Everyone knows that doing yoga is good for your health. It increases your flexibility and balance, reduces stress, builds strength, bolsters your immune system, tones your muscles and even puts you in a positive frame of mind. And while it may not provide the calorie-burn that aerobic exercise provides, yoga does supply sufficient incentives to be included in a weight-loss program.
If you’re trying to lose weight by doing yoga, however, consider other lifestyle changes too. A healthful diet, smaller portions and a new career as a bicycle messenger all can contribute to weight loss. If all you’re doing to lose weight is a physical yoga practice, your weight loss, though sustainable, may be limited.
The number of calories you burn during a one-hour yoga class varies depending on the type of yoga you do, ranging from about 175 calories from a regular hatha yoga class to nearly 630 calories from 60 minutes of hot yoga. If weight loss is your goal, you can reap those benefits from your yoga practice — and gain all the other health advantages at the same time.
Stack Them Up
If yoga is the only form of exercise you do, increase the number of classes you take each week. The more classes you stack up, the more calories you burn. Grab your yoga supplies and head to the studio at least three times a week for 90-minute sessions, and you’ll gradually drop those unwanted pounds (as long as you stick to a healthy low-calorie diet too).
A healthy weight-loss program consists of losing one to two pounds per week. There are 3,500 calories in one pound. By participating in three 90-minute hot yoga classes per week, for example, you’ll burn 2,835 calories, only 665 fewer than you need to burn to lose a pound. Reduce your calorie intake by 700 calories a week (only 100 a day) and you’re down a pound with very few restrictions.
Even if you prefer alignment-based yoga to hot yoga, you can still get the benefits, though you may have to do yoga more frequently. And remember, a daily 60-minute practice benefits both your body and your mind.
Mind Over Matter
Yoga supplies you with the tools you need to meditate. Believe it or not, meditation can help you cut your caloric intake to lose weight. During meditation, you reach a deep level of relaxation, a place where you can explore certain food desires and release them. Yoga and meditation give you the mental discipline to stick to your weight-loss program.
Alison Shore Gaines, a holistic counselor at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, Massachusetts, recommends taking five deep breaths before eating to relax your body and clear your “emotional palate.” You’ll find that you can really taste the food you eat. You’ll end up eating less and enjoying it more.
The Three Minute Egg® promotes healthy living whenever we can. We encourage you to participate in healthy lifestyle habits. While a weight-loss program that includes high-intensity yoga supplies you with the calorie-burn and mindful eating habits, remember that every step you take towards vitality is one step closer to health — no matter how many calories you burn in a session.