Depends what kind of yoga. "Yoga" is not really descriptive. There are tons of different types of yoga. If you practice slower paced styles like yin, restorative, nidra, etc. it's unlikely that you'll a significant weight from yoga alone. If you take vinyasa, ashtanga, prana, etc. then it will likely contribute to your weight loss. However, even then it also depends on the instructor. I've been to vinyasa classes where you constantly flow between poses the whole time and others where the poses are held longer and where there is a lot less constant movement.
I stopped running due to an injury and only did vinyasa yoga as my exercise for 3 months. I continued losing weight at the same rate I had been when I was running, without altering my diet. My body composition also changed a lot just with yoga. I got a lot more muscle definition in my arms, back, shoulders, and stomach.
Yoga can help you lose weight. Yoga helps by teaching you to be aware of what you are feeling and to become comfortable with discomfort.
For Yoga to fulfill cardio, you need to chose a very active form like Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga where you are in constant movement for a period of time. This can be grueling.
That said, if this method works for you, that is what you need to focus on. make sure you are focusing on your food program.
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Weight loss occurs when you expend more calories than you consume-- that can be accomplished by cutting back on calories, adding in more activity or a combination of both. While yoga is a great activity for flexibility, it does not expend a lot of calories because the rate of oxygen consumption is low.
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If you change your diet with anything I'm sure you'll see changes in your body. But I think you need both strength conditioning and cardio. You don't really burn calories from yoga. You may lose a lot of water weight from Bikram yoga, but I would suggest that not be your only source of exercise if you are attempting to lose weight.
I do yoga or pilates twice a week and a cardio on other days. I guess you can find what works for you.
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Has anyone here committed to a yoga-only fitness program and lost significant weight? Any examples, pro or con, would be appreciated. Thanks all, Phoebe
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