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Different types of yoga burn different amounts of calories. If you are looking towards yoga for weight loss, choose a power yoga or Ashtanga yoga class that is a more demanding workout than an Iyengar class, which moves at a slower pace. Remember that although you'll be sweating, yoga doesn't get your heart rate going as much as running, aerobics, elliptical trainers, or other cardiovascular workouts. But if you cut your calories and add yoga classes several times a week, yoga can contribute towards a sensible weight loss program.
A caveat: Some people think that “hot yoga” classes in which the room temperature is purposely kept high, will promote weight loss, but if you weigh yourself after class and you are suddenly 2 pounds lighter, remember that it is mostly water weight. For sensible weight loss, watch your calories and exercise regularly including yoga.
But the field of weight loss is complex, and muscle weighs more than fat. You may find that regular yoga leaves you with a leaner, slimmer silhouette, even if the numbers on the scale remain the same.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|