It’s yoga versus cardio for weight loss and we finally know what’s better!

Confusion, confusion, and more confusion pops up when you need to choose between yoga and cardio for weight loss. Let’s help you choose the better option.
Weight loss
Yoga or cardio, what will you choose? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 2 Jul 2020, 17:04 pm IST
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When it comes to weight loss, what would you like to place your bets on: yoga or good-old cardio? 

For most us, yoga seems like a lot of hard work with delayed results. And when it comes to cardio, we see instant gratification but the results aren’t very long-lasting–because once you stop cardio, you end up gaining weight. 

So then, what is the best way to lose weight and keep it off? Well, to answer this question we fitness experts on board to grace you with sage advice. Let’s read what they have to say.  

This is what you need to know about yoga for weight loss
Did you know that according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, yoga can be as good an exercise as cycling, swimming, and brisk walking? Yup! And yoga guru Grand Master Akshar agrees. 

exercise to protect against covid-19
Try yoga to shed those flabs. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Yoga works on multiple aspects of the body-be it fat burning, relaxing, quieting the mind, or getting your heart rate up, Akshar says.

“There are many techniques in yoga, such as kapal bhati which is a breathing technique, that are very effective for those who want to lose weight, reduce fat around the tummy, or want to burn calories,” he says. “Tivra Gami which is the highest speed of pranayama usually done by advanced practitioners is an example of a great cardio based workout.”, says Grand Master Akshar. 

Other types of yoga, such as vinyasa yoga, can also accelerate weight loss. 

However, remember this while you’re doing yoga poses for weight loss
It is very important to know that while performing intense yoga asanas, you need to do it under supervision at first to avoid injuries. Plus, if you have any medical conditions, then you should definitely consult your doctor before indulging in any dynamic yogic movements.

These are the best yoga poses for weight loss
Grand Master Akshar suggests this yoga routine to burn major calories: 

Start with santolansana or a plank and move to chaturanga dandasana which is a half-plank. Now inhale and go into an upward dog or urdhva-mukhi svanasana. Now while exhaling come into ado mukhi svanasana or downward-dog position. Jump forward from there to padahasthasana or toe-touch position. 

yoga myths
Downward dog pose is one of the most energizing pose in yoga. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Take it slow in the beginning, picking up speed as you become more proficient. 


Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

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Here’s how good-old cardio fares when it comes to weight loss
“The best way to incorporate cardio in your life is by running”, says Ruchika Rai, a Mumbai-based women’s fitness and health coach and founder of the combat yogini programme. 

We all want quick results, especially when we are looking for some motivation to keep working out. Which is why Ruchika suggests adopting good-old cardio. 

And this is the best cardio routine according to her
If you want to lose weight, then Ruchika suggests opting for high-intensity interval training or HIIT. It will hit the right cord and trigger the areas that you actually want to work on. Plus, it will also help you build stamina and endurance. 

What to remember while doing cardio
Maintaining your momentum and trying new things is the key if you want to ace a cardio session. “If on a work day, you run for an hour, then on a weekend you must run as much as you can to stay in momentum. The fear of quitting is what takes you down. And this happens with all forms of exercise,” she says.

Here are the best cardio exercises you can incorporate into your routine

1. Dance: Dance is one of the best and the most interesting ways of staying fit. “If you hate exercising, then dance is going to be your motivation,” says Ruchika.

2. Tabata: A mixture of HIIT and combat training, this is Ruchika’s favourite. “It is a low impact routine and you can easily find a lot of online tutorials for it,” she adds.

3. Pilates: According to Ruchika, Pilates is another form of weight loss training that can actually help you build endurance. Plus if you want to gain muscle, then place your bets on Pilates.

Go for Pilates for better psychic and health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Also, my theory is that all of this will go in vain if you don’t follow a proper diet. Only 30% of your weight loss depends on these exercises, the rest is all on what you eat,” she concludes. 

So yoga or cardio, who won the big battle of weight loss?
Yoga it is. A more sustainable way to workout that also inculcates strength training, yoga is the way to go if you want to shed those kilos and keep them off. Doing yoga poses can burn as many calories, if not more, as traditional cardio and tone your muscles while you’re at it. So, there you go!  

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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