bones back and broaden your chest as you engage your lower belly.
Step #6: Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
Starting a Yoga Practice For Weight Loss
Getting started with your yoga practice is as simple as rolling out your mat. You don’t have to be an advanced yogi to practice yoga for weight loss — all levels are welcomed here! With so many FitOn yoga workouts to choose from, find the intensity that works for you and get sweating.
If you haven’t joined our community yet, sign up for free and get access to unlimited free workouts and meditations, including an entire yoga category full of various yoga flow styles and for all different fitness levels.