This is a very common question that most people have before taking up yoga practice. This question cannot be answered in one word. Ashtanga yoga or eight-limbed yoga is a way to improve mental and physical health through postures or asanas and breathing technique. Traditionally, most people lose weight through burning calories from an intense workout. During the practice of Ashtanga yoga, you will have to work through a series of different poses in a continuous manner. So, it does not burn as many calories as running or aerobics. But, Ashtanga yoga can actually help you lose weight in a number of ways.
Firstly, an Ashtanga class goes on continuously for one to one and a half hours. During this entire time, you will have to practice difficult asanas that will strengthen your muscles. This will gradually change your shape and improve your muscle tone which will make you look slimmer. Therefore, even though you’re not burning a lot of calories, your body will change itself to make it look like you’ve lost weight.
Secondly, yoga also helps to train your mind and improve its focus and stability. It gives you greater self-control and creates a better link between your mind and body. This helps you to watch what you eat. Pair up your yoga practice with a healthy diet that will lower your daily consumption of fat and calories. Yoga is very helpful in improving mindfulness which changes the way a person relates to his or her body. So, you will automatically make better choices of food and only look for the kinds of food that is more nutritious and healthy.
Thirdly, a lot of people eat more than they should as a way of combatting stress and anxiety. This is a very unhealthy practice that can lead to obesity. Yoga takes care of your mental health as well as physical health. It reduces levels of stress and makes you feel more in tune with your surroundings. This can influence what you consume and change your habits.
Therefore, yoga can actually help you to lose weight if you want. But it is important to remember that Ashtanga yoga is not an easy practice and it involves rigorous training and difficult asanas. So, if you are extremely overweight and need to get in shape then you should probably start with a yoga practice that is less intense, like hatha yoga. Like any other exercise, check in with your physician before taking up the practice of yoga and inform your yoga instructor of any health concerns that you might have.
Here is an easy Ashtanga yoga routine that helps in weight loss. Repeat each for ten times.