Is Power Yoga Effective for Weight Loss?
Yoga helps with weight control in several ways. Despite not being a major calorie burner, yoga makes you more mindful and aware of the dietary choices you make. But there’s a type of yoga called power yoga that is more strenuous than a yoga routine that only focuses on flexibility and stress relief. One benefit of power yoga is it may help with weight loss too.
Power Yoga for Weight Loss
Power yoga, also known as vinyasa yoga, is a mind/body combination workout that focuses on flexibility, strength, and endurance. When you do power yoga, you hold poses for a shorter time, and the movements are more dynamic and strength-oriented.
Since you’re holding poses for a short period of time and moving faster from one exercise to another, power yoga boosts your heart rate more and burns more calories than yoga sessions where you hold poses for a long time.
While a power yoga workout is more about building strength and boosting your heart rate, it’s still a stress reliever, and you’ll burn more calories and build strength. Plus, you get the added benefit of burning more calories and gaining strength and muscle endurance.
Is yoga, particularly power yoga, an effective strategy for weight loss? According to a study, it is. However, other forms of yoga are just as effective. The study compared hatha yoga with a more intense, fast-paced vinyasa yoga routine. The subjects were divided into two groups. One did hatha yoga 20 minutes per day, gradually increasing to 60 minutes daily, five days per week while the other did vinyasa or power yoga.
The results? Both groups lost weight and there were no significant differences in weight loss between the two groups. The practice of yoga of both types seems to help with weight loss. The participants enjoyed another perk, their cardiorespiratory fitness improved too. Plus, the calorie count is nothing to sneeze at. You can burn about 300 calories during an hour of power yoga.
How Might Power Yoga Help with Weight Loss?
Beyond burning calories, practicing yoga boosts mindfulness and helps people make smarter food choices. When you practice any form of yoga, it’s hard not to be more aware of what you’re eating and the internal sensations that cause you to feel hungry and full. Although power yoga burns more calories than a slower-paced yoga workout, you still tap into that mindfulness connection.
The Stress-Relieving Benefits of Yoga Helps with Weight Loss Too
Plus, yoga is a workout that also relieves stress. Although that’s not the primary goal of power yoga, that’s a characteristic of all forms of yoga. By relieving stress and teaching your body to relax and be more mindful, it reigns in the stress hormone cortisol, the enemy when you’re trying to control belly fat and body weight.
Cortisol, when it’s too high, causes fat to gather around your waistline and tummy. Managing stress helps keep your waistline and tummy leaner and that includes getting enough sleep. But controlling belly fat takes a focus on the totality of your lifestyle – diet, physical activity, sleep patterns, and stress management. It all matters!
The movements you do with power yoga also strengthen your deeper core muscles. That won’t melt away belly fat, as many people think, it will strengthen the deep abdominal muscles called the transverse abdominus, which pulls your mid-section in like a girdle. Many people focus on abdominal crunches for weight loss, but this exercise doesn’t target the deeper transverse abdominus, like the core movements you do during a power yoga session.
The Bottom Line
Practicing power yoga helps you lose weight, keep your body fit, and stay stress-free but other forms of yoga do that too. But you’ll improve muscle strength and power more and boost your heart rate if you engage in power yoga. It’s an effective total body workout that has multiple health and fitness benefits.
Plus, through the practice of yoga, you will be able to nourish and care for your body instead of criticizing it and also able to become more comfortable in your own skin. For the greatest benefits, combine yoga with other forms of exercise too, such as brisk walking and strength training, and focus on good nutrition and mindful eating.