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Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi - Do they cause weight-loss?

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Old 01-27-2008, 05:41 PM   #1
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Question Yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi - Do they cause weight-loss?

Do yoga, pilates or tai-chi cause weight loss and/or body sculpting?

I have been doing WW for the past 2 months, but I think my points allowance was maybe too much because I wasn't losing as quick as I'd like, or even sometimes at all.. I know WW works for MANY people, but I didn't find it to be my cup of tea. (I was expecting more interaction, I guess)

Anyhow, I made an executive decision to stop going to WW meetings while still using the materials (meetings just weren't worth it for me), counting calories and using the extra $14 for something physical.

I'm interested in starting either yoga, pilates or tai chi, but I don't know if they will have any effect on weight loss and/or body sculpting.. Also, I don't know how much I'd be able to do being at my height/weight. (5'4", 215.5lbs) I have a FAIRLY flat stomach and I CAN touch my toes, but I'm by no means flexible, and bending WILL get some 'flesh in the face'..

Any thoughts? Tips? You guys are always the best, so bring it on!
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:26 PM   #2
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I LOVE yoga, but I do it in conjunction with other forms of exercise. (Since your ticker is an exercise one, I imagine that's your plan as well?) It is good for many fitness goals, like strength training & toning, balance, and flexibility. Many of the poses were far more challenging than I anticipated in terms of the strength required. But it does not burn calories very quickly.

My favorite aspects of yoga are the increased feeling of well-being I get when I'm practicing it, and the fact that it helps soothe my body after pushing hard in cardio and weight training. It also stretches my muscles better than anything else I've ever tried, which is really nice. I also feel like I'm much more aware and appreciative of my body, which helps me make better choices in general.

As for doing it at your current weight, I would encourage you to go for it. I've seen women of all different weights do it. You may have to modify some of the poses, but everyone has to modify poses sometimes, even those that have been practicing for years.

I tried Pilates as well, and didn't really care for it. Maybe I'll try it again sometime, but for now, the cardio paired with the strength training and yoga works for me.

Congrats on your success thus far, and good luck with whatever you decide to try!
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:00 PM   #3
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I'd say you should try them all at least once before committing to a class... Many places will give you some free classes before you commit... I agree that it should be done in conjunction with cardio and weight training... BUT then again Madonna does only Yoga and look at her body ... There are different types of Yogas too, I once did a hot yoga class that if done every day, I have no doubt would definitely make you lose some weight...

I say, try it, you'll definitely like one of the 3 types of workouts...
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilene View Post
BUT then again Madonna does only Yoga and look at her body
I don't think Madonna does only yoga...
It does help, but she would have had to do some type of cardio in her routine to be that way, I think.

Yoga, pilates, etc can help you lose weight if you also do it with cardio and watch your calorie intake, etc.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:25 AM   #5
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I've read that Madonna does Ashtanga Yoga, a very intense yoga, some cardio and eats a very clean diet... I think eating clean and unprocessed is extremely important to weightloss, it is IMO, one of the most important aspects to weightloss and feeling better......
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:15 AM   #6
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There was a study last year that showed that yoga keeps adults from gaining weight compared to people who dont do yoga. Yoga practitioners had a stable weight, regular adults gain weight.

Part of it is the mind body connection that you develop, I always feel less like binging after yoga...even more than after weights or running.

However, I think yoga is a PART of a well rounded exercise program.

If i had to pick a spot to spend my $$ though, yoga would be it. Videos are ok, but yoga is one of those things that really benefit from a true hands on teacher for a long time. I've been doing yoga for years and still get more out of a class than on my own.

I think the most important thing is you are INTERESTED in it. So DO it. Your flexibility and body size should have no effect if you find a decent teacher. They should show you how to modify any pose to your ability.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:26 PM   #7
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I do Bikram Yoga from time to time. It's very basic yoga, but in a 95-105 degree room. I am a bit taller but heavier than you, and I love it. When I was going 4-5 times per week last summer I dropped about 10lbs in a month. And that's without eating healthy!

So, if you can find a studio near you that's what I'd suggest trying first. Again, it's a lot of basic poses, but they focus on creating turnicates with the body so that all of your blood becomes freshly oxygenated. The heat also helps detoxify your body. If you do try it, make sure you eat a little snack (maybe a piece of fruit) about 45min beforehand, and bring lots of water and a towel

Good luck finding something that works for you!
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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Bikram Yoga is the best! It makes me feel amazing and tightens my muscles up. If not immediate results it is more for long term results. By helping you build muscles it will mean you will burn more calories when you are inactive in the day. But combining it with some sort of cardio may help your progress if you are looking for faster results (this is what my bikram yoga teacher told me). But she said you CAN totally lose weight with bikram yoga alone, it just may take a little more time than normal cardio- but in the end it will last longer and help you maintain it rather than gaining it back.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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Bikram is now (& has been, for about a year) my only form of strength training, although I still do daily cardio. I am more toned with this routine than I was after years of daily cardio plus lifting 3-4 times / week!

That said, I have never lost weight with ANY exercise without dietary changes. For me, exercise can tone & sculpt, but LOSS requires diet.

And at my yoga studio, there are people of all shapes & sizes. Yoga is all about doing YOUR best, meeting your body where it's at. Not everyone I practice with can touch their toes - but if they keep practicing, some day they will!
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:13 PM   #10
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If you look at my progress pic (link in sig) - my only exercise so far has been yoga and running, so the muscles you can finally see in the third pics in my arms and legs are from yoga . It depends partly on how you do yoga. There's all kinds of yoga, just like there's everything from easy walking to running marathons to sprinting.
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:19 PM   #11
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I personally don't like pilates at all. it's challenging yes, but I don't like the aspect of rolling around on the floorjust to target abs. I've also tried yoga. I didn't really like it. Maybe I'll try it again to give it a shot....I personally am a constant multi-tasker, like to be doing multiple things at once. Yoga was a bore.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:45 PM   #12
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I am a 4th singing the praises of bikram yoga. I have been practicing for about six months now, and I love it. It was my first regular exercise. The studio I go to is fantastic. Non-competitive and non-judgemental. In fact, they are more than that. They encourage me at every step, and often brag on my behalf about how much weight I have lost. And they would know, they have seen me in less clothing than most people.

But, I also concur that yoga alone would never have been enough to lose all this weight if my eating was no good. Diet is so important! Anyway, I agree with all above... yoga makes me feel good and calm, and more aware of my body. My strength, endurance and flexibility have improved. I love going to yoga, and can't imagine removing it from my routine.

Oh, and I weighed 209 lbs when I started..... and I couldn't even touch my toes.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:30 PM   #13
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I am not buying it that Madonna does only yoga. That is impossible. I have one of her photos (clipped out from a mag) on my fridge - her arms are absolutely awesome. You do not get those muscles from yoga only, no matter how intense. (If the service dude fixes our scanner, I can scan the pic and post it here). :-)
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