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Yoga for Weight Loss


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How Yoga Transforms Your Body

Yoga’s Effects Promoting Weight Loss in the Body

It’s no news that yoga has an extensive amount of health benefits. From lowering blood pressure to relieving anxiety and stress, yoga has an advantage for everyone. Yoga, in combination with good eating habits and proper internal balance, can provide weight loss effects. Here are a few areas of the body that yoga targets to promote weight loss:


The liver is an important detoxifying agent, processing fats. The liver uses good fats for your benefit and rids the body of bad fats. It makes coenzyme Q10, which is essential for basic cell function used in powering your muscles.


The thyroid is essential for metabolism in the body, with its hormones helping cells with breaking down lipids and carbohydrates. When our thyroid is active, our metabolism is higher and prevents weight gain.


When food matter doesn’t move through the colon efficiently, bloating occurs. In some cases, severe bloating can poison the blood leading to disease if left untreated. Therefore, cleansing the colon is essential to flush the waste.


Body fat can be stored and used as protection against acidic pH within the body. Not only does this add to weight gain, but visceral fat (fat inside organs and blood vessels) may accumulate in this attempt to protect the body, leading to atherosclerosis.

Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system

When the body and mind are under too much stress, neurotransmitter levels may be altered, causing symptoms such as depression and fatigue. Stress also increases the release of cortisol. When cortisol is continuously elevated, it can contribute to the aging process, suppress the immune system, promote insulin resistance, and cause weight gain.

Body temperature

By generating internal body heat through yoga poses, visceral and superficial fat are burned up and purified.


Activating muscles consume fat stores to use as fuel during physical activity. If muscles are built up enough, they may melt away this fat even when the body is resting.

Heart rate

Contrary to popular belief that sustained increased heart rate is the best way to lose weight, research has found that fluctuations between fast and slow heart rates during exercise is the most effective way to rid of excess weight. Many yoga sequences are perfect for this type of heart rate manipulation.


Did you know? Connections between Yoga and the Body

Yoga & Bone Density

A 2009 pilot study found that practicing yoga could increase bone density among older adults.

Yoga & Focus and Memory

Hatha yoga – an ancient form which emphasizes physical postures – can improve cognitive function, boosting focus and memory.

Yoga & Flexibility

Bikram yoga – a form of yoga performed in a heated room – has been found to be effective in increasing shoulder back and hamstring flexibility.

Yoga & Sexual Function

Regular yoga practice could improve multiple sexual functions among women, including arousal, desire, orgasm, and general satisfaction.

Yoga & Low Mood and Anxiousness

Some yoga programs have been found to reduce anxiousness and heighten brain chemicals that combat low mood and worry.

Yoga & Discomfort

Some yoga could be more effective in reducing physical discomfort and improving mood than standard medical interventions.


Kick start your journey to weight loss and a more balanced you by implementing yoga into your lifestyle.



Felicetti, M. J. (2012). 8 Ways Yoga Can Promote Weight Loss. Retrieved February 24, 2016, from

Gregoire C. How Yoga Changes Your Body, Starting The Day You Begin (INFOGRAPHIC). Huffington Post 2013. Available at: Accessed February 24, 2016.


Clinical Contributor

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Ramona Richard, MS, NC

Ramona Richard, MS, NC

Ramona Richard graduated with honors from the University of California with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology and graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s Degree in Health and Nutrition Education. She also holds a Standard Designated Teaching Credential from the State of California, is a California state-certified Nutrition Consultant and a member of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

Ramona has participated in nutrition education in both public and private venues, including high school and college presentations, radio and public speaking for the past 20 years. She is the owner of Radiance, a nutrition consulting company, the Director of Education for Sanesco International, and a medical technical writer.

Disclaimer: The information provided is only intended to be general educational information to the public. It does not constitute medical advice. If you have specific questions about any medical matter or if you are suffering from any medical condition, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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