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Types of Yoga for Weight Loss

When searching for types of yoga for weight loss, keep your mind open to the possibility that gentle styles can have a powerful effect on your weight. Dr. Baxter Bell, a contributing writer for "Yoga Journal" magazine, shares that yoga is transformative on internal and external levels. Because several styles of yoga are helpful with weight loss, give each a try to see how they affect your body and attitude toward food.

Restorative yoga refers to a specific style started by Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D. and PT, as well as a general term to indicate the practice of gentle poses. Restorative yoga usually includes the assistance of blocks, blankets, wedges and straps. Because gentle stretches and meditative moments help the body and mind relax, you may find that stress levels decrease. Less anxiety in your life often leads to healthier choices and less stress-induced eating. Think of gentle yoga as a way to transform yourself from the inside out.

Shri K. Pattabhi Jois popularized the Ashtanga style. Ashtanga inspired many offshoot styles like hot yoga and power yoga. In Ashtanga you practice set sequences of poses that flow from one to the other. Students hold most poses for five breaths. Committed Ashtanga yogis practice almost every day. Most sessions take roughly 90 minutes and incorporate purifying, challenging poses for flexibility, strength and endurance. Popular power yoga programs are highly influenced by the Ashtanga style.

Hot yoga has many sub-styles, including Bikram and Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. Hot yoga is yoga practiced in a room that is heated anywhere from 80 to 105 degrees F. Bikram yoga is a very specific style, which uses the same sequence of 26 postures for each class. The Hot Yoga of Nashville studio says that hot yoga styles, such as Bikram, can burn between 450 to 600 calories in 90 minutes.

Vinyasa refers more to the way a teacher sequences and formats a yoga class, rather than to an official style. Look for yoga class descriptions with "vinyasa" in the title if you want to focus on weight loss. Vinyasas are pose sequences linked together with breath and movement. Ashtanga, power yoga and hot yoga classes use vinyasas in different ways to build heat, sweat and cleanse the body. Dr. Baxter Bell notes that vinyasa-style classes have the potential to burn more calories than others.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.