Yoga for Weight Loss: Six Ways You Probably Didn’t Know about Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga for weight loss and yoga techniques in general had been generally use for physical exercises and spiritual growth for many centuries now. Implementing this system of exercise is a proven effective regimen to generate a healthier version of you.

This mind and body practice is often touted for its ability to reduce stress and boost well-being. But it also offers a wide ranging physical health benefits for weight loss.

Before we dwell on its positive effects and other benefits for a healthier and slimmer you. Let’s us travel back the memory lane as we bring you to a short run through of yoga’s history and back stories.


The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago and even 10, 000 years ago according to some researches. According to a yoga website, yoga’s rich history can be divided into four main periods. These are the pre-classical, classical, post-classical and the modern period.

Pre-Classical Yoga

The Pre-Classical roots of yoga is said to have started from the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Modern India over 5, 000 years ago. The word “yoga” itself was first mentioned in their oldest sacred text called Rig Veda.

Through the time, yoga was slowly refined and developed until the idea of this ritual sacrifice was internalized by the Vedas. They had taught the sacrifice of ego through self-knowledge, action and wisdom.

Classical Yoga

During this time, yoga was then integrated with various ideas, beliefs, and techniques. In the classical period, the systematic presentation of yoga was defined.

According to Patanjali – considered as the Father of Yoga, the practice of yoga can be organized into an “eight-limbed path” which contains the steps and stages towards obtaining enlightenment.

Post-Classical Yoga

Taking into account the teachings of Patanjali, some yoga masters developed their own system of yoga. They created a system of yoga practices designed to rejuvenate the body and prolong one’s life.

Contrary to the ancient Vedas’ teachings, post-classical yoga-centered on the physical body as the means to achieve enlightenment. “Tantra Yoga” was developed during the post-classical yoga period.

This technique aims to cleanse the body and the mind in order to break the barrier to our physical existence. This system had led to the creation of “Hatha Yoga” known in the west.

Modern Period

When yoga practices reached the West, it has tremendously attracts attention and followers. In Chicago on 1893, Parliament in Religions wowed the audience with their lectures on yoga. Then, on the 1920s and 30s, yoga was strongly promoted in India.

It was then this time that the first yoga school was opened to continue the legacy and increase the popularity of Hatha Yoga.

Hatha yoga is one of the various styles or techniques of yoga. Hatha yoga involves the combination of many yoga styles, it the most popular style and is a more physical type.

It focuses on breath-controlled exercises followed by yoga postures and ends in resting period.

In 1947, a yoga studio opened in Hollywood that paved way to the start of more Western and Indian teachers to pioneer and popularize hatha yoga.


1. Perfect for your Weight Loss Regimen

People who practice yoga has a higher awareness of their body wellness. They are more in tune with their bodies. And for this reason, it perfectly aids any weight loss regimen.

Yoga for weight loss develops a sense of sensitivity to hunger cues and feelings of fullness. Researchers found out that people who practiced yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight during middle adulthood.

Those who involve yoga in their daily fitness routine had lower body mass indexes compared with those who did not practice yoga.

With yoga’s ability to soothe tension and anxiety in both the mind and the body, it greatly impacts on one’s fitness and exercise capacity.

A group of researchers experimented a small group of sedentary individuals who haven’t practiced yoga.

After letting them do yoga techniques for eight weeks, participants had greatly improved their fitness and exercise capabilities.

They now have greater muscle strength and endurance as well as flexibility and cardio-respiratory fitness.

Experts agree that having good exercising capabilities is a great step unto losing weight. According to them, if weight loss is the goal you have to choose the right style of yoga.

It should be the vigorous and flowing styles which usually lasts for 90 minutes. These recommended styles help you burn calories and tone your muscles.

2. Develops the Mindful Eater in you

Because yoga helps you connect with your inner self, it obviously do wonders for your self-awareness and self-control especially when it comes to eating the right kind of foods.

Practicing yoga increases mindfulness not just in class, but also on other areas of a person’s life.

This awareness can help you tune in emotions involved with certain cravings. On top of that, practicing various yoga breathing exercises can help you slow down and make better choices when certain cravings strike.

It can help you avoid foods that make them feel sluggish and lethargic.

Self-awareness causes a shift in the way a person treats his body according to Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge.

It can be observed when you eat because you are hungry rather than eating because it is time for eating and choosing to stop eating when you are satisfied rather than overeating.

Researchers conducted a study to measure mindful eating with various behaviors as criteria such as eating even when full, being aware of how food looks, tastes and smells, eating in response to environmental cues, eating when sad or stressed and eating when distracted by other things.

Basing on the scores of the participants, they found out that people who practiced yoga were more mindful eaters.

In addition, how long the person had practiced yoga affects person’s mindful eating scores.

3. Sound Mind for a Sound Body

Yoga has positive effects on one’s mental health. A study from the University of Illinois found out that participants who performed yoga achieved better test results.

The study involves the comparison between the academic performance of participants who performed yoga and participants who performed a vigorous aerobic exercise.

Improved brain function significantly affects the body. It lowers stress levels. Scientists says stress levels triggers weight gain.

Difficulty getting quality sleep occurs when the brain is triggered to release stress hormones (cortisol).

Worst of all, you are likely to store fat and gain wait because of the elevated cortisol levels. Consuming honey at night (before going to bed) is recommended for weight loss.

This applies the “Hibernation Diet” principle wherein it is important to feed hungry brain to prevent the production of stress hormones.

4. Promotes a Healthier Heart for You

Practicing yoga develops a healthy lifestyle in you. Furthermore, yoga lowers cardiovascular risk factors that include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.

According to Reuters, three month worth of yoga could result in a steady blood sugar levels. In addition to that, it can also decrease one’s body mass index.

Similarly, a study from the University of Pennsylvania found out that people who practiced yoga had greater drops in blood pressure compared with those who participated only in a walking/nutrition/weight counseling program.

Therefore, yoga practice is very advisable to people with mild to moderate hypertension.

Moreover, cardiac rehabilitation programs now includes yoga in their programs due to its cardiovascular and stress-relieving benefits.

5. Encourages Better Self Image

As mentioned, yoga perfectly aids your fitness regimen, develops self-awareness and helps you to be a mindful eater.

One of the goals of yoga is to challenge yourself physically and to connect with your inner peace. This can foster a great relationship with yourself and develops better self-image and self-awareness.

6. Gives you a Sense of Balance

Yoga can greatly help the elders in maintaining their sense of balance and avoid unexpected falls. According to a study from Temple University, over 65 women has seen to improve their sense of balance upon practicing various yoga techniques.

A great sense of balance also signifies a balanced body and a balanced body mass index at that. Yoga positively influences the good shape and a good sense of balance.

Aside from that, yoga fosters an inward focus to make you more aware of how your body fees. Thus, it can increase your self-awareness and improve your sense of balance.


As discussed above, yoga can really increase your flexibility, reduce stress and aids for weight loss. Regular yoga practice can influence weight loss.

Probably, there are many yoga practices than burn fewer calories than the traditional exercise.

If you want to lose weight in yoga class, make sure to go into a class that challenges them and should engage in this activity 4 to 5 times a week to see your body change with shaping and even weight loss.

Hence, you can begin your exercise journey with this yoga for weight loss poses that will help you burn fat, build muscle tone, and give you more flexibility.

• Boat Pose
• Extended side angle Pose
• Corpse Pose
• Upward Plank Pose
• Four-Limbed Staff Pose
• Warrior II Pose

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