Yoga is gaining popularity around the nation. It’s very posh to have a yoga mat tucked under your arm, with your gym bag slung over your shoulder as you casually quip “I’m off to my yoga class.” But is yoga your best bet for weight loss?
Well to answer that we need to find look at what it takes to lose weight. To lose weight you need to raise your heart rate to about 65% of it maximum heart rate threshold (To find out how to figure your maximum heart rate threshold read my blog, What is Your Fat Burning Heart Rate?)
So the answer is yes you can lose weight by doing yoga if it elevates your heart rate sufficiently. Which brings us to the next question, which type of yoga raised the heart rate enough to bring about weight loss?
If you have ever Googled yoga you have found out that there are several types of yoga with a seemingly endless number of yoga classes available in each. But the question remains, which types are best for weight loss?
The Top 3 Types of Yoga for Weight Loss
Of all the different types of yoga these three are the best for weight loss:
This is a very intense and vigorous yoga. It is very physically demanding because it is comprised of a series of poses performed in a particular order in a particular rhythm. Since you are moving constantly from one pose to the next your heart rate remains in its target range for fat burning. So Ashtanga yoga is a good type for those wanting to lose weight.
This is a more intense, fitness focused version of vinyasa-style yoga that is breath based movement. Power yoga is very much like Ashtanga yoga except it doesn’t follow a set series of poses. Power yoga poses are performed in various order thus allowing classes to be different from class to class. It also appeals to people who are practicing yoga from more of a fitness than a spiritual point of view.
A 95 – 100 degree room is what is needed for Birkram vinyasa-style yoga. Hot Yoga is also know as Birkram Yoga. It is is a type of Hot yoga that is similar to Ashtanga yoga and consists of a series of 26 poses. It is very intense and physically demanding. Greater flexibility and deep stretching are at the root of this type of yoga.
Only you can determine what your wellness goals are. Generally yoga encompasses the body, mind and spirit. Therefore most styles are aimed at strengthening all three aspects of the person or specific aspects of the person breath and movement but not rigorous activity.
Real Weight Loss Answers
If you are practicing a slower paced type of yoga and want to lose weight then you should look at other ways of training for weight loss.
Zach Hunt is a Yoga in Spokane expert and the owner of Physzique, a personal fitness coaching company in Spokane, WA helping people to look and feel great. Go here: Spokane Bootcamp for more info on these services and more great fitness tips.