Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight? Explore Here!

While some of us often set weight loss goals1 for ourselves, they are not always easy to achieve.

We don’t always have the time and motivation to burn calories at the gym. This is where practicing yoga can come to an aid. But does yoga help you lose weight? Find out below!

Does Yoga Help you Lose Weight?

To know about does yoga help you lose weight, you should know what yoga is first. Through this article, we will talk about how can yoga practice help you lose weight, the different yoga poses that help in losing weight, and their various benefits.

What is Yoga?

So, does yoga help you lose weight? What is yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual practice that is based on complex science. It focuses on bringing mind and body into harmony. Yoga has also now become a way to live a healthy lifestyle.

Yoga is often seen as a health and fitness therapy or workout method, and consistent yoga practice leads to both physical and mental well-being.

How Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

Yoga is a form of exercise that can help with weight loss. There are many different styles of yoga, some forms place considerable emphasis on mindfulness and meditation, while others focus on strength and endurance.

Yoga can contribute to weight loss by burning fat and calories. When practiced at a reasonable rhythm, it can function like an aerobic exercise, aiding in weight loss. But does yoga help you lose weight?

It aids in reducing stress, which can cause weight gain. Yoga can make you feel calm as well as energized, and focused, it manages to unify your mind, body, and breath, lowering stress levels.

Types of Yoga for Weight Loss:

1. Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga, also called flow yoga is a sporty kind of yoga. It is faster than other types of yoga, involving a series of poses that can help you burn maximum calories.

Starting with poses of sun salutations, followed by standing poses, deeper stretches, and backbends to keep you moving.

Better heart health, increased physical strength, a toned physique, detoxification, and a clear mind are some of the advantages Vinyasa Yoga2 has to offer.

2. Power Yoga

Power yoga is another form of aerobic exercise that increases strength and endurance, as well as ensures weight loss. This type of yoga burns calories as it emphasizes the flow from one position to another, instead of treating each position individually.

Power yoga improves muscle tone and strength, so you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not exercising.

Woman doing yoga
By: Lucas Pezeta on Pexels 

3. Ashtanga Yoga

When talking about does yoga help you lose weight, this is a must!

Another popular weight-loss yoga 3method is Ashtanga yoga. It’s energetic and fast-paced, you follow the same sequence of poses; once you grasp it, you can practice it at home with ease.

This physical workout includes both strength training and muscle-building exercises, that aid in the enhancement of one’s health and general appearance.

It not only makes you feel more energized but also improves your emotional and spiritual well-being.

4. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is practiced in a warm or heated room, ensuring that you will sweat profusely so that you lose body fat.

Both slower-paced hot yoga, such as Hatha, and faster-paced strong flows, such as Vinyasa, are possible. While there are many different types of hot yoga to attempt, each one can help you lose weight effectively.

Performing yoga poses in an atmosphere that has been heated to a significantly greater temperature than normal can raise your heart rate and help you burn more calories during your practice. This can help you lose weight more quickly in the long run.

5. Restorative yoga

Restorative yoga is a relaxing practice that focuses on slowing down and stretching your body gently. In restorative yoga classes, you might not move much at all, just practice a few poses over an hour.

As the body relaxes, the mind can also relax consciously as tension is eliminated from both the body and the mind.

This kind of yoga is seen as an exercise that can improve strength, stability, and flexibility, and consequently, a way to reduce your body weight. A study shows that it reduces abdominal body fat in women.

Woman doing triangle pose
By: Marta Wave on Pexels

6. Hatha Yoga

Other forms of yoga include Hatha yoga, a type of yoga that most people think about when they think of yoga in general.

Breath, body, and mind are crucial to the practice, it lasts 45 to 90 minutes and includes breathing, yoga positions, and meditation.

Hatha is a more gentle form of yoga as compared to Vinyasa yoga. It’s a less rigorous workout that emphasizes slow and gentle stretching.

It is appropriate for people of all ages and levels of fitness, also, it promotes mental relaxation and helps link the whole body and mind which consequently encourages mindful eating habits and reduces stress.

Yoga Poses to Lose Weight

So, now that you know the answer to does yoga help you lose weight, let’s get to know more. When you’re looking to shed pounds, there are a few yoga poses that can help you lose weight like:

1. Sun Salutation

Suryanamaskar, the king of asanas, focuses on the entire body, making it the ideal series of yoga positions for weight loss. It strengthens the muscles of the neck, shoulders, spine, arms, hands, wrists, legs, and back.

How it is carried out is crucial. Do it while keeping your navel tucked in for optimum results.

Surya Namaskar is divided into two sets of 12 yoga positions each. It is recommended that you practice as many rounds as your body allows.

2. Warrior Pose

Virabhadrasana, also called Warrior Pose, tones your body. It also increases stamina, which benefits weight loss when doing a rigorous yoga session.

Taking ujjayi breaths while sustaining the pose is suggested since it provides strength to maintain the pose.

3. Cobra Pose

The cobra position, also known as Bhujangasana4, helps to eliminate fat in the abdominal muscles and stomach area. It can help you flatten your stomach if you do it regularly.

4. Bow Pose

Dhanurasana, or Bow Pose, causes a stretch in the abdomen region, loosening the fat in the area. It tones the arms and legs as well.

5. Downward Dog Pose

The downward dog extends your spine, expands your chest, and assists your body in aligning itself. It improves posture and efficiently burns calories.

Two women performing crow pose where one does a variation
By: Elina Fairytale on Pexels

6. Angle Pose

Konasana, or sideways bending pose, helps to burn fat around the waistline.

7. Chair Pose

The more fat that is burned, the greater the metabolic rate is. The Chair Pose, also known as Utkatasana, boosts metabolism and aids weight loss. It also strengthens the thighs, legs, and knees.

8. Boat Pose

Boat pose stimulates your entire body, particularly your core, and aids in stress reduction. Maintain this position for 30 seconds when practicing.

9. Bridge Pose

Taking your chest towards your chin in Bridge Pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana massages the thyroid gland, which aids in the production of the metabolism-regulating hormone.

To put it another way, this stance boosts metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories. This position also helps digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs.

10. Plank Pose

The best way to strengthen your core is to do chaturanga dandasana 5or the plank pose. Although it’s not as easy as it appears, it has various benefits.

The impact of the pose on your abdominal muscles does not become apparent until you are in it. The physical activity involved in this yoga can help you tone muscles and also cause weight loss.

11. Yoga Nidra

Your sleep schedule also has an impact on your weight. The less sleep you get, the more fat you store, which leads to weight gain. Yoga Nidra encourages us to get enough sleep, which helps us maintain a healthy weight.

It is crucial to remember that along with practicing yoga regularly, sticking to a healthy diet is also important to lose weight.

Woman doing plank
By: Marta Wave on Pexels

Benefits of Doing Yoga

Now let’s move on from does yoga help you lose weight to the benefits. Along with helping you lose body weight regular yoga practice offers a lot of health benefits, these include:

1. Promotes Self-Awareness

Yoga brings self-awareness, it helps in making the current capabilities of your body known to you. It aids in the development of breath, mental and physical power. With self-awareness, yoga can help maintain your mental health and inner peace.

Yoga has become a crucial component of eating disorder treatment and programs that promote a healthy body image and self-esteem.

2. Encourages Mindful Eating Habits

Adding yoga to your routine can help in heightening mindfulness. Yoga teaches you to be more present and aware, helping you realize how your body feels different from one day to another.

This awareness naturally extends to food as well, encouraging mindful eating habits. You become more sensitive to hunger cues and fullness feelings.

With this better understanding of your body, you make food choices that support your health and well-being. 

3. Increasing Fitness

Yoga can help to relieve stress. Moreover, it can affect a person’s ability to exercise. Going for a yoga class can be a part of your exercise routine.

Yoga practitioners have more muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.

4. Cardiovascular Benefits

Yoga trains the vagus nerve to be more attentive to your breath. The vagus nerve is the principal nerve that directs the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for reducing heart rate and fostering relaxation.

How Much Yoga Practice Required for Weight Loss?

Time and motivation are usually the two most common reasons why people do not exercise.

Breaking up your workouts into multiple short sessions is as beneficial as, if not better, doing one long session for a variety of factors such as heart health, weight loss, and aerobic fitness.

When we start with little actions, we’re more likely to stick with them and make them habits. One of the key advantages of shorter yoga sessions is that they are easier to incorporate into our daily routines, making us more likely to continue doing them.

Whatever you can fit into your schedule and repeat is the best time to work out or practice yoga. You can always check your progress here. The most important thing is to pick something we enjoy and stick with it!

Ideally, newcomers to yoga should begin with one, two, or three sessions per week and gradually increase their practice as they are able.

This will help your body adjust to the stretches and positions you’ll be working on as you progress along your path. To allow for healing, more experienced yogis may practice every day or schedule lengthier sessions regularly.

Depending on your yoga practice goals, you may want to change how frequently you grab your mat. More sessions are beneficial if you want to gain strength and lose weight. Also, have a plan and follow it!

You can also check out ways to practice yoga at home, through this article.

How Much Weight Can Yoga Help You Lose?

So, does yoga help you lose weight? While it’s not the primary goal, yoga does help with weight loss. Listed above is the kind of Yoga that burns calories, it can also assist you in achieving the mental state necessary to make weight-loss-friendly decisions.

The ability to be present and appreciate the feeling of your mind and body working together is the primary reason yoga aids weight loss. It also puts a check on emotional eating to help gain the most out of exercise.

It might assist you in getting in shape because it forces you to use your body weight to perform difficult poses, this can help to tone and build muscles.

When it comes to how much weight you may lose with yoga, keep in mind that it depends on a variety of things. These include your sleep and lifestyle habits, as well as what you put into your body.

A study by Harvard compares calorie burning for different weight groups by other physical activities in comparison to yoga and gives us promising results. With the help of your body mass index, you can track your calorie burning easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is yoga better than the gym?

Yoga is the best workout for you if you want to improve your posture, strength, flexibility, and stability. But working out in the gym is the best option if you’re seeking to gain muscle.

2. Can yoga reduce belly fat?

Yoga can help you lose belly fat because it raises your heart rate akin to cardiovascular activity, which promotes metabolism and burns calories.

3. Is 1-hour yoga enough for weight loss?

Yoga can help you lose weight, so practice it as often as you can. At least three to five days per week, you can perform a more active, strenuous practice.

But remember to equalize your workouts on alternate days by doing an activity that is calmer and gentler like meditation.


An important tip is to schedule your yoga sessions around your mental wellness. More sessions may be just what you need during more stressful periods. So, does yoga help you lose weight? yes!

However, don’t make doing more yoga a source of further stress. Don’t worry if you’re becoming worried because you can’t seem to find the time on certain days.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a competition, it’s about your physical and mental well-being.

  1. Williamson, David F., et al. “Weight loss attempts in adults: goals, duration, and rate of weight loss.” American journal of public health 82.9 (1992): 1251-1257. ↩︎
  2. Gaskins, Ronnesia, et al. “Acute and cumulative effects of vinyasa yoga on affect and stress among college students participating in an eight-week yoga program: A pilot study.” International journal of yoga therapy 24.1 (2014): 63-70. ↩︎
  3. Braun, Tosca, Crystal Park, and Lisa Ann Conboy. “Psychological well-being, health behaviors, and weight loss among participants in a residential, Kripalu yoga-based weight loss program.” International Journal of Yoga Therapy 22.1 (2012): 9-22. ↩︎
  4. Gangwal, Jyoti, et al. “Importance of Bhujangasana in Daily Life.” Int J Trend Sci Res Dev 4 (2019): 647-51. ↩︎
  5. Shah, Jeni, Dipti V. Thakker, and T. Kanna Amarnath. “An Experimental Study On Effects Of Chaturanga Dandasana On Lumbopelvic Stability In Young Girls.” National Journal of Integrated Research in Medicine 6.2 (2015). ↩︎

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Anushka Roy

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