Can you really lose weight with yoga?

lose weight with yoga.


Many Mums come to a yoga class with the hope that they will lose weight with yoga. Especially those who’ve just had a bub and are wanting to lose that ‘baby-belly’ with something that doesn’t seem too outrageously hard for their unfamiliar body.   They see the images of the ‘typical yogi’ with long lean muscles and have heard that yoga will help you lengthen out and tone up. But at the same time they’re skeptical…


How can just a few stretches and some deep breathing make you lose weight?  Surely you have to do something high impact and challenging to lose weight?


Great questions… (even if the idea of yoga ‘just being stretches’ and not being challenging does tend to make me cringe a little on the inside.)


How can you lose weight with yoga?

  • Yoga poses and deep breathing builds heat in the body which helps to burn excess energy.
  • Yoga reconnects your mind to your body so that you become more aware of what you put into it.
  • Yoga helps to reduce the stress that can cause you to put on or hold onto weight.
  • Yoga teaches you how to better manage your emotions so you no longer have to rely on emotional eating and other negative habits.
  • Yoga encourages self-love and acceptance which is the first step to finding and maintaining your healthy body weight.


Don’t believe me? It’s not just my experience – the fact that yoga helps you to lose weight is also backed up by the research.


+ A regular yoga practice has been associated with less weight gain with ageing. (1)

+ In a randomised study of overweight women, yoga for 16 weeks showed to decrease body weight, reduce body fat percentage, lower BMI and waist circumference. (2)

+ A study of 15500 men and women by the National Cancer Institute found that yoga did influence how much weight participants lost and kept them from regaining weight. (3)


What styles of yoga lead to weight loss?

It’s likely that all styles of yoga would have an impact on your weight as they all help you to become more mindful, to slow down and to reduce stress.  However you can speed up your results by choosing a challenging style of yoga like ashtanga or power flow. {Try the heating power flow class below that I shared as a part of my 7 day Winter yoga retreat. Or sign up to receive all the classes in your inbox.}


What’s the most important thing when trying to lose weight?

Personally I think the most important change that yoga can help you make is that is helps you to change the negative mindset that comes when we aren’t happy with our bodies.  It’s that mindset that has us buying into all kinds of ridiculous (and harmful) weight-loss schemes in our desperation to feel good about ourselves. Yoga helps us to accept where we are right now, to forgive ourselves for the past and to stop beating ourselves up when we make a mistake. (Which means we’re less likely to do that late night food binge when we stuff up our latest plan)


Once we change the mindset, the healthy changes and weight are sure to follow.


Want to get started on your own weight loss journey with yoga? Try my FREE 14 day yoga reset.  It’s the perfect way to hit ‘refresh’ on your life.


Have you lost weight with yoga? Will you share your story with me?


1. Kristal AR, Littman AJ, Benitez D, White E. Yoga practice is associated with attenuated weight gain in healthy, middle-aged men and women. Altern Ther Health Med. 2005;11(4):28-33.

2. Lee JA, Kim JW, Kim DY. Effects of yoga exercise on serum adiponectin and metabolic syndrome factors in obese postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2011;Epub ahead of print.



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