Why Yoga Isn’t Just for Weight Loss

I recently read this article in Elephant Journal about the downfalls of promoting yoga as a weight loss tool and I have to say, I completely agree. Yes, yoga can contribute to a healthy lifestyle that can help practitioners lose weight. And yes, we are a country riddled with obesity, so encouraging healthy practices is a good idea. However, there are two important downfalls associated with using yoga as a weight loss tool: it promotes a negative body image and it contributes to the commercialization of yoga.

As someone who struggled with body image for years, I know all about using exercise as punishment. Though I have always felt spiritually nourished by running, I used to use other forms of exercise – weight lifting, spin, step aerobics, cardio kickboxing and boot camp – as little more than tools to enable my fear of gaining an ounce. If I ate a few extra calories, I punished myself with exercise. And when I worked out, the anxiety over my weight would be quieted, but only temporarily. It was like a drug.  I never had enough – and on the rare occasion when I missed a workout, I’d go into emotional withdrawal. In this way, exercise took me farther away from accepting myself and my body – the opposite of what yoga is supposed to do.

In addition, promoting yoga as a weight loss tool commercializes the practice. It puts it on par with jazzercize and zumba. Yoga, in this scenario, becomes something to market. And of course, it is intended to be something much more profound than a moneymaking gimmick.


What do you think? Is it a good idea to promote yoga as a method of losing weight?


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Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler2 years ago

I read your blogs regularly. Your humoristic way is amusing, continue the good work!
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Hoodr S.
Hoodr S.2 years ago

Unbelievable work man!! Keep your heads high you probably did it.
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Justingaberial J.
Past Member 2 years ago

Your articles and blogs are inspirational.
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Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


Mirchadou D.
Mirchadou D.3 years ago

I was attend yoga classes for two years. I liked it, but it doesn't help to lose weight at all. I ws forced to buy diet pills http://1loseweightfast.com/proactol.html

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

yoga is spiritual, but an awesome work out too. like the article

Jaffa Wify
Jaffa Wify3 years ago

Tertiary care is specialized consultative health care, usually for inpatients and on referral from a primary or secondary health professional, in a facility that has personnel and facilities for advanced medical investigation and treatment, such as a tertiary referral hospital. Thanks.

Jaffa Wify
Jaffa Wify3 years ago

Many types of health care interventions are delivered outside of health facilities. They include many interventions of public health interest, such as food safety surveillance, distribution of condoms and needle-exchange programmes for the prevention of transmissible diseases. Thanks.

Vicky L.
Vicky L.3 years ago

I've been doing asanas for years and it did nothing for my weight. Only after starting meditation practice to my surprise I started losing weight. Now I'm more body aware in my asana practice too and I progress rapidly buiding up strength and keeping healthy weight.

Why not promote a healthy practice to lose weight? Just because its benefits far outweigh weight loss doesn't mean it's not better than pills or dieting. Promoto yoga, promote fruits, vegies and other healthy things wherever possible! I'd like to see more people practicing yoga, becoming kinder, calmer and more spiritual. Just as I wished to see healthy meal outlets instead of fast food corners.

Sheleen Addison
Sheleen Addison3 years ago

Yoga sorts out all parts of my life, health and mentality