Yoga and Weight Loss

My main areas of focus on this little blog are posture and living better through exercise. In doing so I spend most of my time plugging yoga and Pilates. Along the way I have loudly sung their praises:

– Stress Relief

– Better Sleep

– Improved diet

– Weight loss

– Strength and flexibility

– Improved testosterone

I do this mostly by telling the stories of my own experiences and how this benefit or that came to me (mostly by accident) through a regular practice of yoga.

Lately I’ve wandered off the basics a little as the fancy hits me (hey, it’s my blog and if you don’t make a request, I choose the topic), but today I want to circle back. This time to yoga and weight loss.

So I get a daily email from (a health and wellness site) and today the headline link in the email was “Can Yoga Promote Weight Loss?”

Now, I’ve addressed this a couple of times, in “Stop Eating Crap” and “Yoga, the Accidental Diet.” The first was my tale of, well, how I stopped craving and eating crap. The second referred back to an American Dietetic Association study that showed yogis tend to, well, crave and eat less crap.

The thing is, eating less crap may be helpful to weight loss, but it’s not the whole ball game, and the Mindbodygreen article skips over the diet part to talk about the exercise part. Short version you need to be in caloric deficit, which means using more calories than you take in. There are two ways to do this;

  1. Eat less (stopping eating crap helps here)
  2. Burn more (exercise)

The author then goes on to talk about various exercise programs to increase your calories burned. Among them she mentions, drum roll please…wait for it…here it comes…Bikram Yoga. You know, the one I practice most, and write about the most.

It’s not the only yoga style mentioned, nor is yoga only exercise mentioned for weight loss. Her main point is to eat less than you burn. And I think, somewhere along the way, I’ve said the same thing.

So now you don’t have to take old Andrew’s word for it. You can take Ray Bass’ and Jaime Schehr’s word for it; burn more than you consume. I don’t care if you do yoga or Pilates (I think you should) but I do care that you off the couch and move.