Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?

One of my young teenage students at RRISD practices yoga because he wants to get taller. :) Since he is a teenager, he is almost certain to grow taller over the next few years, with or without yoga.

But did you know that for full-grown adults, yoga can actually make you taller, or at least make you look taller, and by extension, appear thinner?

When we consistently practice yoga āsana (yoga postures), we are strengthening our muscles and also improving flexibility. Through strengthening and improving flexibility, you remove tension from the muscles, which in turn allows you to stand taller.

People often ask if yoga can help you lose weight. The answer is a little bit complicated.

A vigorous yoga practice can qualify as a cardio workout, so if you follow experts' recommendations of 150 weekly minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise, 3-4 classes per week will do the trick (not to mention the benefits to your heart health including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol).

And for the many people who practice gentler forms of yoga, yoga can support weight loss in other ways. Yoga helps to activate the sympathetic nervous system, which reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, which can indirectly lead to weight loss.

And also, yoga helps improve your mindfulness, which means that your awareness of how you're feeling is improved. This leads to better overall health choices, such as what you eat, how much water you drink, and how many hours of sleep you get per night. All these healthy habits, which are a result of your yoga practice, can lead to weight loss.

The key is *consistent* practice. For optimal health, you need to be doing a yoga practice most days per week. And that's what the 40 Day Challenge is all about. 

The 2017 40 Day Challenge kicks off on Sunday, April 2, and it's the perfect time to develop your consistent yoga practice. because we're here to provide motivation and support. Challenge yourself to attend 30 practices in 40 days (either in the studio or at home) to develop a healthy habit and discover just how great you can feel. You might even grow taller! ;)

Click here to read all about the 40 Day Challenge. The link to register is at the bottom of the page.

Please let us know if you have any questions!

All my best,