While Yoga does not burn calories at the rate that other cardio workouts do, it is still an effective and viable weight loss option.
Many personal trainers and fitness experts, including Dana Edison, a certified personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine, as well as celebrity trainer Ana Brett agree that yoga works and works quite well in helping people to lose weight.
What types of yoga are most effective for weight loss? These five are all contenders.
1. Power Yoga
There are many types of yoga, all of which, include their own Asanas (poses) and specific routines. Power Yoga is one of the options of choice for those that want to lose weight. While the term “Power” is not an official branch of the practice, it is a term that is often used in yoga studios and gyms across the United States.
Many yoga instructors agree that Power yoga offers all the fat burning and heart health benefits as other cardio and aerobic workouts.
Power yoga was created by two American yoga students in 1990, namely, Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Krest.
The advent of this practice made yoga much more interesting and accessible to the American fitness audience who wanted a more vigorous approach to the more traditional gentle and meditative practices offered by other yoga varieties.
Power yoga incorporates the traditional breathing techniques along with faster more active pose movements, as opposed to the more static ones found in other forms of yoga. This provides for a much more aerobic workout that facilitates weight loss.
Power yoga includes various strength-training moves, like planks and chaturanga, and can also incorporate cross-training and hand weights that increase calorie burning. Other terms used for vigorous yoga at studios and gyms are “cardio yoga,” “core yoga” and “boot camp yoga.”
2. Vinyasa Yoga
This yoga class will be vigorous, intense and fast paced, where the various poses will be performed one to the other in a fast sequence. In Vinyasa yoga participants typically work up a nice sweat and increased heart rate, even though, the workout is done totally on the mat.
3. Bikram (Hot) Yoga
In Bikram, otherwise known as Hot yoga the workout is done in a heated room, usually at 100 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Bikram yoga will certainly increase the heart rate and make you sweat.
The official Bikram Yoga website recommends beginners to take a minimum of 10 hot yoga classes to see how it effects their weight loss, and then take at least 3 classes per week.
This is done in order to regulate digestion and normalize the appetite and decrease out of control food cravings.
4. Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga classes also offer a faster and more vigorous style of yoga with 90 minute classes that involve constant movement between poses that require substantial strength and balance.
There are various levels and one must master the previous before they can move on.
This is not the best option for beginners, especially those that are out of shape.
5. Restorative Yoga
Colleen Saidman Yee, creator of the Gaiam DVD “Yoga for Weight Loss” does not believe that the classes need to be intense or vigorous to achieve weight loss goals.
In fact, according to her, restorative yoga, which is a more meditative style brings more benefits for the long term. In her view, it is the mind and body connection that is most effective for weight loss, even more important than burning calories.
Yoga helps increase awareness about what is going in the body and it effects the practice. It also results in better sleep and better stress management, both of which are critical for weight loss.