Which is the Best Type of Yoga for Weightloss?

Many times, when people think of yoga, they imagine slow, gentle stretches and calm, rhythmic breathing. While some forms of yoga do fit this profile (namely, restorative yoga), there are also many yogic practices out there that can not only make you break a sweat, but help you shed pounds as well.

A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute in 2005 found that yoga can help people lose weight—and keep it off.

The most prominent types of weight-loss yoga include Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Bikram yoga. In yoga classes of these varieties, students are lead through a series of challenging and quick moving postures. The fast transition from each pose to the next creates a vigorous cardiovascular workout—the cornerstone of an effective weight-loss exercise routine.  By taking one of these intensive yoga classes two or three times a week, you can boost your workout routine and also bring an extra level of balance to your mind and body.

If you can’t attend classes in your area, yoga DVDs that offer “power sequences” are another way to bring the calorie-burning effects of yoga into your routine. A few great workout poses include warrior, tree, locust, triangle, and crow.

In addition to offering the aerobic activity you need to loose weight, yoga can help you attain a slimmer figure by cultivating body awareness. The postures, breathing exercises, and mental focus required in yoga all develop an attunement to your body’s needs and natural signals. By strengthening body awareness, many yoga practitioners have found that, quite naturally, they no longer overeat; they can feel the messages their body sends to them, telling them when to stop.

Yoga also works on an even subtler level to help practitioners achieve their ideal body weight and health: by relieving the stresses and strains of our hectic day-to-day life, yoga eliminates inner conflicts that can trigger craving and emotional eating.

Many times when we go to the fridge, we are not actually hungry, but stressed, unhappy, bored, or even just simply unsatisfied with whatever our experience of the moment is.  By building harmony between the body and mind and releasing the stresses that cloud our natural joy of life, yoga eliminates the need to cover up our discomforts with food.

By working on all these levels, yoga can help us shed not just our excess physical weight, but our mental and emotional baggage.

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