Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise, and the classes can become a fun part of your social life, too. Many of our clients want to know whether yoga can serve as part of their weight loss program, and to what extent the classes (or home practice) can help them.
You already know that weight loss is the result of burning more calories (through resting metabolic rate plus activities like exercise) than you consume (through food). But will yoga burn enough calories to aid in weight loss?
Well… that depends. You definitely burn some calories through any form of exercise, including yoga, and any exercise is always better than no exercise! If your daily intake of calories is low enough, then low-impact activities like yoga might be enough to push your calorie burn into the “negative” (so that you burn fat stores).
On the other hand, no, yoga will not burn nearly as many calories as activities like running, spin classes, or even serious weight training. Yoga is also not an aerobic activity, even though a faster-moving class like flow yoga might get you almost to the point of aerobic exercise. So your heart won’t reap those same benefits.
However, yoga is great for flexibility and toning, so it can be an integral part of your workout routine. It can also relieve stress, contribute to overall happiness, and even help you sleep better.
The verdict: You probably shouldn’t depend solely upon yoga as your only form of exercise. But it can be an important cornerstone of your overall activity plan. this is especially true if you enjoy it; we’re more likely to stick with exercise that we enjoy.
Pair yoga with another form of activity like spinning, walking, hiking, swimming, and so on, and you’ll have a more comprehensive exercise program. And of course, come see us about a weight loss diet to address your caloric intake. When we pair diet with exercise, that is when we begin to see dramatic results.