I’m going to be very honest here: I once thought Yoga did almost nothing for weight loss.
Yeah, I was that dude. But then I started going to a gym with Yoga classes and I noticed how almost everyone in that part of the gym was lean. Worked out with a couple of those yogis, and man!
Since that day, I did a full 180 on my beliefs and now am fully confident in the power that is Yoga.
Now, on to the main question: How long does it take to lose weight with yoga?
Well, with everything done right, you can start losing weight in as early as 1 week. Maybe even earlier. However, for noticeable weight loss, and I mean when you look at yourself in the mirror or when others finally see results of your hard work, it could take a few weeks to months longer.
Having said that, how well you lose weight with yoga depends on several factors. Like, what type of yoga are you doing? How often do you actually practice? How’s your diet and lifestyle going? Stressed or nah?
Along with genetics, these and a few other things are what makes everyone’s weight loss journey different. Let’s talk about them.
What type of yoga is best for weight loss?
Well, it actually depends on what you prefer and what your current capabilities are.
Hatha yoga, for instance, is generally known as the best branch of yoga for beginners because it’s slower and gentler than the other types. Interestingly, even this type of yoga burns more calories than general weight lifting according to Harvard, so it does help with weight loss as well.
But from a burning-more-calories standpoint, more intense types of yoga might be better for weight loss. These include:
- Vinyasa because it’s faster
- Bikram and hot yoga because they’re done in heated rooms, and
- Ashtanga because it’s one of the more physically demanding types of yoga
We also have a 30-minute yoga routine for beginners that’ll help you burn fat if you want to check that out.
That being said, while burning more calories is definitely one of the biggest factors in weight loss, the other is ingesting less of it.
Per research, people successfully lost weight with yoga because their practice helped them shift to a healthier diet and a healthier mentality. These same people also attributed their transformations to the yoga community and culture that helped them do so.
I believe this is where yoga truly shines.
While weight lifting and cardio have the potential to burn more calories, virtually any type of yoga practice encourages you to be more mindful and have a more in-the-now kind of mentality.
This, in turn, helps you be more self-aware and hopefully helps you seek out healthier food choices, eat healthier portions, and be more relaxed like more experienced yogis and yoginis do.
Now, you might be asking:
How many times a week should I do yoga to lose weight?
The National Health Service (NHS) classifies yoga as a muscle-strengthening exercise. And, also according to the NHS, you should do these types of exercises at least twice a week.
Keywords: at least twice a week.
The way I see it, yoga is different from other forms of exercise but it’s the same in that the more you do it, the faster you’re going to get results.
So, sure, twice a week is good but practicing your poses more often is even better. For one, you burn more calories the more you do yoga. But, perhaps more importantly, you get into the mindset and culture of mindfulness probably faster, too.
With that established, let me address another question:
What’s the best time to do yoga for weight loss?
Opinions are somewhat divided here, to be honest, but from what I gather, it’s generally accepted within the community that mornings are the best time to practice yoga.
During this time and especially before you’ve had anything to eat, you have more energy to do your exercise while the empty stomach helps with some of the more challenging poses. You’ll also likely feel more active throughout the day.
Mornings don’t always work for everyone though. I, for one, am not usually a morning person. I’m sluggish up to a couple of hours after I wake up, so I know for sure that morning yoga isn’t going to work for me. You could be the same, too.
In that case, evening or afternoon yoga might be your best bet.
Again, the most important thing to remember here is that you do your practice as many times as you can. If that means going to yoga classes after work because you just don’t have the time or energy to do it in the morning, so be it.
How long does yoga take to tone your body?
First of all, we all agree that being “toned” is when you’ve got a discernible amount of muscle and not a lot of fat, right? Right.
So, “how long it takes for yoga to build muscle and burn fat?” is probably the more accurate question.
With that said, most experts (and studies) agree that it takes about 8 weeks for beginners to grow noticeable muscle. Moreover, the CDC, the NHS, and several other reputable sources say that the safe weight loss rate is losing 1-2 lbs per week. That’s about 8-16 lbs in 8 weeks.
Given that you’re consistent with your yoga practice, doing asanas that challenge the strength of your entire body, eating the right proportion of nutrients, and are consuming less calories than you burn, you should look more toned with yoga in about 2 months.
Although, your initial weight and fat/muscle percentages will also play a factor in how lean you’re going to look in that same span of time. Nevertheless, these 8 yoga asanas for weight loss should help you get results.
Yoga is awesome! And if you had the same opinions as yoga being terrible for weight loss (as I once did), I hope this piece helps shed more light on its incredible potential.
Yes, it probably doesn’t burn as many calories as more intense cardio or HIIT sessions. And yes, it probably won’t build the same amount of muscle as weight training. But that’s because it’s a different thing entirely.
Yoga helps you be more connected with your body, mind, and spirit. In turn, this elevated sense of mindfulness should hopefully lead you to a cleaner, more balanced lifestyle — which is exactly what sustainable weight loss is about anyway.
If this helped, share us with your friends, okay? Thanks!