Read More: What Can Yoga Do To Prevent Weight Gain?

Sources for this infographic:

Here’s an article about a study called The metabolic cost of Hatha Yoga

TheScienceOfYogaThe Science of Yoga by William J Broad details the studies about yoga and heart rate — even ashtanga doesn’t get the max heart rate that a traditional cardio workout would.  He summarizes all of the research in a wonderful, concise way (just as he addresses other questions of yoga in the other chapters.. oh man this is my favorite book!):

“Decades of uncertainty ended as a consensus emerged that yoga did much for the body and mind but little or nothing for aerobic conditioning… In 2010, a review paper documented the new accord… The 2010 paper examined more than eighty studies that compared yoga and regular exercise.  The analysis, by health specialists at the University of Maryland, found that yoga equaled or surpassed exercise in such things as improving balance, reducing fatigue, decreasing anxiety, cutting stress, lifting moods, improving sleep, reducing pain, lowering cholesterol, and more generally in raising the quality of life for yogis, both socially and on the job.  The benefits were similar to those that had surprised the Duke team.

In summary, the specialists reported that yoga excelled in dozens of examined areas.

But the scientists also spoke of a conspicuous limitation for an activity that had long billed itself as a path to physical superiority.  The authors noted that the benefits ran through all the categories – ‘except those involving physical fitness’.” (Page 72-73)

” In recent years, many people have learned to ignore the exaggerated claims and the unabashed gurus (with our without fleets of Rolls-Royces).  They lift weights to build muscles and run to challenge their hearts, even while pursuing yoga for flexibility and its other rewards.  They are known as cross-trainers.” (Page 75)


end_of_illnessThe End of Illness by David Agus discusses food intake in terms of habits (and in greater detail elsewhere in the book):

“If you consistently eat at one’o clock in the afternoon, and one day an unexpected phone call or obligation has you postponing your lunch until much later, say two or three,  your body won’t just show signs of hunger in that waiting period.  It will also experience a surge in cortisol, the stress hormone that tells our bodies to hold tightly to fat and to conserve energy.  The body, in essence, goes into survival mode because it’s suddenly unable to predict when it will get its next meal.” (Page 238-9)


Great NPR article/story that sums up weight loss and how tough it is to keep weight off in an empowering, clear way:

“When you begin to lose pounds, levels of the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells, begin to drop.  That sends a message to the brain that the body’s ‘fat storage’ is shrinking.  The brain perceives starvation is on the way, and, in response, sends out messages to conserve energy and preserve calories.  So, metabolism drops.

And then other brain signals tell the body it’s ‘hungry’, and sends out hormones to stimulate the appetite.”