A counter to the whole ‘yoga makes you fat’ idea

Just days after we learn that a major book on yoga — by a New York Times science writer, no less — is going to argue that yoga, in fact, makes you fat, a piece appears on Yahoo! Sports that highlights three kinds of yoga to help you lose weight.

And Ashtanga comes at the top of the list. Here’s the key description:

Ashtanga is the perfect type of yoga for those looking to lose weight because it provides a cardio effect. It flows nonstop from one move to the next. Men looking for yoga classes should try Ashtanga. It was originally created with teenage schoolboys in mind. Ashtanga is an advanced form of yoga that is known for demanding movements.

That’s pretty close to what I’ve said before about the practice, that on a purely physical level it works as well as weight training.

The other two forms of yoga are Power (which is rightly described as a Western offshoot of Ashtanga) and, of course, Bikram.

The argument from the New York Times writer’s perspective, if you’ll recall, is that yoga ultimately helps people slow their metabolism, which is what causes the weight gain. I wonder if that is perhaps more true of asana practices that focus on relaxation (yes, I’m looking at you, Iyengar classes). It’s hard to believe if you’re doing Ashtanga at even 75% effort that you won’t keep fit.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

One thought on “A counter to the whole ‘yoga makes you fat’ idea”

  1. it is impressed to observe some peoples that have more weight/fat that exercise Ashtanga. They can sweat much and have big pain or not pleased feelings… so teacher of class has seems some energies to inspire pupils or to bring them in other state of feelings in order to ignore this pain/problems… in other case people can exercise with own will some time with ignoring of pain/troubles “i must through” and than will stop exercises and recall exercises like terrible experience of pain and bad emotions – “hairs up from past”, feelings, touching of ill energies, touching of injurings in spine/tendons/muscles…
    so some teachers play “You will get at the end something sweat – after exercises” in order to support exercises of pupil -but pattern is dangerous:people is exercising with thoughts “at the end i will get something “sweat” -pseudo enlightenment”

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