I got an email from a long time RWF reader, Jane, last week asking whether I thought yoga was any good for weight loss. It is in interesting question that I hadn’t really thought too much about before now. I thought I’d share some of my own thoughts and then open up the comments for all those who have done yoga to share their experiences.
Why Yoga might be good for weight loss
As I said, I haven’t really had much experience with yoga. I have tried it a few times but never done it long enough to know whether it would help with burning fat. I actually feel a little ashamed having been to India on an annual basis and never once tried it over there!
However, many of my clients and friends do yoga. I have also noticed that yoga is very popular with my mother’s friends who are all in their 50’s and early 60’s. All of them rave about yoga as being excellent for controlling their weight as well as keeping them strong and flexible.
The exercises in yoga (asanas) are quite challenging and many of them require a large amount of strength to complete. In a 30 minute session you might do a set of asanas that work your entire body; some targeting the legs and lower body whilst others work the arms, chest and back.
It has been shown that by working muscles and increasing muscle mass one burns more fat by increasing the metabolic rate of the body. This is the primary reason why I believe yoga could help with weight loss. Yoga texts also claim that some of the postures stimulate the thyroid gland which in turn increases your metabolism.
The reader experience of yoga
I would like to open up the floor to all the readers who have tried yoga and pilates and any similar style of exercise. Has it helped you with weight loss? What other benefits does it have?