I’ll start with the ‘no’…. There are plenty of high intensity,’boot camp’ style exercise options that will help you burn calories more quickly than yoga. Even the athletic forms of hot yoga have been shown in scientific tests to burn fewer calories than originally thought. So if want to loose kilos quickly, yoga probably isn’t the answer.
But if you’re prepared to look at a long term, sustainable lifestyle approach to loosing weight, yoga is an awesome thing to do for yourself! Which is where we get to the ‘yes’ part of my answer….
Weight loss is generally accepted to be 80% about diet and 20% about exercise. And how many of us eat too much, or eat the wrong things because we are tired and stressed? Whether we’re filling an emotional need or we’re too busy to make healthy choices, stress impacts significantly on our diet.
In addition, the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to promote weight gain, particularly around the abdominal region. This belly fat is known as ‘toxic fat’ because it is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attack and strokes.
The practice of yoga is of course designed to relieve stress, and help us learn mindfulness skills that we can draw on in times of stress to reduce it’s impact on our body as well as our mind. Yoga also helps stimulate the production of endorphins and the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin which combats the effects of stress and depression.
Yoga is also fabulous for core strength, toning and spinal health, and a few rounds of sun salutations can certainly can get the blood pumping!
So as a lifestyle solution, a couple of yoga classes a week, combined with several vigorous 30-60 minute walks, can definitely assist with weight management, and provide the basis for a healthier, happier you!