Yoga for Exercise – The Best of Both Worlds

Yoga is the best low impact exercise for getting fit.

Yoga is very popular for relaxation, but it’s also a great way of getting in shape. Yoga for exercise? I was skeptical about it, my first impression was that I’d sit cross-legged in a classroom and would chant Om while incense burned in the background, filling the room with exotic fumes.

I stand corrected! Yoga is the best low impact exercise for getting fit. Don’t let the “low impact” fool you: it’s a comprehensive workout that will improve your balance, core strength and will help you bring up that heartbeat to burn some extra calories and some of that belly fat.

But it looks so tame, you say. It does, and that’s my favorite part of yoga. I have bad knees, always had and always will. So high impact aerobic exercises hurt more than help. In the current jogging-is-cool trend, I felt totally left out. Then I found yoga, and it put a spring in my step.

Yoga for weight loss

A walking session on the treadmill will burn up to 10 calories per minute, and a running session will bump that number up to 19 calories per minute. A beginner yoga session will burn up to 4 calories per minute. That might not sound like a lot, but bear in mind that not everything about weight has to do with calories. Yoga is a low impact exercise, so you’re less prone to injure yourself and you’ll have to skip your workout less often. It’s also relaxing, and as we mentioned before, stress makes you put on belly fat link to article here.

Weight loss vs. Fitness

Some people tend to mix it up –I do, to begin with! – but weight loss and fitness aren’t the same thing. Will yoga help you shed as many pounds as jogging every day does? Probably not. Will it make you as fit? You bet.

Yoga, thanks to its well-paced poses and breathing techniques, keeps your heart rate comfortably high. A 45-minute yoga session will increase your heart rate 30 beats compared to resting heart rate. This improves your cardio respiratory fitness, even if it doesn’t mean that you’re burning tons of calories.

The cardiovascular benefits are amazing. It’s much better than focalized exercise, like weight lifting, because with yoga poses your whole body gets a workout, and honestly, it does take a considerable effort to hold some poses. Have you been through the whole sun salutation without breaking a sweat?

What type of yoga is for me?

Any kind of yoga is good for you, but not all types of yoga may be your type. You might want to detox –in which case, Hot yoga might be your best choice-, or you may want to have a workout based on repetition–in which case, you might want to join me in Ashtanga yoga, but for sure there’s something that will fit your lifestyle.

This article was originally written by Valerie Benguiat: A blogger and writer with a strong passion for holistic health and wellness. She writes for many publications, and will be a regular contributor to Reflexion Yoga. To connect with Valerie, or to see more of her work, feel free to visit

Kyle Weiger

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