Yoga for Toning and Fatloss?

If you've ever asked a personal trainer whether you should be doing yoga for toning, fatloss, or weightloss they probably said yoga is good for flexibility and stress relief but not much else. I've heard many trainers say that to their clients BUT the truth is yoga is an excellent way to burn fat and tone up. The key to sculpting the lean toned body you want with yoga is choosing the right type of yoga workouts for your goal.

How Yoga Really Works for Fatloss & Toning

The way yoga actually works for increased fatloss, weight loss, and toning is much more subtle and is more aligned with yoga's ultimate purpose, which is union of the mind body and spirit that helps you transcend limitations and reach your ultimate potential.

Below is a quick list of benefits and how those benefits can result in a lean toned body.

No time for long yoga workouts? Quick yoga stretches after your regular workouts work too.

  1. Corrects postural imbalances so you can train harder. Having better posture means you can perform other challenging exercise with excellent technique which means your body burns more fat and calories during each workout and post workout too.
  2. Lowers your cortisol levels after a high intensity fatloss workout so your body stays in fat burning mode for up to 48 hours post workout. This is also known as the after-burn effect or metabolic effect.
  3. Reduces tension and fatigue which in turn eliminates cravings for sugar, carbs and junk food. When you are relaxed and energized you don't constantly seek out unhealthy foods to raise your energy levels or boost your mood.
  4. Strengthens your fatloss mindset by training you to not allow your mind to run your body. Shows you that you are more than your thoughts and your current physical abilities and that you can do more than you think you can and be better than you think you can be.
  5. Improves breathing patterns so you can breathe more efficiently every day and during all your other workouts. More efficient breathing is a key factor in a faster metabolism and fat burning too.

What Is The Best Yoga for Toning & Fatloss

I've been practicing yoga since 2004 and have tried virtually every type of yoga there is and the styles vary as much as the results.

If your primary goal right now is to practice yoga for toning, fatloss, weight loss, and overall fitness then be sure to stick with flow yoga.


A fluid yoga practice will keep you moving so you burn more fat and calories than with other yoga.

Watch my yoga video here to learn more about how yoga works for fatloss and toning or check out my advanced yoga stretching video below to see what a dynamic 20 min. practice looks like.

Flow yoga is also safer because the constant repetition allows you to ease into more challenging poses gradually and without over stretching the body and causing injury.

In addition flow yoga has a natural meditation component that is practical for anybody who just wants a simple way to destress for increased fat burning.

The constant repetition of movement patterns is in essence a movement meditation that calms the nervous system while building physical and mental resistance to unhealthy behavior patterns and this is key for anybody wishing to achieve a healthy, fit and lean toned body for life.

Need a yoga for toning or fatloss or posture correction dvd? Try any of Shiva Rea's Yoga DVDs. They offer the best instruction, are easy to follow and allow you to modify to your level. I own 4 of her DVDs and my favorite thing about them is the matrix that allows you to customize your practice to your needs and time limitations. Check out the slideshow below for more options and other great restorative workouts.

Why Dynamic Yoga for Toning and Fatloss Is Better

The more fast paced dynamic types of yoga including Hatha, Flow, Power, or Vinyasa, require a ton of endurance, core stability, balance, coordination and total body strength.

These dynamic yoga practices include various types of sun salutations followed by challenging yoga poses which means you will end up doing dozens and dozens of squats, planks, low pushup holds, lunges, bends, twists, and jumps in one 30-40 minute session just to prep your body for the challenging poses.

Not only are these the 7 movement patterns that every human needs for survival, health and wellness they are also the basic movement patterns that you do in all workouts which means you get to improve your exercise technique while practicing yoga and you will notice a huge difference in how much better you can perform during all your other fat burning and toning workouts.

The benefit of sticking with the more dynamic forms of yoga is that the calorie burn at each session will be much higher than other forms of yoga including Bikram which is the most over-rated and least effective for toning or fatloss since it only allows for 26 poses (there's over 1000 poses in yoga so 26 is pretty limited).

*As you've probably read on many other fitness sites the body needs variety in the form of many many movement patterns in order to achieve maximum fitness, fatloss and toning. Bikram just doesn't deliver the same dynamic workout although it does make you sweat and probably burns equal calories to Hatha, Flow, Power, or Vinyasa.