One of our readers asks “Is the Goal of Yoga to Lose Weight, Get Toned, or to Become More Flexible?” Paul settles the score on this frequently asked question, once and for all.
Is the Goal of Yoga to Lose Weight, Get Toned, or to Become More Flexible?
Yoga for Weight Loss
Let me set the record on this one. Yoga doesn’t burn a lot calories. I teach and practice yoga everyday, and it is inferior for burning calories as compared to many other kinds of fitness. When you are good yoga shape, you will average around 400 calories per hour doing yoga. In personal training, clients average closer to 700 calories per hour. Running and rock climbing can be as high 800-900 calories per hour.
However most people do lose weight doing yoga. The reason for that is yoga calms the mind and helps lower stress. When most people are less stressed (like myself) we eat less. Simple as that.
Yoga for Toning
What is toning anyway? Reducing body fat in strategic areas so you can see muscles? Maybe some basic strengthening of muscles? Yoga will help with toning by reducing calories if you are a little overweight. Does Yoga do a great job in this area? No, other types of fitness are superior. You’ll get some “toning” yes, but if toning is your goal, stick with personal training.
Yoga for Flexibility, Mobility, Stability, Balance, Control, & Recovery
This is the heart of yoga. I train 1000s of clients a year. Every person I meet has room to benefit for at least on of those categories. So, yoga is for everyone. If you are looking for strength, go with personal training. If you are looking to lose weight, conditioning and a properly balanced calorie deficit diet are your goto items. But if you want to move better, with less pain, and more range of motion — Yoga is King.