From the article: Will Doing Yoga Help Me Lose Weight?
Have you tried yoga as part of your attempt to lose weight? Did it work or not? Share your story about yoga and weight loss, whether positive or negative. Readers Respond
Size not Weight
- I had three children, bing, bam, boom - 21 months apart (each of them.) Each child was also delivered via C-section. The thing about c-sections is that EVERY abdominal muscle you have is cut through, and it takes a minimum of a year to get those muscles to be completely "healed" enough to not do damage when you use them. Your body uses other muscles in your back, etc, to make up for the loss. Your body bends and moves differently - is retrained differently. PLUS after baby number three - the weight is very difficult to loose, you stop being able to just bounce back. Yoga helped me to be able to begin to work my core muscles - so that I can retrain my body to use the muscles I have not used since child #1. Posture, flexibility, all those things increased, but most importantly, it is the only exercise that forced me to use the muscles that I stopped using after surgery. Yoga is about getting your body back, your unused muscles in shape - and losing inches, not always pounds.
- —Guest Vyvyanne
Lost weight, became a teacher
- I was so enamored with yoga that I decided to get my teaching certification. With greater study, I lost 40 pounds and now teach others the benefits of yoga. A healthy lifestyle (yes, LIFESTYLE - not just random healthy acts) will definitely help you. Love your body regardless of its shape or size. Yoga will make you stronger even if you don't drop pounds. Honor yourself!
- —Guest TallGirl Yogi
Yoga Definitely Helped Me Lose Weight
- I was trying to lose those last 10 lbs of baby weight when I started yoga as a way to treat my anxiety disorder. I started with a vigorous vinyasa flow class, and surprisingly, without doing any other form of exercise but 1 hour of yoga every day, I lost 15 lbs. I am now happy to say that my anxiety disorder is well under control, I eat healthier, I am less stressed out, and I fit into a size 8 - something that hasn't happened since college!
- —Guest Jennifer VanBenschoten
Weight loss happens
- All through high school I was active in sports and never did a traditional workout. After I graduated from high school I couldn't find one workout that I could stick with. During the last 2 years of my 20s I gained 10lbs putting me at 5'4 140lbs. I decided to try yoga as I neared my 30th birthday. I did vinyasa yoga 3x a week for an hour and began tracking my food with the sparkpeople app. I was allowed 1650 calories a day and at least once a week I exceeded this limit by about 500 calories. However after 4 months of yoga (only) I have lost the 10lbs that I gained. I am now doing core power yoga 3x a week in an attempt to further tone my body during the warmer months. So yes you can lose weight with yoga alone and without going on a drastic diet. Let me also add that when I started yoga I also became a pescaterian although I rarely ate red meat for the last few years. I also rarely consume alcohol. I may have a mimosa once a week or once a month.
- —Guest New yogini
- Oh yes,yoga has definitely worked for me..I had gained 2 kgs in winter which i easily could shed off by yoga alone.And that too in just a week of working out and healthy eating.I practise raquel's beauty and fitness yoga on a cd. The only thing in my way these days is severe boredom! I have never really stuck to a particular routine more than a month and i could really use some company to do yoga everyday..My bad!But yoga works nevertheless!!
- —Guest brooke
De stressed and happier
- I definitely 'feel' healthier and am snacking less, so by default that should help stop my weight creeping up. Whether I notice dramatic weight loss or not, I know my body feels more toned and actually I am happier with it, less critical, I'm standing taller, so I feel more comfortable in myself, a lot calmer and less sluggish. Yoga is the way to go, kinder on your joints than all that running about surely.
- —Guest Kay
It's worked so far
- I do hatha yoga, the gentlest kind. Last month my doctor weighed me and when I weighed myself 30 days later I was down 6.5 lbs. Yoga makes you stand up straighter, it clears your head, and since it makes you feel better you stick with it.
- —Guest Jay from Philly
It's always a balance
- There are many styles of yoga right now on the market which professes weight loss - especially hot yoga studio classes. But the essence of Yoga is not just for fat loss, at least I do not do it by its own to gain weight loss alone. A sensible diet, a balanced approach towards modern fitness such as cardio sports - I love to skip (speed rope skipping) a lot and also the stepper. Being a yoga teacher for 12 years and also a practitioner for 15 yrs, I think any activities which will encourage weight loss will be cardio sports. For me, yoga did contribute to it to a certain extent but I will not attribute to it completely before I lost 15 kg from my peak of 67kg even when I am supposed to be a role model in my work. I will advise students to take Yoga classes with an open mind and the true essence is a comprehensive system which is not just merely for weight loss alone but a by product due to how dynamic your style of practice is. So, explore but be safe.
- —Guest Gillian
Yoga works for weight loss
- I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid - taking medication for it, but still, losing weight can be a struggle. I have been doing kundalini yoga 5 times a week - different tape each day, and I am losing weight. My body is more toned, naturally eat healthier, and I am calmer and more confident. Recommend Ravi and Ana kundalini dvds. They have yoga for weight loss dvds that focus on metabolism, digestion, and thyroid. The tapes are great..
- —Guest Mary
Worked for me
- Started with ashtanga again 6 months after my son was born around 2-3 times per week. Slowly, the weight began to come off and I am now thinner than I was before being pregnant--I had about 20 pounds to lose. With yoga, I am less likely to have blood sugar swings, and I am also more observant about what I eat and how much--this has led to a decrease overall in what I eat. I also eat smaller meals more often because again, if keeps my blood sugar more stable. Eating big meals zaps my energy levels. I dont follow any sort of eating plan--moderation is all things is my mantra. I just listen to what my body says...if I am hungry, I eat, if not, then I don't.
- —Guest Jennifer
To be continued
- I am going to my first Yoga Class tonight. As my complete lack of any flexibility whatsoever makes putting my socks on only possible when I "help" one leg to cross over the other, and move my stomach to the side in order to bend over it, I feel no small amount of trepidation! Anyone with a big tummy knows exactly what I mean. I will let you know how I go. Everyone on this site seems to have benefitted enormously from Yoga, so I'll try to get past the first night at least. Sometimes it's just a matter of getting in the door and putting up with the indignity.
- —Guest Judy
And You Can Do It All By Yourself
- For the last 18 years (I am 38) I have been a running snob, either that or a bicycling snob. By that I mean those types of exercise dominated my life and got me to look and feel the best and so I looked down at other types of exercise as being not as "hardcore." Then my knees blew out one by one 3 years ago and I started the process of complaining, well, EATING and LAYING ON THE COUCH and complaining. But I thought yoga was a gimmick- I just didn't see how standing around and stretching was doing anyone's body any good. BUT, my body had lost its muscle tone and although I wasn't "fat" I was not in shape. After finally realizing I wasn't going to run or bike again for some unknown reason I decided to try yoga. All I did was turn on Exercise TV on demand and tried it. I was so sore the next day I was psyched! OMG it works?? I kept at it, about 45 min/day 5 x/week and after three months I look better than I used to when I ran 5 miles a day. Go figure - cable tv made me one ripped chick!
- —Guest Shazz
Toning and Mindful
- I began to do yoga seriously just a few months ago. I had been practicing Zen meditation and wanted to increase my flexibility and improve my posture. I have always been athletic, a gym rat, and maintained a healthy diet. Yet, I conversely have almost always also struggled with being slightly overweight. I began to do Power Yoga for 90 minutes, 3x per week and was immediately struck by how challenging the workout was. I had been used to running over 30 miles a week, biking long distances, and hitting the weights a few times a week as well, however I had never been so challenged by a workout. After five months, I have lost fifteen hard to burn pounds and trimmed my waistline. I am toned in muscles I didn't even know I had and I no longer go to the gym. Most importantly, I feel extremely healthy, energetic, and more aware of my body and mind. Though I still cannot sit in full or even half lotus, my meditation practice has been greatly reinforced by my yoga practice.
- —Guest Andres
Round and round again
- Yoga definitely works for weight loss. I have a very bad back so running became hard for me. I got to the point where my back hurt so much I had to sit down to put pants on because I couldn't stand on one foot at a time. I went to yoga the next day. I lost quite a bit of weight doing just yoga and one spin class a week, and my back stopped hurting. Then I went to graduate school and my yoga practice went away for 5 years. I gained about 85 lbs. which neither me or my wife is happy about. I started my practice again 4 weeks ago exactly and have gone down two full belt notches. So, yoga does work. Keep in mind I do 60 minutes, 6x/week, power yoga in a room heated to 95 degrees. But yeah, it works.
- —Guest ben
Yoga is good for weight loss.
- Many years ago I had gained 30 plus pounds. I followed a helpful and easy Yoga plan in a book called Richard Hittleman's Yoga: 28 day Exercise Plan and easily lost this excess weight in about a year (this book is available on Amazon and still sells well; written many years ago). Very good for beginners. 3 lifetime routines at the end of the book, you rotate them each day. I recommend tracking your loss my checking your "waist" measurement periodically, do not get caught up with numbers on a scale...go by how your clothes are fitting you...getting into new smaller sizes, etc.
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