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Readers Respond: How Has Yoga Helped You Lose Weight?

Responses: 43


Updated August 15, 2012

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


For two years i did not have energy to do anything. I felt like even breathing was a chore. I felt like a zombie. I would only breathe deep sad sighs. Big time existential crisis. But a month back, out of desparation to just feel good for one day in a healthy way, i looked up youtube yoga videos. I did it for 20 mins one day and OMG! I felt soooo good at the end. I did it again the next day and the next and let me juat say this- it breathed life into me. I am back on track. My mind body soul are all at peace. ANDDDD i used to be 175lbs and now a month later im already 162. Physical and mental benefits!!
—Guest Robin

Hot Yoga Therapy sessions

I tried running, tried weights, tried HIIT & sprinting (so hard! I mentally resisted doing it)..... finally after much deliberation I tried Moksha Hot Yoga. I resisted the hippy-dippy stuff & felt weird for a while.... but then something happened and I opened up to it.... all the positive affirmations, the climate of kindness and feeling of total acceptance took over and completely transformed me. The mind body connection was especially transformative. I started to really love my body (which I loathed for years) it was very emotional for me; letting go of all the awful thoughts about myself that had plagued me for years. I had been diagnosed with depression and ADD at the same time as i started yoga. I had suffered for years so I was looking forward to taking meds... turns out I never even needed them! I crave Yoga like I crave food & sex. I lost 15 lbs in 3 weeks so far and I look fantastic! Great butt, legs, arms, abs... my skin glows... Hot Yoga x5/week. It literally saved my life!
—Guest Louise

Yoga will change your life!!

A year ago, while I had taken some classes, I was far from a practiced yogini and needed to lose at least 30 lbs. 30 to get to my first goal and then 20 beyond that. I found a remarkable studio, which was key...sweet, nonjudgemental yogis with a pure and simple, take-you-as-you-come approach. I started this hot ashtanga flow approx 8 mos ago and have lost interest in the weight loss when compared with the rest of the journey...the muscle building and capabilities emerging, the stressed stripping away, the positive mindsets that used to seem hokie seem now, enlightened. No more fidgeting and wiping and the room can be packed or empty, all I see is my progress that day. Great journey-down 30lbs and feel great. I don't even care if the next entire 20 come off, so long as I feel fit. A real positive core to a great studio is the best.
—Guest Anon

Inches not Pounds

I started doing yoga with the goal of reducing/managing stress in my life. I already have a fairly active job and reasonable eating habits. With no other changes other than the addition of 2-3 "hot" yoga sessions per week, I lost two clothing size and ten pounds. A great bonus on top of the hoped for stress reduction. I also gained much greater balance, flexibility, and overall strength. I'm definitely in this for the long haul.
—Guest SallyL

Yoga gave me Abs

I incorporated yoga at the end of my cardio workouts, five days a week to help keep my muscles balanced. The plank pose was hard for me initially, but my physio called for it. Started with 15 secs, than 30 secs, and got to 60 secs. Then I even went to 2 minutes in full plank but I don't think my form was good at the end by holding it that long. I switched back to 1 minute but I intersperse five of them into my routine. My stomach was relatively flat before hand but doing planks gave my stomach definition :) Try it for yourself!
—Guest oSandi


I agree, cardio is a must when trying to lose weight. I tried yoga as a teenager nine years ago. It has always help me to relax and bring me back down to Earth. Yoga, at least to me, cools and calms me down. I usually do yoga immediately following a high pace workout such as cardio or Pilates.
—Guest Ashley

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

it works

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

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