Bikram Yoga is an effective tool to help your weight loss, especially the more active forms of yoga. And you may find that the awareness gained through a gentle, relaxing yoga practice helps you to lose weight as well.
Weight loss is achieved by either burning more calories with physical activity or consuming fewer calories. The majority of people lose weight and keep it off using both methods.
Many activities burn more calories than yoga. But a 2016 study trusted Source suggested Bikram yoga may offer diverse effects that could make it a useful option for sustained, healthy weight loss.
For people trying to lose weight, the yoga community provides social support and role modeling. The researchers also suggested that developing mindfulness through yoga may help people:
- Resist unhealthy foods
- Resist comfort eating
- Resist stress eating
- Be more in tune with their body so they’re aware when they’re full
- Have fewer cravings
- Have a reduced appetite
- Have improved self-esteem and mood
- Reduce back or joint pain that had been prohibiting additional exercise
Bikram Yoga and calorie burning
While yoga isn’t traditionally considered an aerobic exercise, certain types of yoga are more physical than others.
Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. This may help prevent weight gain. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga.
Vinyasa and power yoga are usually offered at hot yoga studios. These types of yoga keep you moving almost constantly, which helps you to burn calories.
Practicing yoga may also help you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism.
While restorative yoga isn’t an especially physical type of yoga, it still helps in weight loss. One study found that restorative yoga was effective in helping overweight women to lose weight, including abdominal fat.
These findings are especially promising for people whose body weight may make more vigorous forms of yoga difficult.
A review of studies from 2013 found that yoga is a promising way to help with behavioral change, weight loss, and maintenance by burning calories, heightening mindfulness, and reducing stress. These factors may help you to reduce food intake and become aware of the effects of overeating.
More in-depth, high-quality studies are needed to expand on these findings.
How often should you do yoga to lose weight?
Practice Bikram yoga as often as possible to weight loss. You can do a more active, intense practice at least three to five times per week for at least one hour.
On the other days, balance out your practice with a more relaxing, gentle class. Hatha, yin, and restorative yoga classes are great options.
If you’re a beginner, start slowly and gradually build up your practice. This allows you to build up your strength and flexibility and prevent injuries. If you don’t have time for a full class on certain days, do a self-practice for at least 20 minutes. Allow yourself one full day of rest each week.
Combine your yoga practice with activities such as walking, cycling, or swimming for added cardiovascular benefits.
As part of your routine, avoid weighing yourself directly after a yoga class, especially if it’s a hot yoga class,
since you may lose water weight during the class. Instead, weigh yourself at the same time each day.
Commit yourself and your practice if you want to use yoga to lose weight. Make small, gradual changes and set modest goals so that you’re more likely to stick to them.
As you deepen your practice and your awareness, you may find yourself naturally attracted to healthy foods and ways of living. While it’s not guaranteed that you’ll lose weight, it’s definitely likely. Your positive results may extend far beyond weight loss.
How many calories does Bikram yoga burn and can it help your weight loss?
A yoga session can burn between 180 and 460 calories depending on several factors, including:
1. the type of yoga you’re doing
2. the length and intensity of the class
3. whether you’re male or female
For example, a 160-pound person will lose 183 calories in a 60-minute Hatha (basic) yoga class, according to the Mayo Clinic.
In comparison, here are the approximate calories burned for other activities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
1. golf (walking and carrying clubs) for an hour 330 calories
2. aerobics for an hour 480 calories
3. swimming laps (slow freestyle) for an hour 510 calories
4. running at 5 mph for an hour 590 calories
The primary health benefit of yoga is not burning calories, but you will burn calories during a yoga class. How many calories you burn depends on several variables, such as:
1. style of yoga
2. level of the class
3. length of class
4. pace and intensity of the class
Your positive results may extend far beyond weight loss.