Yoga and Weight Loss

 

 

“We believe in encouraging self-acceptance. We believe that it is not about being skinny or a certain size. Instead, it is about being strong, healthy, energetic and, above all, comfortable in your own skin.” (Jennie, Absolute Yoga, Crosby)

 

 

Many people sign up for hot yoga, in particular, because they have heard that it is a fantastic way to lose weight. Unfortunately, it is an urban legend that each class burns on average 1,500 calories. However, although not fully understood, there does appear to be a relationship between the regular practice of yoga (hot and non-hot) and weight loss.

 

Unfortunately, not many studies have rigorously examined this relationship and cause and effect has yet to be established. For example, it is not known if yoga has a direct or indirect effect on weight loss – does performing the postures reduce body mass? Or does performing the postures improve joint mobility and reduce back pain allowing one to be more active in general?

 

However, the few studies that do exist suggest that yoga may be associated with weight loss or maintenance as a result of:

 

  • The calories burned during a yoga class
  • The regular practice of yoga may allow for additional exercises to be performed outside the yoga class as a consequence of reduced back and joint pain
  • Yoga heightens mindfulness, improves mood and reduces stress which may help reduce food intake
  • Yoga may encourage a deeper connection between mind and body which may lead to enhanced awareness of satiety and the discomfort of overeating

 

How many calories are actually burned in a hot yoga class?

Hot yoga is a cardiovascular workout because performing the yoga postures in a temperature of about 105 degrees increases your heart rate. The research evidence suggests that the average amount of calories burned in a 60 minute class ranges from 345 -788 depending on many factors such as gender, age, weight and also the intensity of workout.

 

Will hot yoga help me to lose weight?

The regular practice of hot yoga can assist with weight loss if that is your ultimate goal. However, as with all forms of exercise it will also depend on how many calories you are consuming and expending throughout the day and also the type of food that you are consuming.

 

 

Where the mind goes the body follows

The amount of calories expended in a hot yoga class is about the same as other aerobic classes which also significantly raise the heart rate such as popular dance or combat classes. However, the major difference between hot yoga and other aerobic exercises classes is that hot yoga also works your mind and has a strong focus on spiritual development.

 

Accordingly, the weight loss achieved as a result of the regular practice of yoga/hot yoga is not just from the amount of calories burned in a class. Research suggests that yoga may be associated with weight loss or maintenance as a result of:

 

  • Yoga heightens mindfulness, improves mood and reduces stress which may help reduce food intake
  • Yoga may encourages a deeper connection between mind and body which may lead to enhanced awareness of satiety and the discomfort of overeating

Absolute Yoga, Crosby on Weight Loss

We believe in looking after your body in accordance with the first Niyama, Saucha (purification). Accordingly, we encourage eating clean and participating regularly in the asana practice in order to strengthen and stretch the body.  Yet we also believe in balance and everything in moderation. 

 

Above all, we believe in encouraging self-acceptance. We believe that it is not about being skinny or a certain size. Instead, it is about being healthy and comfortable in your own skin. 

 

If you feel that you need to lose weight/reduce body fat in order to become healthy and comfortable in your own skin then we are there to support you in that journey in “the yoga way”. So, attend the asana practice (the classes) and perform the postures but you must seek to make a connection between body and mind because that it is where the real magic happens. 

 

We actively discourage our students from approaching their practice as an exercise class performed to burn calories and lose weight. Instead, we encourage them to work towards the integration of body, breath and mind which comes with regular practice. 

 

It is this connection whilst performing the asasa practice, not the postures themselves, which will assist in weight management if that is your ultimate goal. 

 
How to Book a Class at Absolute Yoga, Crosby (Liverpool)
Email: info@absoluteyogacrosby.co.uk
Call: 0151 928 1029
Book a class online here

 

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