12 Most Asked Questions About Hatha Yoga and Weight Loss

person pinching stomach big belly yoga weight loss

If you are questioning, “Do you lose weight with hatha yoga?”, I have the answer. The short, simple answer is yes, the explanation is much longer. Hatha is a yoga of balance that can transform the body, your energy, and your whole consciousness through the dynamics of postures and breathing.

Do you lose weight with hatha yoga?

1. What happens in your body when you do Hatha yoga?

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Hatha yoga itself was created to balance your body out holistically. Studies have shown physical benefits such as better stress management, blood circulation, and reduced anxiety and depression symptoms. Your body’s physical and emotional health both improve during this practice. You will find your core strength, balance, flexibility and mobility of your joints increasing.

Your body learns to raise and redirect its energy better after Hatha yoga and even achieves a level of mindfulness that duly affects the other parts of your life. Hatha yoga is a slow and gentle level-up that allows the body to slowly come into a mind, body, and spirit union. Together, the quality of your life and decisions increases thanks to Hatha yoga practice.

2. Do you lose weight with Hatha yoga?

blue plate on white background text blocks weight loss

Studies have shown that yoga definitely helps you lose weight in the long run, directly and indirectly. The extent and intensity of this weight loss is debatable. Yoga can help you tone up and lose noticeable weight in the long run. However, this also requires other important factors to be present. Hatha yoga helps you get in shape in a way you didn’t expect.

While it increases your metabolism and improves the blood circulation in your body, it also increases your mindfulness, specifically as it strengthens your mind and body. This same mindfulness will be the greatest factor in helping you reduce your weight as it becomes easier for you to eat, work out and sleep according to your goals.

3. Is Hatha yoga counted as exercise?

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To understand if Hatha yoga counts as exercise, you must explore your definition of exercise. If muscles being stretched and then released counts as exercise, the answer is yes! Hatha yoga is often even recommended to people who are out of shape, as it is a gentle, more paced-out form of exercise. It also improves our fitness, which is the purpose of exercising.

Hatha yoga passes on all accounts of the definition and purpose of exercising! Yoga has been debated in the health arena for a while, where people question if it’s an exercise as it is nowhere like an intensive Cardio or a HIIT session. Still, it’s important to remember that Hatha yoga improves fitness, burns calories and positively impacts the body.

4. What does your body feel like after Hatha yoga?

woman hand on chest breathing calm yoga hatha

After Hatha yoga, your body feels strong, relaxed and re-energized. If you’re taking a Hatha yoga class with an instructor, the practice should end with meditation, allowing you to release your tensions. After Hatha yoga, you will also be more centred and grounded as the practice will make you mindful of your breath. You will feel more in control of your body.

Hatha yoga requires you to sync your mind and body to create a harmony of energy. After moving through static positions and breathing, you will feel more relaxed, as this practice allows relief of pent-up stress, whether that be in the muscles or the mind. This will create a sense of physical and emotional strength in your awareness.

5. How much weight can you lose with Hatha yoga?

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Hatha yoga focuses on mindfulness and creating harmony in yourself, so its original purpose is not to lose weight. However, keeping that in mind, losing weight with Hatha yoga is not impossible. When figuring out how much weight loss can happen there are many additional factors to consider, such as sleep, stress, metabolism, level of exercise and calorie intake.

However, focusing just on Hatha yoga will not lead to a huge amount of weight loss. Yoga can lead to toning, and weight loss over long periods of time and that too is dependent on your body type and your other overall exercises and eating habits. This question can only be answered after you’ve made an overall plan with your special routine and requirements.

6. Can Hatha yoga reduce belly fat?

person pinching stomach big belly yoga weight loss

To reduce belly fat specifically, you need to lose overall weight in the body. Can Hatha yoga help in that? The answer is yes, but only when you combine it with other weight loss efforts. To reduce visible body fat, you need to reduce your calorie intake every day or exercise so that additional calories are burnt.

Here, Hatha yoga can come in handy in burning calories through 90-minute sessions that help reduce body fat over a period of time. A stressed or in survival mode body will find it harder to let go of body fat. Hatha yoga reduces your stress levels, which can make the losing weight process easier, for you physically and emotionally.

7. How many times a week should you do Hatha yoga to lose weight?

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This answer will vary in accordance with your direct circumstances! This depends on your weight loss goal, the duration of your Hatha yoga practice, your routine, stamina and other factors that affect your weight loss. Depending on your weight, a single Hatha yoga session can help you lose 220-400 calories. To lose 2 pounds or more in a month, reduce your calorie intake by 250 daily and do Hatha yoga three times a week. This is better discussed with a doctor to understand your limits and requirements for weight loss and what you can rely on.

Overall, observe your own practice and see what works best for you. It takes time to realise what works best for your routine, energy levels and metabolism. There is no hard and fast rule here. Consistency is one key to follow here, so if you are new to Hatha yoga, start out at a slow pace. Also, do additional activities to support your weight loss goals.

8. Is doing Hatha 3 times a week enough for weight loss?

green avocado wrap in measuring tape yoga weight loss

Starting out three times a week is a good way to start. Remember, weight loss is a joint effort of exercise, reduced food intake, more sleep and mindful living. You can start out with Hatha yoga three times a week while also generally walking every day. Then go into the details of your health to figure out what will help reduce weight.

This is an important thing to know because even if you practise three times a week and take additional calories, you might not lose weight at all. So it is important to focus on your daily calorie intake and how much you expel by exercising. See how long your Hatha yoga session is and how many calories it can burn.

9. What happens if you do Hatha yoga every day?

girl hold hand on head relax daytime yoga

It’s important to have one day of rest, at least, no matter what physical activity you are doing. Doing Hatha yoga every day can bring great stability and benefits to your life if done at a comfortable pace and duration. If you start your day with a small Hatha yoga session, over time, it will bring you great. 

In spiritual practice, Hatha yoga was meant to prepare you for spiritual enlightenment. Think of it as a level of mindfulness that allows you to live your life better, present and enriched. At the same time, there can be something as too much practice, so make sure to see you aren’t crossing your own bodily limits, as this beneficial practice can bring harm if overdone.

10. How long should a Hatha yoga session be?

white clock ticking time

The time for a yoga session should be specially curated to your circumstances. This depends on your own ability, practice and your schedule. For many beginners, a twenty-minute session is used at the start to build up their stamina and frequency, while more experienced ones can go up to an hour. You pick your pace and time intuitively for the best results.

 It’s important to trust your body and see how comfortable it is to create a consistent and sustainable practice in your life. With time you can cut down your sessions or even double the duration of them depending on how much energy you have for them. I recommend looking at the bigger picture of practice to stay consistent.

11. How long does it take to lose weight with Hatha yoga?

girl holding white cup on mat with small weights yoga hatha weight loss

Losing weight with just Hatha yoga is not a completely unrealistic plan if you consider  losing weight as a holistic practice of eating, sleeping well and burning calories. Hatha yoga on its own can bring significant changes, but you will only see them after a long run. Time is a factor that can only be predicted after viewing all the factors that lead to weight loss.

At the same time, people say they see a slight difference after a month or two of Hatha yoga. It might not be visible physically but just on the scale. I believe the same, and also, if you use a good frequency of doing additional exercise, eating and sleeping well with Hatha yoga, you are very likely to see more change.

12. How long does losing 10 kg with Hatha yoga take?

person on white scale measuring weight

This answer depends on your individual circumstances and diet plan. Losing weight is a group effort of clean eating, sleeping and extra exercise that allows for calorie deficiency to create weight loss. This will take more than a few months, for sure! This answer is better with a dietitian, fitness trainer and doctor. Generally, giving an answer will not work here.

Consultation is important, especially considering weight loss is often misunderstood as a process, which leads to many people being disappointed due to a lack of understanding. Understanding your body, the exercise, your metabolism and all the factors required to lose weight will help remove false expectations about timing and goals. This is why you should consult, especially for this 10 kg goal!


woman breathing forest green daytime hatha yoga

Overall, Hatha yoga should be used as a facilitating practice to help you lose weight rather than being the main one. It provides so many benefits that it increases the quality of your physical and emotional life exceptionally. This ultimately makes the whole weight loss process easier.

For those who have questions about the differences between Hatha yoga and Yin yoga, here is the complete answer.

Jennie T.

Jennie is a long time yogi, a vegetarian and a blogger. Her morning routine starts with a glass of lukewarm lemon water, 1-hour yoga or cardio exercise, then an organic smoothie, and a cup of green tea or milk tea. Besides yoga and blogging, she likes to meditate in the morning or at lunch break. She is a Seinfeld's fan (sorry Friends)

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