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Can Yoga be Used for Weight Loss?

It is quite common to come across a number of yoga centers where people are found panting and fuming performing different types of yoga. If you have a closer look at what exactly is going on in these yoga centers, you will come to know that they are being taught ways and means by which yoga can be used to reduce weight.

Can Yoga be Used for Weight Loss?

These yoga exercises are referred to as Bikram and usually the classes are held twice each day. You can find a number of visitors to these yoga classes who have a lot of good things to say about these classes as far as their objective of reducing weight are concerned.

Bikram YogaWhat is Bikram Yoga?

Before we start jumping the gun and get into Bikram Yoga, it is important for us to understand what this yoga is all about. It basically consists of some 27 yoga postures. Additionally there are two breathing exercise and the whole time taken for these exercises is around 90 minutes.

The fact that all these exercises are performed in a room that is heated to around 105 degrees and with a humidity of 40% is all the more reason for participants to be fuming and sweating as they do these exercises.

This yoga has been the brainchild of Yograj Bikram Choudhury who was born in Calcutta in 1946. It would be pertinent to point out that Bikram Choudhury was the disciple of the famous Bishnu Ghosh who was also a renowned physical culturist.

Bishnu Ghosh was also the brother of Pramahansa Yogananda who has written some valuable books on yoga and self-realization.

The fact that many celebrities like Madonna, Richard Nixon, Andie MacDowell have all been a part of Bikram Yoga is the reason for it being so popular and so much sought after.

It would be pertinent to point out that Nixon was very happy with this form of yoga which helped him to get rid of phlebitis. Each and every postures that goes into making of the Bikram Yoga is copyrighted and it is common to come across a number of Bikram yoga studios in many parts of the country.

There is no doubt that Bikram yoga apart from being very popular is also a roaring business making Choudhury a very wealthy man to say the least.

Can Bikram Yoga Help With Weight Loss?

Now let us try and answer the question whether Bikram yoga can help in reducing weight. Of the many reasons which make people flock to Bikram yoga is the fact that the heat generated during such yoga exercises helps cure many ailments.

There are quite a few scientific research papers which support the fact that some type of yoga exercises and postures can help in reducing pain that is chronic in nature. Heat is also known to increase supply of oxygen to the red blood cells of the muscles. However what is of doubt is the reason for packing so many people in such a small, hot and smelly room. Is this the reason for the so-called weight loss? Let us read on and find out.

Many supporters of Bikram Yoga do claim that they have lost significant amount of weight because of the heat generated which releases and melts the fat cells. It also helps increasing the metabolism rates by firing up the endocrine glands.

Though people do not experience dramatic weight loss by this method, many of them do agree to the fact that they have also significant amount of weight through this method. The absence of dramatic weight loss could be because though you are losing fat cells, it is getting compensated building of health muscle mass, which indeed is good news.

Further according to Bikram Choudhury in his website, these exercises and postures help in also reducing pain apart from weight loss. However, it is important for you to take at least 10 classes a month to see the right kind of effect. For a beginner it takes around 3 to 4 classes to understand and get accustomed to these exercises and postures. Only after 10 classes will the body start feeling the effects of these exercises.

Many yogis claim that through such exercises and postures, your body will have better respiratory and digestive functions, and your lymphatic, endocrine and elimination functions will also improve quite substantially. Your appetite will become normal and your cravings for unhealthy junk food will get reduced.

Yoga Exercise Help in Long Term Weight Loss?

So at the end of the day the moot question is does this exercise help in long term weight loss. According to many, the answer is no. This is because in controlled environments where there is heat and stress on the body, you may see yourselves losing a few pounds immediately after the workout which may not be possible even in strenuous exercises like swimming and other aerobic exercises.

However, once you come home and start having your normal food you are sure to add those pounds that you have lost. So, many ex-proponents of Bikram Yoga have disappointing stories to tell and they feel it is not a true weight loss program but more of a gimmick that at best provides temporary weight loss.


At the end it would not be wrong to mention that Bikram Yoga by itself cannot be the panacea for all over weight and obesity problems. The time tested methods of controlled exercises along with changes to diet and lifestyle even today continues to be the best way to reduce weight.

These exercises and postures prescribed by Bikram Choudhury could be dubbed as knee jerk reactions and a gimmick which offers very temporary weight reduction to say the least. However, there is no doubt that Bikram yoga in conjunction with normal weight loss programs can work really well. Expecting amazing weight reduction on a long term or permanent basis through Bikram Yoga is perhaps expecting too much out of this.

So, it would be better for you as a customer to exercise care and caution and go in for these exercises as a supplementary tool instead of totally depending on it.

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