Is Yoga Effective in Weight Loss?

Obesity seems to be a world trend. Yoga with it’s many health benefits, is proclaimed to be a preventative health practice (in modern times a curative practice as well), however our team was observing a good flow of people searching the topic Online Yoga Classes in New York for weight loss.

Today, with quick-fix fitness trends abounding, yoga stands out as a time-tested practice that offers more than just physical exercise. But how effective is it really for weight shedding?

Yoga for Weight Loss:

Research points out the role of yoga in weight management. While yoga may not burn calories as rapidly as high-intensity cardio exercises do, it indirectly leads to weight loss through many of it’s practices and techniques.

Hormonal Balance: All exercise systems bank on strong physical activity to burn calories which then lead to weight loss. Besides stretching, Yoga also involves strong movements, especially in vinyasa flow sequences. However, in addition to this, yoga postures are designed to massage, put pressure on and tone the different hormonal or endocrine glands in the body. When our vital hormonal system stays in balance then the body weight also comes to a place of balance.

Stress Reduction: Yoga’s emphasis on mindfulness and it’s relaxation practices like Pranayama and Yoga Nidra can help reduce stress levels. Elevated stress hormones like cortisol are linked to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. This happens because stress in the system causes the body to get alert to ward off danger and so prepares the body by increasing appetite, causing insulin resistance and slowing one’s metabolism. Therefore by managing stress, yoga may indirectly support weight loss.

Increased Awareness: Practicing yoga cultivates body awareness and mindfulness in one’s habits and behaviour which will lead to healthier eating habits. Mindful eating trains us to savour food, eat slowly, chewing thoroughly, mindful of the fact that digestion begins in the mouth and an added benefit of proper chewing is that the stomach gets filled up faster. Mindful eating habits help us make conscious food choices, urging us to stay away from foods that are detrimental to our health.

Muscle Building and Toning: A multitude of yoga weight bearing poses,  such as the warrior series, plank, chaturanga, utkatasana/ chair pose and so on, engage multiple muscle groups, promoting strength and muscle toning. Increased muscle mass boosts metabolism, leading to more calories burned at rest, thereby facilitating weight loss.

Improved Digestion: Yoga postures involve working the body by twisting, bending forward and back, inverting and various stretching movements that stimulate the entire digestive system, enhancing it’s functional performance and alleviating gastrointestinal discomfort. A healthy digestive system ensures efficient nutrient absorption and waste elimination, contributing to overall well-being and supporting weight management.

Shoulderstand / ‘Sarvanghasana’: This one posture stimulates and tones our very important Thyroid gland, which has a strong impact on our body weight. Hyperthyroidism or an overactive Thyroid leads to weight loss and Hypothyroidism or a sluggish Thyroid leads to weight gain. The Shoulderstand posture is an inversion where huge amounts of blood flows to the base of the throat, the location of the Thyroid gland. This nourishes and tones the Thyroid into balanced functioning. Besides this, the chin lock (chin pressing into the chest) in this posture gives the Thyroid a strong massage, further toning and benefiting it.

Start Off By Doing The Following Asanas for Weight Loss:

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): This sequence of asanas involves dynamic movements, transitioning quickly from one posture to the next. These postures engage multiple muscle groups, promoting cardiovascular health and calorie burning.

Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose Series): These powerful standing poses strengthen the legs, arms, and core while improving balance and endurance.

Dhanurasana / The Bow: In this posture, the abdominal region is very strongly stretched. This burns belly fat.

Navasana (Boat Pose): This core-strengthening asana activates the abdominal muscles, helping to tone and firm the midsection.

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose): A challenging pose that strengthens the arms, shoulders and core, enhancing overall muscle tone and metabolism. As the body tones up, one looks visually trimmer.

Utkatasana (Chair Pose): This pose strengthens the thighs, buttocks, and lower back, stimulating metabolism and promoting weight loss.

Ushtrasana (Camel pose): This backbend stretches the spine, chest, shoulders and back muscles while strongly engaging the abdomen. It stimulates the digestive organs, aiding in digestion and metabolism regulation.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose): This inverted pose engages the entire body, including the arms, shoulders, core, and legs. It improves circulation, boosts energy levels, and helps to burn calories.


Although yoga may not offer the rapid calorie burn of high-intensity cardio workouts, its holistic approach to health most certainly results in weight loss. Incorporating yoga into a well-rounded fitness regimen, alongside a balanced diet will surely yield in sustainable weight loss.

As I write this blog, I see that we have some enquiries for Online Yoga Classes in Houston Well, don’t wait Join us for a session at Yoga with Sapna today!

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