Losing Weight With Yoga Even When It’s Not Your Goal

losing weight with yoga

Did you think about losing weight with yoga when you started practicing? If you needed to lose weight when started practicing yoga, have you lost it?

If you answered no to the first question and yes to the second, you’re not alone. While some people do begin a yoga practice to lose weight, for others, yoga is about stress relief, improving concentration and focus, inner peace, or quieting the mind.

Yet, after practicing for a while, many people notice they’ve lost some extra pounds in addition to feeling calmer and more focused!

Losing Weight With Yoga is Easier When It’s Not Your Goal

Even if you don’t practice power yoga or a challenging vinyasa style (which obviously burn calories), you may find yourself slimmer and in better shape if you stick to a regular yoga practice. Why? Well, for one thing, many people eat when stressed. If you’re less stressed because of your yoga practice, you’ll probably eat less and lose weight.

You may also find it easier to make healthier food choices when your mind is uncluttered. So, if your yoga practice is about quieting the mind, you may find you’ve shed some extra pounds after a while as well.

If you need to lose weight and are new to yoga, you may wonder if it’s the right form of exercise for weight loss. Usually, unless you have a regular, vigorous practice, the physical part of the practice alone has a limited effect on weight.

On the other hand, if you’re struggling with weight because you’re stressed, anxious, or too busy to eat well, or if you tend to turn to food for comfort, yoga will probably help more than typical fitness programs will.  

Why You May Be Losing Weight With Yoga

An awesome thing about practicing yoga to lose weight is you don’t really have to focus on how much you weigh or how long you exercise to be successful!

Yoga is a lifestyle practice that encompasses all aspects of well-being. When your mind, body, and spirit are well, habits that support healthy weight become intuitive and second nature. In other words, you may lose weight seemingly without even trying.

Paradoxically, if you choose yoga specifically to lose weight, you may be less successful. That’s because sustained weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight over time is almost always a result of well-being, not a goal in and of itself.

That said, here are some ways you might end up losing weight if you practice yoga regularly:

  • You’ll build muscle, which burns calories more efficiently than fat.
  • Overall health of body, mind, and spirit will become more of a priority for you.
  • You will likely find yourself introduced to healthier ways of eating, especially if you attend yoga retreats that feature simple, delicious vegetarian cuisine.
  • You’ll be more concerned about the environment, which may lead you to buy fewer processed, packaged foods and fast foods.
  • You’ll be less anxious, so if you’re a stress eater, you’ll eat less.
  • You will become more mindful and more likely to notice and adjust habits that are not healthy, such as eating junk food or eating when you’re bored, worried, or just because everyone around you is eating.

And don’t worry if losing weight is your goal. Just remember you’re more likely to reach and maintain that goal if you focus more on the big picture than the number on your scale.

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Maria Kuzmiak

2 thoughts on “Losing Weight With Yoga Even When It’s Not Your Goal

  1. Laura says:

    That’s so on-point, Maria! I always tell people that losing weight/gaining flexibility/building muscle is not the goal of yoga but a pleasant side effect. There’s so much more to yoga than meets the eye.

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