“Will yoga make me lose weight”?
As a yoga practitioner and teacher, I have explored a variety of yoga styles. When someone says they do yoga, that’s a pretty broad spectrum statement. There is a wide variety of yoga styles, I don’t think one is better than another, however, I do think that there is a style of yoga for everyone. The reason that I get on my mat, might differ to why you get on your mat. Some do it to relieve tension, some do it just to get their body moving, whatever the reason is, the body and soul should benefit from it.
When I ask a new yogi, “why do you do yoga?” they often respond “I want to lose excess weight”. Modern yoga has evolved into barre-meets-yogini, weights-meets-flow…you get the idea. Although I teach yoga sculpt and yoga fit, I am deeply passionate about it, but those hybrids of yoga are not yoga. They’re a workout routine, not true yoga.
What is yoga?
Yoga is a discipline with strong spiritual roots and those who are faithful yoga practitioners harvest endless health benefits, but true yogis don’t do yoga to get fit. Yoga means “to yoke”, to unite. It is uniting the mind, body and the soul.
Even so, many health-driven, dedicated yoga practitioners will end up asking the question: So is yoga enough of a workout routine?
Any movement is good for the body and as its benefits. Nothing can replace HIIT or cardio. And while yoga styles like Vinyasa and Ashtanga burn a fair amount of calories and give you an intense workout if you’re the goal is to keep fit and active, then those styles are perfect for you! If you want to torch an extra few calories I would recommend making time for other activities as yoga might not be enough for you.
Easy yoga postures for fitness benefits:
- Chaturangas are always a go to. Do 10 chaturanga, 10 upward facing dogs then mix the two together and move from chaturanga dandasana, onto your toes to lift through your sternum for the upward facing dog. Before you want to move into downward facing dog, pause in upward facing dog, shift your weight to tuck your toes back into chaturanga, repeat this movement as many times as you feel you need it.
- Want to get your heart rate to hit sky high? Sun Salutations are a girl’s best friend. Do 20 sun salutations as fast as you can, if it is in your practice then float back into chaturanga and float to the top of your mat.
- Navasana, everyone’s favorite posture. Boat pose is extremely effective on the core, move as slowly as you can to low boat (hover shoulders and ankles above mat), hold low boat for 10 breaths then slowly move to high boat. Remember to relax your shoulders and neck.
Do what feels good for you. If you end your practice feeling stepping off your mat feeling as if you rather wanted to break out a sweat, then you might have to reconsider the yoga class that you are showing up for. There is no right or wrong, but if you are doing yoga for fitness or weight loss, then I would suggest that you keep your body moving with a few other fitness options as well.