Online yoga programs? To lose weight? Are you being serious? Surely weight loss is all about restrictive diets and cardio, calories in verses calories out? Where does yoga fit into the picture?
I’m not surprised you’re confused. Starve yourself and clock up endless miles if you want to lose weight. That’s the mantra and it works if you’re somewhere with no access to food and you’re forced to be hungry all the time.
It’s always worked for me on long trekking trips but it doesn’t mean the weight will stay off. Your body switches to starvation mode and learns how to survive on smaller and smaller portions.
Yoga Is A Non-Diet Way To Lose Weight
As soon as the dieting stops the weight rebounds and you’re back where you started (or even heavier). Don’t take my word for it, Evelyn Tribole writes for the National Eating Disorders Association suggesting “dieting-induced weight-gain” may be a contributing factor to the obesity epidemic.
Dieting doesn’t work which is why I recommend healthy eating instead. Yet exercise is an important part of the weight loss equation. Humans are designed to move! There’s an established theory that Humans are born to run and can outrun any other animal on the planet! That’s how we used to catch our prey.
The difficulty is long runs leave you feeling really hungry. They mess with your blood sugar levels and can make it difficult to lose weight.
Shorter intense exercise sessions that build muscle can be a much better approach to lose weight. These sessions won’t mess with your blood sugar and can even boost your metabolism. HIIT sessions, interval training, circuits or the right form of yoga can be your weight loss solution.
What’s The Right Form Of Yoga For Weight Loss?
Gentle stretching and relaxing poses won’t help you lose weight. At least not much. They might help reduce stress levels, (and this can help with weight loss), but you really need to work hard to lose weight.
Yoga is good for building muscles and burning fat if you’re doing the right poses. If you want to use yoga to lose weight you need moderate or intense poses.
The recommendations for weight loss are 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week to maintain your weight. More if you want to lose weight. Online yoga programs can really help. Easily accessible – you can workout from home.
What counts as vigorous exercise? It means you cannot say more than a few words without pausing for breathe.
You need to choose one of the more intense flowing styles of yoga such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga if you want to lose weight.
Best Online Yoga Programs To Lose Weight
This list pulls together some of the best yoga classes for weight loss you can take online. Some are free and others charge a small monthly subscription. (I find the subscription services are easier to use regularly and the small fee helps me commit to practicing).
Yoga videos are a great idea when you don’t have time to visit a yoga studio or you want to practice yoga everyday.
This is the online yoga program I’m using right now so I’m putting it top of the list. It’s a top choice if you want to make sure you’re getting the poses right, essential for getting the most out of your yoga practice.
I’ve nearly completed their Heart Opening 14-Day Challenge and the intermediate workouts are intense – just what I needed.
I love My YogaWorks‘ consistency. It doesn’t matter which teacher is taking the class, they all work to the same approach and standard.
The My YogaWorks online yoga program costs $15/month but you can try it out for FREE. Their 14-Day free trail gives you access to all classes. (YogaWorks train yoga teachers so expect the best). There’s a big choice of Vinyasa and Power Yoga – just right for weight loss.
This is a taster of their intermediate level Full Body Flow with Danni Pomplum:
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If you want an online yoga service with a huge choice of styles, Yoga Download is a good choice. Yoga Download has 1500+ quality classes to choose from and covers just about every yoga style you can think of. Remember to keep to Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga if you’re aiming for weight loss.
A big plus of Yoga Download is being able to download videos – really useful if you’re travelling away from a reliable WiFi connection. The standard monthly subscription costs $12/month for unlimited screening with two free class downloads each month, increasing to $18/month for unlimited downloads.
Adriene is the yoga darling of YouTube. With her wonderful warm and open manner, she’s amassed a huge following of over 5 Million subscribers.
There are so many different yoga classes to choose from with Adriene uploading a new video to YouTube most weeks.
There are different playlists to follow such as yoga for your core and power yoga. You can also select yoga practices by length. (It is harder sorting videos on a YouTube channel compared with a subscription yoga program but Adriene has tried to make your life easier).
Your starting point on Yoga With Adriene will depend on your level but her Yoga For Weight Loss series is a good place when you want to get in shape.
This is where I started with online yoga programs. Gaia started out as Gaiam TV and they still have a weird and wonderful selection of documentaries and films on the channel.
Their yoga section is huge and there are some big names on the channel. Ashley Turner with her short weight loss series is one of my favorites.
The only downside is the complete randomness of the channel. You never know what you’re going to find next and it can take a while to build up a favorite playlist. Gaia is good value for a subscription service at $9.95 per month.
If you want to find out how Ashtanga Yoga can help you, the YouTube channel Purple Valley Ashtanga Yoga is a good place to start. Every year some of the big name instructors in Ashtanga Yoga gather in Goa creating a unique series of yoga videos.
If you’re new to Ashtanga Yogo start with this gentle beginners routine:
When it comes to online yoga programs, Candace is another yoga queen with a big following. She adds to her extensive yoga collection weekly. I like the way the videos are straight into the yoga with no lengthy introductions.
This power yoga class is a terrific workout. It’s not suitable for complete beginners but most yogis will be able to adjust the workout to suit their ability.
If you think you’re too big to try yoga think again. Amber Karns is ready to convince you otherwise. Body Positive Yoga follows my mantra here at Love Life Be Fit – stop putting off living until you’ve lost weight, got your perfect job… get out and have some fun right now!
Cole’s unique look may put you off a little if you’re not into the zen side of yoga, but her instruction is detailed and down to earth. This flow from an ancient Balinese Temple will give you a good workout.
Tim is the person to turn to if you’re up for a challenge. His workouts will really build up your strength! If you’re ready to make a big change to your body start off with his 30 day challenge!
The list of videos on Briohny’s yoga channel is quite short but Briohny provides some good tips for more advanced poses. I love this excellent 15 minute pick-me-up!
Sarah Beth has a huge following on YouTube and an equally huge list of yoga videos. There really is something for everyone on her channel.
Her playlists include a 30 Day Yoga Challenge, Full Body Yoga and Yoga For Weight Loss . This is one of the most popular videos in the series:
So there you have it! A pick of the best online yoga programs if you want to lose weight. My YogaWorks is my favorite go to channel when I’m practicing yoga at home.