Can Yoga Burn Fat and Help You Lose Weight?

Although this ancient practice has been around for thousands of years, it was only recently that it started to become popular in the Western world.

This is in large part due to the fact that much of the mystique surrounding yoga has been removed.

As more and more people become familiar with the practice, they begin to understand all of the benefits that it has to offer. There is not shortage of yoga workouts, dvd’s and programs such as the ones shown here – From improving flexibility and balance to increasing focus and concentration, it can benefit both the body and the mind.

beach yogaThe popularity of yoga has risen dramatically over the past few decades.

It is no wonder, then, that so many people are adding yoga to their fitness routines.

Despite all of its benefits, however, one of the primary questions that people usually have about yoga is whether it is intense enough to burn fat and promote weight loss. As it turns out, the answer to that question varies quite a bit depending on the type of yoga that you are doing.

For instance, restorative yoga is a special type of yoga that is designed to soothe the body and the mind.

During class, participants hold passive poses with the assistance of blankets, bolsters, and blocks.

It is designed to be extremely relaxing, helping to ease tension and refocus the mind.

As you might guess, this type of yoga is not ideal for fat burning.

Not only does it fail to increase the heart rate but it also does little to build muscle. As a result, you shouldn’t expect to lose a lot of weight or burn fat if you only do this type of yoga.

Yoga funky posesAshtanga yoga, on the other hand, is much more intense.

With this style of yoga, participants moved steadily through a series of postures in a very specific sequence.

The practice involves constant movement and usually leaves practitioners sweaty and out of breath.

By the time you are done with one of these classes, you definitely will feel like you got a great workout. Because this style of yoga raises your heart rate and builds muscle, it does help the body burn fat and may promote weight loss.

Power yoga, which is an offshoot of Ashtanga yoga, is even more intense, boosting the calorie burn even higher. The practice is usually quite vigorous, with classes moving quickly through a series of postures.

Unlike Ashtanga yoga, however, the postures can be done in any order, meaning that the teacher can change the routine at any time rather than following the same sequence of poses each time.

So the answer is yes, yoga can burn fat.

The key is to choose a style of yoga that elevates your heart rate and that helps you build muscle.

Adding more lean muscle to your body will increase your metabolism, which can make losing weight easier.

Likewise, keeping your heart rate in your target zone during your workout will help promote fat burning, eventually leading to fat loss.

yoga for all agesMost experts recommend working out anywhere between about 55-70% of your maximum heart rate to burn the most fat.

You can get a rough idea of your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. When you are in the midst of your yoga workout, try taking your heart rate to see if it falls in the right zone for fat burning.

If not, you may need to try a different style of yoga that pushes your body to work harder if you want to burn fat.

Another option is to supplement your yoga workouts with cardiovascular activities.

That way, you can enjoy all of the physical and mental benefits of yoga while at the same time ensuring that your body burns enough calories and fat to promote weight loss.