Young woman doing yoga exercise outdoors
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Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Article Abstracts
Mar 31, 2021

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

Yoga for Weight Loss

Article Abstracts
Oct 02, 2022

A new study indicates that yoga can be helpful as part of a weight-loss program. The study, which followed 50 overweight or obese adults, was partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, Duke University Medical Center, and the University of Zurich.

Participants were randomly assigned to practice either restorative hatha yoga or more rigorous vinyasa yoga while following a six-month weight-loss program that included a calorie- and fat-controlled diet and a weekly group session on behavioral strategies for weight loss.

The study protocol directed participants to practice yoga five days a week, starting with 20 minutes a day and progressing to 60 minutes a day. People in both yoga groups lost significant amounts of weight and their cardiorespiratory fitness improved. Significantly, there were with no differences seen between the hatha yoga group and the higher-intensity vinyasa group. Those who spent more time doing yoga lost more weight.

A significant proportion of the participants, 65% in the hatha group and 85% in the vinyasa group, intended to continue practicing yoga after completion of the study.

Excess body weight is associated with numerous chronic health conditions, while losing weight has been shown to reduce the risk of these. 

While pointing out that additional research is needed to compare yoga with other forms of physical activity for its impact on weight loss, the study’s findings support the inclusion of either form of yoga as part of a weight-loss strategy for treating obesity and overweight. 


National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2020, February 2). Study sees beneficial role of yoga in weight-loss program for adults with obesity or overweight. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health.…

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