Ask a Yogi: Which Style of Yoga is Best for Weight Loss?

When it comes to getting a great workout, there are many styles to choose from. You can head to a gym, try out a new kind of yoga, or take a stroll at the park. What you choose to do on your yoga journey is completely up to you.

We know you want to get super-fit and lose weight, so we asked a certified Yoga Teacher about the best way to accomplish that goal.

There are many types of yoga and each is designed to help you achieve a specific goal. Here at Yogishopee, we believe in the holistic nature of yoga and its purpose to increase awareness of our own mind and body. So, which type of yoga is best for weight loss?. Read more about which type of yoga is best for beginners and let us know what you think. Here’s the good news for yogis: Whether you do yoga to relax or to get a physical workout, you will strengthen your relationship with your body. The most important element of sustainable weight loss is to learn to appreciate your body and listen to its signals.

By becoming aware of what helps your body and what harms it, you become more choosy about how you consume and burn calories. So ANY style of yoga (practiced with mindfulness) will help you achieve this goal.

However, there are several styles of yoga that can reduce weight in less time, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hot Yoga. Each of these styles is designed to increase heart rate and circulation, stimulate sweating and lymphatic movement, and promote deep conscious breathing. The combination of these elements is essential for any weight loss program.

Ashtanga Yoga

What to expect: At the beginning of Ashtanga Yoga class you will be introduced to a series of basic postures. The postures (and sequence of postures) in this primary series do not change from class to class, so your body develops muscle memory and you notice changes in your abilities from day to day.

Once you have mastered the first set, other postures and sequence variations are taught.  If your studio offers a Mysore style class, you will be in a classroom with practitioners of all levels performing their own sequences while the teacher observes and instructs. It’s important not to get distracted by your carpet.

This style of yoga can be compared to a personal obstacle course that is overcome through consistent and diligent practice.

Key Benefits: Creates warmth and detoxifies the body through coordinated breathing and movement, increases flexibility and circulation through repetition, and cultivates dedication/discipline for a daily practice that promotes body awareness.

Vinyasa Yoga

What to expect: During the exercise, you move continuously from one posture to another, coordinating your movements with your breathing. This style of yoga, often called flow yoga, has its origins in the classical Ashtanga practice. The sequence (order of poses) is more varied than in Ashtanga classes, and you practice the same order as the teacher (if you practice online) and/or the other students in the room.

Depending on the pace of the class or the instructor, you can move as fast as you like, from one breath to the next. It is a way of training that is similar to a marathon.

Key Benefits: Improve warmth and focus through fast, continuous movements, increase flexibility and circulation through repetition, and promote deep detoxification on all levels – physical, mental and emotional.

Hot Yoga

What to expect: A room as hot as hell. Unlike vinyasa yoga, which can be practiced online, this experience requires you to go to a yoga studio. Most hot yoga classes are derived from Bikram yoga, a style in which a series of 26 postures are performed in a room heated to 95-108°F with high humidity.

In hot yoga you can vary the postures, the order of the postures and the heat level of the room. There will be times when you will hold the pose, and you will be asked to stay in the room without leaving the room or drinking water.

Key Benefits: Body heat and agility increase, even without exercise, by exercising in a warm environment. Therefore, a higher level of openness, transpiration and detoxification is achieved earlier in this exercise. It is especially important to be aware of your limits to stay in the water and not exceed your body’s natural range of motion.

Tips to maximize your experience

Eat at least 2 to 3 hours before class starts. Attending classes with a full stomach can cause nausea. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water before and after your workout, but avoid drinking water while you’re working out.

Find a studio where you feel comfortable. Strive for a non-competitive environment where the teacher and students allow you to reach your full potential and relax when needed. Finally, find a teacher who has time to talk to you before or after class if you have questions about your body or your practice. If you’re a little bit of a yogi, chances are you’ve heard both sides of the debate about the most effective way to lose weight with yoga. On one hand, we’ve got the Hatha and Ashtanga order, which are commonly associated with being best for losing weight. On the other, we have restorative or flow, which are often the mainstay of more mainstream studios. For the average person, which style is best?