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Have you ever wondered which type of Yoga is best for weight loss?
There are so many different types to choose from, each with their specific purpose.
Some are focused on restoration and rejuvenation, while others are better-suited to physical therapy and rehab, while still others push you to the limits of your fitness and get you sweating.
If you’re trying to figure out which type of Yoga is best for weight loss, we’ve got the answers for you.
Below, we’ll break down (in very simple terms) the most common types of Yoga, their primary focus, and how they can benefit your body. At the end, we’ll include a round-up of the Yoga types that you can try for real weight loss results.
So let’s dive in and find out!
Which Type of Yoga is Best for Weight Loss? Understanding the Yoga Types
Hatha Yoga is a slower-paced type of Yoga, using basic poses and gentle, relaxing movements. It’s ideal for beginners to Yoga who want to master the simplest forms while getting into the flow and feeling of a great Yoga workout.
Kundalini Yoga combines poses, breath work, and chanting to unlock the “life force energy” moving through your body. It focuses a great deal on the spiritual and mental aspects of your wellness, including meditation and relaxation exercises. The poses are challenging, however, so get ready to sweat!
Ashtanga Yoga follows a specific repeated pattern of poses (called a “sequence”). It follows the same asanas, which flow from one to the other in a specific pattern, and utilizes breath work to keep you focused and pushing hard. It’s one of the most athletic and demanding types of Yoga, perfect for increasing both flexibility and endurance.
Vinyasa Yoga is also commonly known as “flow” Yoga, because the entire Yoga session is a series of breathing techniques that help you to flow gracefully from one pose to the next. It’s great for beginners and advanced Yogis alike, and it incorporates more movement than some of the more relaxing forms of Yoga. However, the pace is slow and steady rather than athletic.
Bikram Yoga takes place in a room heated to high temperatures and with high humidity. It’s intended to encourage A LOT of sweating, which cleanses impurities and toxins from the body. It uses the exact same 26 postures, but can increase cardiovascular fitness significantly.
Yin Yoga is a slower form of Yoga, involving longer holds (starting at 60 seconds, and increasing for up to 5 minutes) for each of the poses. The focus is on improving both circulation and mobility, helping your body to limber up and your muscles and joints to move more easily. It targets your connective tissue specifically, making it excellent for physical therapy and post-surgery rehab.
Iyengar Yoga pays more attention to the exact alignment and precision of each posture, rather than trying to move through a lot of postures. It’s slower than the more athletic forms of Yoga, but can be highly demanding as you try to master and hold each of the poses for prolonged periods. It’s excellent for improving flexibility and mobility.
Power Yoga is a more “modern” form of Yoga, which pushes you through the more dynamic movements of Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga at a faster pace. It’s more muscle-oriented, but it can also do wonders for your flexibility. The constant transitioning between poses helps to keep each workout fresh and engaging.
Restorative Yoga follows the same principles as Iyengar Yoga, focusing on proper alignment in each pose and holding the poses for longer periods (up to 20 minutes!). The intention is to help the body relax fully into each posture, improving flexibility in the specific joints and muscles utilized. It’s excellent for increasing muscle suppleness and joint mobility.
So Which Type of Yoga is Best for Weight Loss? The Answer Is:
By now, you can probably guess which type of Yoga is best for weight loss. Some of them are clearly more focused on mobility and relaxation, but there are two in particular that really maximize the “workout” part of your Yoga training.
And those two are Ashtanga and Power Yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga doesn’t typically involve the same accelerated pace as Power Yoga, but the constant flow between postures can give you quite an amazing workout. As for Power Yoga, the fact that you’re always moving from one posture to the next—often incorporating muscle-building movements like Push-Ups—can do wonders to help you burn A LOT of calories in the workout.
In the end, that’s what makes a workout great for weight loss! The more calories you burn, the easier it will be to end your day at a “calorie deficit”—put simply, more calories expended than absorbed. You can easily burn around 500 calories (or more!) in an hour-long Power Yoga workout session.
The result: better weight loss!
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