Yoga and Weight Loss


I just recently began yoga mainly as a way to reduce stress, get centered, and improve my physical fitness. Well I would also love to lose weight from this as well and have loved the yoga classes I have attended so far. Is there a special diet that should be followed while doing a lot of yoga? Is yoga really a good way to weight loss? Thank you, I appreciate any thoughts.


hi Radianceinprogress (love your name!)

in my own experience, i found that practicing a yogic lifestyle really helped me to get better tuned into my body. i am more aware of how foods affect me and the impact i have on others when i say “yes” to any certain food. so in that sense i think it’s been almost a natural transition to healthier foods and away from artificial and chemicalized junk foods. To truly lose and maintain a healthy weight, however, i found that i needed some form of cardio - something that truly gets my heart rate up. i added running into my life and find that the combination of yoga + running is perfect for me :slight_smile:


You can definitely lose weight practicing yoga. If you practice intensely a few times a week. With hot yoga you sweat it all off. After I do a few classes in a week, I become skinnier and firmer.



Yoga can be great for weight loss, but it shouldn’t be the main exercise for weight loss unless you’re doing it consistently 4-5x a week. I try to get in a yoga workout a 2-3x a week and do some cardio about 4x a week. There are different types of yoga though - the vinyasa types of yoga, power yoga, and bikram yoga probably burns more calories than the more meditative yoga practices.

Because yoga gives you more body awareness, the side effect of doing yoga regularly is the decreased desire to put junk foods in your body and a stronger desire to live healthier in every aspect of life.


Thank you all so much for the info, it is greatly appreciated!


The motivations that bring one to yoga (or asana, as the case may be) are quite fascinating. And of course an advocate of yoga would likely feel that which brings a person to the practice is a blessing no matter what it is; addictions, anger, stress relief, a workout, levitation.

At the same time such an advocate would surely hope that in coming to the practice a person would be exposed to or gravitate toward the larger picture yoga has to offer. It’s a bit sad when the tool box is full and the artisan takes only one tool, over and over and over again without even a glance at the others.

Pragmatically, the OP asks two questions: is yoga a good way to lose weight and is there a special diet.

Asana (poses) can be a good way to lose weight or a good way to gain weight. The practice, ultimately should not be balancED, it should be balancING. Ergo the result should be a balanced person. One may lose weight doing asana just as one may lose weight doing pushups, jumping jacks, and sit ups for 90 minutes in a sauna.

Weight loss is formulated. It is a certain activity level and a certain proportional eating, in conjunction with metabolism that determines one’s weight gain or loss. This has nothing at all to do with yoga. It can be done quite easily with discipline and no yoga whatsoever - though obviously one could develop such discipline through a well crafted yoga practice…or not.

If you want to lose weight AND your body would be moving toward its optimum weight in so doing, then increase your activity level and eating only foods that supply good fuel for the body (nothing fat-free, low-cal, in a box, can, or package). Learn about balance between protein, carbs and healthy fats and eat mindfully along that learning.


Thank you that was really good advice, I know I need to use yoga for all its benefits, not just one of two. Thank you!


In my experience…

Radianceinprogress, it has worked for me, I have lost weight and slimmed with [I]just [/I]my regular yoga practice (nothing too strenuous) and cleaning up my healthy eating. Truthfully, I find the focus on the improvement in the eating makes the biggest difference in the weight loss. Of course, I also think yoga is calming and helps with that focus like Juliakalish mentions above.

In a purely physical fitness sense, with yoga you do have that reduced stress factor that you mentioned that I think you just tend to naturally need to eat less than compared to if you’re pushing yourself with, for example, weight training and running to lose weight which tend to make you hungrier.


Thank you so much for the advice, I reallly need it. Yoga is definitly helping me and I am noticing a change in my body, i know I just need to clean up my eating. Do you all reccomend clean eating or the yoga diet I have read where you also do not eat meat? I don’t know if that is only some practitioners, but I have read that most yoga students and teachers or practitioners are lacto-vegatarian? I guess I’m confused, but thanks for the great advice.


Hello Radianceinprogress!

Red meat should always be eaten sparingly, as it is full of fat. If you are a meat-eater (and you can certainly practice yoga and eat meat if you desire!) stick to lean chicken or turkey. Other excellent sources of protein include soy, legumes, even yogurt.

As for losing weight, you need to burn 3500 calories to lose a pound of fat. The best way to do this is to reduce your calorie intake and do cardio exercise. Vigorous exercise a half an hour three times a week will burn about 900 calories. To lose 1/2 lb in a week (which is an excellent goal) That leaves an addition 850 calories a week you need to burn simply by being. If you burn 2000 calories a day, you need to reduce your daily caloric intake by 122 calories in order to lose that 1/2 lb… If you add a yoga routine, you can subtract the calories burned from your weekly caloric output as well.

Yoga is not cardio exercise. However, practicing yoga will strengthen and tone your muscles and improve your posture, which will result in a longer, leaner body. However, one can have a six pack of abs covered with a layer of fat. It’s best to do both cardio and yoga to lose weight, gain strength, decrease stress, and gain flexibility.

Best Wishes to You!
Holly Jennings


The primary effect yoga has had on my weight has been through self-awareness and stress reduction. I am definitely an emotional eater (7 years in a stressful office with a former baker as a co-worker reinforced a big samskara), so that makes my weight highly influence-able by something like yoga.
My asanas are not my primary calorie-burner, however.
Welcome to the forums!


You will definitely lose weight doing yoga, but you should also eat healthier to help. I would take hot yoga, you will sweat a lot of weight of and you feel so good afterwards.


Q: Have you seen a fat jogger ?

A: Yes, but not for long.

Same with yoga.


Thank you all so much for the great information. I definitly need to clean up my eating, I think once I do that I will see more of a difference but I am already feeling great and have lost a little weight. The main thing is that I just love yoga and that makes me feel great and that is what counts and being healthy. Thanks so much.


Do you want to stay fit and not work out too much?
Exercise is a beneficial activity, but most of the times we miss on some important bits or over do it. We join gym and lift weights, focus on single muscle isolation exercises while we can follow a full body workout exercises.
Being in shape doesn’t mean that you have nice muscles and abs, But that your whole should be equally in shape. Here are 7 full body workout exercises that will get you maintain your body in shape and boost your health. That you can perform anywhere even at home.


Yes , yoga woks wonder in weight loss. But it is subtle balance of diet , yoga and lifestyle correction.
I have my students lost even 25 KGs in 5 months with good toning of the body.


Hi @Radianceinprogress
Yoga works well with weight loss and diet is key, when I started yoga I started with this company to help with my Journey :ok_hand: feel free to have a look :grin:


Yoga is a effective way to reduce the weight from the body and its completely a natural process. If you add the yoga in you daily routine, then it will help you in onslaught on the excessive weight which stored in the abdominal muscles. At Yoga Teacher Training in India you will lean some incredible and effective yoga poses which helps in reducing the weight from the body in natural way. Here are some yoga poses which i am going to tell you and you can practice them at home for weight loss journey.

  1. Plank Pose: This one yoga pose is effective for the weight loss journey and it also helps in reducing the weight from the body in effective way. If you start doing this yoga pose in your yoga session, then it will surely give you the result in weight loss, but it will take time to show the results.

  2. Downward Facing Dog: If you face the issue of low blood circulation in the body, then this yoga pose do wonder in your life. This yoga pose also give the positive result in the weight loss, so you can do the this yoga pose in your daily routine.

  3. Side Plank: This yoga pose is the variation of Plank which also give the top result in the weight loss program. If you start this yoga program in your daily routine, then it will give the effective result in weight loss and reduce the weight in quick way.


I, being someone that came to yoga to lose weight and have since fallen in love with many aspects of the practice, can honestly say that yoga changed my life. I've lost 30 lbs and have completely changed the direction of my life, of my goals, and of what I want to bring to the world.

That being said, hatha yoga will only do so much for weight loss. I fell across an amazing teacher on youtube a few years ago, who developed Interval Yoga, which mixes yoga and interval training. It is through her teachings that I was able to start the journey to a healthier body and mind. She is on youtube under Ali Kamenova Interval Yoga.

I have since become a yoga instructor myself, and base my teaching off of what I've learned over the years from her, as well as others. With enough time and dedication and a level of intensity to the yoga practice you will lose weight. Mine is on youtube as Yoga Infusion. Look us up! I can't post links here for some reason, unfortunately.

As for a diet, my only advice is to stick as close to nature as possible. Eat fruits and vegetables in abundance, the more colors the better. Limit processed sugars, processed foods in general as much as possible. Green is your friend. Eat the greens! And enjoy your food. Because the lifestyle wont stick if you don't enjoy the process.