According to research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, yoga has been proven to lead to weight loss in overweight, middle aged people.
Some types of yoga can be very rigorous and provide a good cardiovascular workout. For weight loss, ashtanga and power yoga are types considered most ideal.
Yes, yoga not only improves posture and flexibility but can improve breathing as well which helps in raising overall metabolism and allows the body to burn more fat. Yoga can also help to redistribute fat in the body. Finally, some more intense forms of yoga provide a cardiovascular workout as well.
It depends on the style of yoga you chose to do. Certain traditional styles such as Ananda and Kundalini are more focused on inward development. More modern styles such as Ashtanga and Bikram, or high temperature yoga, are very physically demanding. But any style of yoga will help you with flexibility and muscle tone.
Weight loss is based on creating a calorie deficit – that is, burning more calories than you eat. Yoga does help burn calories so it can help out with weight loss, but doing yoga on its own may not lead to weight loss.
As Ashleigh said, weight loss is about making sure that you burn off more calories than you eat so that you have technically ingested a negative number of calories. For reference, you need to be in the negative by 500 calories per day to lose a pound a week, and 1000 calories per day to lose 2 pounds per week.
Research done by Alan Kristal, DPH, MPH with funding from National Cancer Institute found that yoga could cause people to lose weight, or at least maintain their weight. Researchers believe the key is in something yogis call mindfulness; one becomes more aware of all parts of their body, not just when they’re exercising. This could lead to better food choices (maybe helping to get you towards that 500 calorie/day deficit), other beneficial exercise practices and a general positive awarenss of one’s body and mind.
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