While cardio and strength training are at the top of the list when it comes to exercise for losing weight, yoga can also be very useful if you want to reach your ideal weight. Besides the actual workout, yoga can help you relax, improve your will power and avoid binge eating.
All types of yoga have benefits for your overall health, but the best types of yoga for weight loss go the extra mile and improve your body’s fat burning abilities, while also helping you be mindful of your diet.
One of the newest branches of this ancients physical and mental practice, power yoga is quickly spreading in the Western world as a great alternative to other intense workouts.
Based on Kundalini yoga techniques, power yoga has the most fat burning benefits. It can also be a good way to build muscle mass while losing weight, since it’s very far from the classic static poses most people associate with the practice. It’s one of the best types of yoga for weight loss, and classes based on it can be found under different names, from boot camp yoga to cardio yoga. Not all power yoga classes are a good fit for beginners, so make sure you ask if you’ll fit in without previous experience.
A variation of power yoga, jock yoga can definitely offer an intense training session that rivals most other types of weight loss workouts. Created by a Canadian yogi, this type of yoga is a great fit for both athletes and any dieters who aren’t afraid to sweat off the extra pounds. With a focus on strengthening muscles with endurance exercises and special postures, jock yoga might be very different from the traditional practice, but it gets results when it comes to losing weight.
The most popular form of “hot yoga”, Bikram ups the ante when it comes to losing weight by having classes in a very hot environment. For a good workout in a room with air temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), Bikram yoga is the right choice and holding poses for the required amount of time will also have the added benefit of helping you fight cravings easier. It’s one of the best types of yoga for weight loss because every class includes 25 poses and two breathing exercises that will increase the rate your body flushes out toxins.
One of the most vigorous types of yoga that’s restricted to the mat, Viyasa (or flow yoga) is a great choice if you’re looking for all the benefits of the ancient practice, the physical and the mental. Transitioning quickly through multiple positions makes Viyasa yoga one of the most intense types of mat workouts and there’s also enough variety to keep you sweating. While power yoga and Bikram may be intense enough to promote weight loss without any other type of exercise, Viyasa is more effective when you supplement it with good cardio.
With classes lasting for 90 minutes, Ashtanga yoga is almost as intense as Vinyasa yoga. It’s one of the best types of yoga for weight loss thanks to its rapid sequences of six poses. While some Ashtanga yoga classes are more open letting students start out at their own pace, others are not recommended for beginners. If you’re thinking about signing up for an Ashtanga class, make sure you get a few details about the pace and level required to participate.
Even though they’re much less active, most types of restorative yoga can also play a big part in weight loss. Hatha yoga is the classic mix of certain postures, combined with breathing practices in meditation. Raising awareness about your body with this type of yoga might not burn fat directly, but it can help you stay focused on your goals. It’s probably the best options for beginners. Even it it lacks the active pace of modern classes, Hatha is definitely one of the best types of yoga for weight loss, especially in the long run.
One of the most passive types of yoga, Yin is all about meditation and releasing tension. Clearing your mind and managing stress plays a big part in fighting cravings, so it can have a truly beneficial impact on your diet. While few consider it one of the best types of yoga for weight loss on its own, it’s a great way to relax your body and soothe your joints after more intensive workouts.