Is Yoga Good for Weight Loss? Exploring the Benefits

by Mara Welty April 03, 2024 7 min read

 Is Yoga Good for Weight Loss

Whether you’re sweating in a hot yoga studio or balancing baby goats with your cobra pose, practicing yoga can benefit your physical, emotional and mental health. In fact, a few months of dedicated yogi time can help to improve your flexibility, ease muscle aches, promote heart health and brighten your mood.

That said, is yoga good for weight loss, too?

Yes — and its role extends far beyond merely burning calories.

Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga is a unique practice that blends physical and mental discipline. It combines a variety of modalities, including breath work, meditation and, most well-known, postures.

The rate at which you lose weight will likely depend on the type of yoga you adopt and its level of physical activity. While some practices are slow and restorative, others are rigorous and fast-paced.

That said, a 2022 review found that many types of yoga practices — including hatha, bikram, iyengar and vinyasa — were found to increase metabolism and decrease total body weight, body fat percentage and waist circumference in obese patients.

Let’s explore.

Vinyasa Yoga Weight Loss Benefits

Vinyasa yoga is an overarching term that can encompass such styles as power, ashtanga and prana yoga. It’s a very athletic type of yoga that requires yogis to coordinate their movements with their breath in a continuous flow-like style that can elevate the heart rate and increase calorie burn. The full-body workout engages many muscle groups, which may support weight loss.

In some cases, the sequence of yoga poses may be fixed. Other times, the instructor may choose to diverge from the traditional order. Vinyasa yoga sequences can range from the very simple (Cat-Cow) to the complex (Sun Salutation).

Power Yoga

Power yoga, specifically, aims to improve muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance. The poses can be challenging and quick for optimal calorie burning. It's a cardiovascular exercise in and of itself, meaning it can benefit heart and lung health, as well as be a great tool for how to lose weight naturally.

A 2013 study also suggests that connection to the body, facilitated by the practice, may improve awareness of one’s body and prevent overeating, making it easier to create a calorie deficit. It can also reduce aches that may make it more difficult to engage in other rigorous, calorie-burning activities.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Physically demanding and complex, only the most experienced yogis flock to these practices. It combines breath and movement in a series of challenging postures, done in an exact order every time.

Like most Vinyasa practices, it’s high-intensity, fast-paced and accelerates the heart rate to support calorie burn.

Prana Flow Yoga

With an emphasis on a meditative flow state, prana flow yoga incorporates fluid movement and breathwork. Oftentimes, it’s set to music and may also incorporate rhythmic dance.

Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti yoga is more of a spiritual practice than a physical one. Although, it can still support weight loss. In addition to sequences of postures, Jivamukti also involves chanting, spiritual teachings, music and meditation.

Rocket Yoga

This type of yoga is a more accessible Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga practice. Rather than making intense adjustments between each posture, Rocket yoga isolates the flow to specific joint groupings, making it easier to transition.

That said, it still prioritizes muscle strengthening, flexibility and endurance.

Hatha Yoga Weight Loss Benefits

Hatha, meaning force, incorporates postures to improve energy levels and align the body with the mind. This practice extends beyond exercise and also includes breathing exercises, hand gestures and meditation.

This type of yoga may help to:

  • Ease the mind
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve moods
  • Relieve aches
  • Improve balance
  • Increase mindfulness
  • Support quality sleep

It’s another umbrella term that refers to all other types of yoga, such as ashtanga and Iyengar yoga. These types of yoga are typically slower-paced. Although you’re unlikely to experience the same level of calorie burn as Vinyasa varieties, increasing mindfulness and awareness of the body may lead to an increased desire to stay active and eat healthy.

Iyengar Yoga

Rather than high-intensity physical endurance, Iyengar yoga focuses on technique and aligning the body, and it often incorporates the use of props to maintain each pose.

The movements are slow and support flexibility, stamina, and strength, helping to support further physical activity by:

  • Boosting energy levels
  • Decreasing stress
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Easing achiness

It typically begins with a meditation practice, followed by standing postures and, finally, restorative yoga poses.

Ashtanga Yoga

Although it's a form of Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga is dynamic and athletic. The sequences involve six levels of varying complexity and difficulty.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is just as spiritual as it is physical. This practice combines chanting, singing, breathing exercises and poses to awaken the body’s Kundalini energy, found at the base of the spine.

Those who practice Kundalini may experience increased awareness, improved brain function and improved self-perception, which may benefit confidence levels when you hit the gym.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is all about slowing down through passive stretching. While it's unlikely that this type of yoga will help to burn calories, it can help to restore your muscles and prepare you for future calorie-burning workouts.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is small and requires yogis to hold positions for longer periods — up to several minutes — to improve flexibility.

Exercises to Pair With Yoga For Weight Loss

Pairing yoga with other workout routines and exercises can help target the full body and support your weight loss efforts.

Cardiovascular Workouts

Getting outside to run, cycle or swim can help to elevate your heart rate and increase calorie burn. These workouts provide a high-energy, high-intensity element to your workout plan that can balance slower Hatha yoga routines that prioritize flexibility, strength and mindfulness over metabolism-boosting training.

Strength Training

Building lean muscle mass helps to improve your metabolism and support weight loss. Fortunately, strength training exercises, such as those that use resistance bands and/or weights, can help to target specific muscle groups, improve strength and promote fat loss.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Since most yoga practices operate within a flow state, it can be difficult to gain the same benefits you would during a HIIT workout. These types of exercises involve short bursts of intense exercise that elevate the heart rate, followed by longer periods of recovery.

It's believed that these types of workouts can increase calorie burn, even after your workout, helping to support fat loss and achieve your summer body goals, year-round.

Circuit Training

Circuit training involves rotating through a series of strength and cardio exercises in quick succession, typically performed at high intensity. This dynamic workout mimics the flow state of most vinyasa yoga practices, challenging multiple muscle groups while keeping the heart rate elevated, leading to increased calorie burn and improved fitness.

By incorporating circuit training into your routine, you can optimize fat loss, build lean muscle mass and boost metabolism. When combined with yoga, circuit training offers a comprehensive approach to weight loss, addressing both strength and cardiovascular fitness while promoting balance, flexibility and mindfulness.


For those who would prefer to stay within the realm of yoga, there’s Pilates. This practice prioritizes building core strength, toning the muscles and improving flexibility, which can help to advance your yoga practice.

Overall, Pilates can improve your body composition and support weight loss.


Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that can still facilitate calorie burning and support overall wellness. When walking, carry over practices you’ve learned in yoga: Pay attention to your breath and body sensations, take time to move gently and maintain a meditative state.

Barre Workouts

Barre workouts blend elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga to create a challenging yet low-impact exercise routine. These workouts typically involve small, controlled movements performed at a ballet barre or using bodyweight resistance.

These workouts can provide a balanced approach to fitness when combined with yoga and can support weight loss by increasing muscle tone and enhancing metabolic rate.


Staring at the same gym wall while completing your mini-marathon can get old. Instead, connect with nature by exercising outdoors. Hiking provides a dynamic, full-body workout that elevates the heart rate through elevation gain and varied intensity levels.


Swimming, like Hatha yoga, can be gentle on the body, while still promoting fat loss. It’s a full-body workout that literally puts you in a flow state.

Choose INVIGOR8 to Support Your Weight Loss Journey

Practicing yoga can serve as a valuable asset to your weight loss journey, offering a holistic approach to fitness. While more dynamic Vinyasa yoga practices are renowned for their calorie-burning potential, even the gentle nature of Hatha yoga contributes significantly.

Beyond burning calories, yoga nurtures the body and cultivates a mindset conducive to fitness.

INVIGOR8 is on the same page when it comes to weight loss support and overall well-being.

Our All-In-One Organic Superfoods Powder nourishes the body from the inside, out. It contains 20 grams of protein to support muscle gain, and it’s packed with essential nutrients to support cognitive, immune and digestive health — talk about alignment.

The INVIGOR8 Burner Appetite Control Support is another asset that will mindfully support your weight loss journey, working to reduce cravings and improve your metabolism.

What are you waiting for? Enter a flow state with INVIGOR8.


  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. 9 Benefits of Yoga
  2. Forbes. Does Yoga Help You Lose Weight?
  3. Mind Body Green. 11 Types Of Yoga: A Breakdown Of The Major Styles
  4. VeryWellFit. Introduction to Vinyasa Yoga
  5. VeryWellFit. What to Expect From a Hatha Yoga Class
  6. Healthline. How Does Power Yoga Differ from Traditional Yoga?
  7. MindBodyGreen. Iyengar Yoga 101: What Is It, Health Benefits & How To Practice
  8. Healthline. What Is Kundalini Yoga and What Are the Benefits?
  9. Very Well Fit. What Is Restorative Yoga?
  10. Healthline. Why This Yoga Instructor Believes Yoga Is Not Enough

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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