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Everything You Need to Know About Yoga for Weight Loss

Christian Pinedo


If you want to know if you can really lose weight with yoga, then you’re going to want to read this article.


  1. Yoga, on it’s own, will not allow you to lose weight. You need to combine it with some sort of other physical activity (lifting, cardio, etc.) to see the best results, and of course, have your diet in check. See the end of this article for more tips on this.
  2. Yoga has many benefits that make it a “no-brainer” to practice it regularly.
  3. Certain poses can help tone and build strength in areas of the body. Keep reading to learn which poses are the best for promoting weight.
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I started implementing yoga into my weekly workout routine at the beginning of 2018. 

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My workout routine has involved a lot of heavy lifting and HIIT cardio.

Safe to say my back was not having it.

I’ve had back problems ever since High School.

Us lineman got banged up a lot during football games and practice and using ice was and has been my “go-to” procedure for relief. 

However, during the beginning of 2018, I heard a lot about yoga and how it’s great for back pain for and so thus began my journey to using yoga for pain relief, until, I began to see more benefits than I could’ve asked for.

It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made regarding my overall health and well-being.

Yoga has: 

You’re probably wondering how yoga can help with weight loss? 

Well, one significant benefit that I didn’t list above is reducing my cravings.

I’d say that yoga has helped me in more ways psychologically than physically in the weight loss space, which is equally as important in my opinion.

How Much Does Yoga With Weight Loss?

​​The short answer is: not a lot.

The longer answer is that it can help some because it is a physical activity that helps you burn calories.

At the end of the day, weight loss is all about calories.

People do not realize that the only way of losing weight is through a caloric deficit.

You can find your own caloric deficit numbers with this video:

Furthermore, yoga can soothe both your body and mind which, in turn, can help boost your morale and your metabolism.

However, if you want to use yoga to lose weight, you will need to combine it with other efforts to get the best results.

Using yoga alone will not work. 

But it can help.

When combined with a diet change and a healthy exercise routine, into which you incorporate specific yoga poses to lose weight (more on this below), yoga can help you have great success.

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The Best Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

Though yoga is not the single solution, it is helpful to know where to begin when you start incorporating yoga poses into your weight loss regimen.

Here are some good poses to start off with in your yoga – weight loss journey.

1. Cow & Cat Pose

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Cow Pose

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Cat Pose

This tiny sequence of the cow and cat pose is a great way to warm-up the spine and the body.

  • Lay flat on the floor with your legs together.
  • Put your hands on the ground close to your shoulders, and push yourself upward at the waist, keeping your legs and feet pressed into the ground.
  • For the Cow Pose, bend your back and your neck into a curve as much as you can without overextending.
  • For the Cat Pose, round your back, and look towards your navel.

Warrior 1, 2, 3

These, technically, are three separate yoga poses, though they are typically performed as a flowing unit, or “vinyasa” as they seamlessly flow together.

2. Warrior 1

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  • The Warrior 1 pose begins as almost a lunge, but the positioning of the knees, feet, and arms are what make this pose what it is.
  • Rather than tucking the back foot under while in the lunge position, your foot should be sideways at an outward angle to your front foot, which should be facing the direction that your body is turned.
  • For instance, if you are lunging with your left foot, your body should be turned to the left, and your left foot should be facing that direction, with the back foot (right) at a 90-degree angle.
  •  You should also have your arms above your head and palms touching.

3. Warrior 2

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  • Warrior 2 involves mostly a shift in your arms, as you will bring them down to stretch out to either side, parallel to the floor.
  • Do not overextend your arms but stretch them out as straight as they can and parallel to the floor.
  • You will also need to turn your hips and chest to face the same outward angle as your back foot.

4. Warrior 3

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Warrior 3 is the most difficult of this series, as it involves quite a bit of balance – but it is a great weight loss yoga pose. 

  • With the Warrior 3 pose, you must twist your face and chest once more to face the same direction as your front or lunging foot.
  • From there, keeping your arms parallel to the floor still, bring them out in front of you as you face the floor, keeping your arms straight; this will help with balance. 
  • The final step is to then raise your back foot and leg from the ground and stretch it back behind you, parallel to the floor. 
  • Many beginners will need to bring the leg closer to the body first to find the center of balance before stretching it out. Do point your toes once you find balance.
  • This sequence of poses is great for core strength (particularly Warrior 3), as well as strengthening your legs, ankles, and back.

5. Shoulder Stand

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If you’re more advanced, you can have your arms out like pictured above. If not, use your hands to support your back.

Beginners may feel intimidated by this yoga pose for weight loss.

However, there are steps you can take as a beginner to ease you into the proper pose, and for all the benefits of this pose, it is so worth learning!

The Shoulder stand can help with digestion, boosts metabolism, and strengthens your legs and abdomen, all which aid in weight loss.

  • To begin, lay flat on your back with your feet raised off the ground and your knees slightly bent.
  • From there, press your hands flat onto the ground and roll your lower body up until you are resting on your upper back.
  • Once you are high enough, bring your hands to your lower back or hips to support yourself.
  • Then, simply slowly raise your legs into the air until they are straight up and hold the pose.

6. Hover Plank

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The hover plank is a seemingly basic pose that requires quite a bit of core strength and can easily help build up muscle and tone the arms.

  • To properly perform a hover plank, lay flat on your stomach as though you are about to perform push-ups. Once you are ready, push yourself up to where you are barely off the ground.
  • Your entire body should be parallel to your triceps in this position. Hold the pose for as long as possible.

Quick Tip

This pose is great after an arm workout. For example, if you did a workout with weights that involved a lot of triceps, try finishing off the workout with 3 rounds of this pose and hold it for as long as possible.

7. Twisted Chair

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This pose is like a squat combined with a yoga pose for weight loss. It provides a great workout for your abs and thighs.

  • Essentially, you will lower yourself into a near squat, with your thighs as perpendicular to the floor as you can manage, with your knees slightly protruding over your toes.
  • Bring your hands into a prayer position in front of your chest.
  • From there, choose a direction to turn to – for instance, to the right.
  • When turning, bring your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. This is where the Twisted Chair Pose gets its name.

8. Extended Plank Hold

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The Extended Plank is the plank position, but much more advanced. This will really test your core strength and sure work up a sweat.

  • This time, instead of having your hands directly under your shoulders, like in a traditional plank, your hands will be further in front of you.
  • How far? Well, that depends on how far you can go.
  • Walk out your hands a little further each time and try to hold the plank for as long as possible.

I’ve gone out as far as where my bicep is in line with my head (meaning my hands are far out in front of me).

9. Bird Dog Plank Hold 

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Unsurprisingly, planks of all kinds are a great method of promoting weight loss through yoga.

The Bird Dog Plank is no exception.

  • Perform a regular plank, but this time, raise one leg from the ground and continue to maintain your balance.
  • Then, raise the opposite arm (left leg, right arm and vice versa).
  • This plank variation is one of the toughest out there and will challenge your balance and core strength.

10. Triangle Pose

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This pose might sound too basic to provide any help with weight loss, but, with routine performances, this is a great pose for weight loss.

  • Stand with your feet apart a little past shoulder-width.
  • Choose a side to lean towards.
  • If you are leaning left, put your arms out straight, parallel to the floor, and slowly tilt left, keeping your hips and chest facing forward.
  • Touch your left hand to your left foot (or vice versa for the other side), and stretch your other arm out straight above you, turning your head to look up.

11. Lord of the Dance

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  • Stand in an upright position, shoulder-width apart.
  • Bring one arm straight out in front of you, parallel to the ground and keep it there.
  • Then bend your opposite knee and bring your foot behind you and hold it with your free hand.
  • Slowly start to “tilt” your weight forward until you’re facing the ground by pulling on the foot.
  • Try and keep the balancing leg straight as you do this and use the arm that is out in front of you to balance.

12. Bow Pose

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This is another pose that involves a lot of stretching, but it boosts the metabolism and digestion by massaging and stretching the abdominal muscles.

  • Start by lying flat on your stomach. When ready, grab your ankles with each hand and bend at the waist to create a “bow” shape with your body.
  • Pull your legs and torso up as much as you can and hold the position for the best stretch.

Quick Tip

I could not reach my ankles when I first began, so I used a yoga strap (this one) to replicate the bow pose so my body could get used to it.

After a couple of weeks, I was able to do perform the pose without the strap.

It’s worth a shot if you’re not that flexible to begin with like I was.

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My unflexible brother using the strap to perform the bow pose.

13. Reverse Plank

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The Reverse Plank, like the Hover Plank, is great for core strength, boosting metabolism, and building stamina.

It also works great for your arms and back muscles.

  • This time lay flat on your back with your legs extended out.
  • Place your palms on the floor slightly behind and outside of your hips.
  • When ready, keep your body straight and raise your chest and torso towards the ceiling, keeping your heels on the ground and feet in a normal position.
  • Hold this pose for whatever time seems appropriate, but at least ten seconds.

How to do This Yoga Routine for Weight Loss

Now that you know the poses, how do you do them and for how long to create the best yoga for weight loss routine?

That really depends on your skill level, but it is recommended to do at least 2 rounds of each pose (2 for each side, for poses with varying positions) and try to maintain every position for AT LEAST ten seconds for beginners, or 30 if you have some yoga experience.

Once you have found the right time and pace for yourself, you can add in more rounds and time gradually to keep your body challenged.

How to Lose Weight With Yoga 

As I said at the beginning of this article, Yoga, on its own, will not allow you to lose weight.

You need to combine it with some physical activity like lifting to see the best results, and of course, have your diet in check.

This is extremely important for you to understand.

For example, your abs won’t even begin to show until you get to about 20% body fat (about 10% for men).

I don’t say that to discourage you, but it’s the truth.

That’s where Yoga Burn comes in to help (almost).

Why Yoga Burn is ALMOST the Complete Solution

What is Yoga Burn?

Yoga Burn is a fat loss yoga system specifically aimed at women who want to use yoga to lose weight. It’s taught by Zoe Bray-Cotton, who is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor.

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Zoe’s program comes in three, 4-week long phases (making it a 12-Week Fat Loss Program) that you can do at anywhere.

Each phase consists of three, 45 minute yoga workouts.

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It’s a video course and each workout can be seen online or at home (it comes with a free copy of the DVD with all the workouts).

I believe that Yoga Burn is one of the best yoga workout programs on the market today, however, on its own, it is not enough to get you the results you want.

It only shows you the yoga workout routines, which are excellent, but I do believe you need an extra push to ramp up your fat loss results.

That’s why I recommend some sort of strength training along with following the workouts in Yoga Burn.

So, use the workouts found in the Yoga Burn program as your cardio and follow this strength training routine and you’ll see amazing results.

Combining my strength training with the Yoga Burn fat loss workouts is the perfect 1-2 punch for losing fat fast.

Yoga Burn is currently $37.

It is one of the best yoga programs for weight loss out there and can help you improve your skills and find even more poses to help you on your journey to getting healthier and happier.

That’s going to be it for this article you guys. 

What are your favorite poses for your abs? 

Leave a comment below and let me know!

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Christian Pinedo

Hey there, Christian here. I'm a former fat guy who just wants to help you succeed in your fitness journey. I share my own experiences and experiments right here on this site. Let me know how I can be of help by leaving a comment below. If you want to learn more about my 50 lb weight loss journey, click here.