Yoga for Weight Loss – Is it Appropriate?

Sadhguru looks at how with yoga, the body naturally comes to its optimal weight. However, doing yoga for weight loss isn’t the best use of this phenomenal system, he reminds us.
Yoga for Weight Loss

Sadhguru looks at how with yoga, the body naturally comes to its optimal weight. However, doing yoga for weight loss is only small application of this phenomenal "inner technology" that can open doors to so much more.

Sadhguru: If you are doing yoga, excess weight will definitely go. For example, when they start kriya yoga, certain people begin to lose weight, certain people begin to gain weight. If your digestion was bad and your ability to convert the food into flesh was not good, when you start practicing kriyas, the digestive fires get activated and because of the improvement in digestion, the conversion of food to flesh will be more efficient and you start gaining weight.

If your digestive fires were already okay and you start doing kriyas, once again the conversion rate will improve. But instead of turning the food into flesh, it will turn food into a subtler dimension of energy. Now, however much you eat, you will find you are losing weight. If you are practicing the kriyas, you may even find that if you eat a larger quantum of food, you still do not put on weight, you even lose weight. Or, it may be the other way around: your food quantum comes down dramatically, but still you do not lose weight. This is simply because the conversion ratio is being altered.

Yoga for weight loss – The food factor

Yoga rejuvenates the system and brings so much sense into you that you will not overeat. Once a certain level of awareness arises in your body, your body becomes such, it will just eat what is needed for it. It will not eat anything more. This is not because you are controlling or regulating your life in anyway or because somebody is telling you to go on a diet. If you do some other exercises or dieting processes, you are always trying to control yourself. With yogic practices, you do not have to control yourself. You just do the practices. This takes care of the system in such a way that it will not allow you to eat more than needed. This is the big difference with yoga.

Angamardana & Upa-Yoga for weight loss and flexibility


Yoga is not an exercise form. It has other dimensions to it. But there is something called Upa Yoga – that means sub-yoga or useful processes of doing things, which has no spiritual dimension attached to it. If you do Upa Yoga or Angamardana systems of yoga, fitness is assured. Plus, you will not need any equipment. All you need is a six-by-six space on the floor. You will be super-fit and can build your muscle and everything. The only thing is you won’t become bunched-up with muscle. A whole lot of people have become like that. They think they are fit but I think they are in a straitjacket! It is not just strength or the bulge of your muscle, but the flexibility of your body that is as important for the proper functioning of the system.


In yoga, we do not just look at the muscular strength alone. Organ health is also very important. The yogic system is evolved so that there is organ health. Even if you have a lot of muscle, if your liver is not working properly, what’s the use? It is very important that the body is flexible and usable.

Yoga, weight loss & strength-training

The human muscular system is a phenomenal thing. What our muscles can do is fantastic. And this can be enhanced by strengthening them, but at the same time making them very flexible. If you do a lot of weights, your muscles will look big but without flexibility. If you see people who have grown big muscles, they cannot do a namaskar properly. They cannot even bend.

Angamardana is just as effective in building the body as any weight training is, and it will not create any unnecessary stress on the system.

If you just want muscles that look good, these days there are easier ways to do it. You could get bicep implants. The silicon doesn’t go just into the breast, it goes into biceps, into calf muscles, into everything. It doesn’t matter that it is useless. You don’t have to work hard, take cortisones and hormones and go on pumping iron. There are easier ways, if it is just about looking good.

Yes, body-building gives you brute strength. But you can build the same strength in a completely different way and above all, keep your body flexible, which is very important. There are various aspects to wellbeing: health, energy, psychological and spiritual. When we invest 30 minutes to an hour in the morning, we want to see that the benefit is across the board for us, not just in bunched up muscles.

So, if you want to build muscle, should you not lift any iron? You could, because physical exercise and activity have been taken away from our lives by modern technology. We don’t have to carry a bucket of water, or this or that. Everything is done by machines. Except your iPhone, you don’t really have to carry anything, isn’t it? So, since you are not using your limbs throughout the day, light weight training is okay.

But Upa-Yoga involves the use of your own body weight to do exercises. Angamardana is just this: using your own body weight to do all the exercises. Then, you will have no excuse that there was no gym around. You can exercise wherever you are, because you still have your body. This is just as effective in building the body as any weight training is, and it will not create any unnecessary stress on the system. It will make you look like a sensible human being and also make you strong – very strong.

Yoga – Opening up the existence

We do not teach yoga for weight loss. It is not something that you do to slim down or for your backache or your headache. Yes, those things will anyway happen – becoming healthy, becoming peaceful, loving, gentle – but these are the side effects of yoga, not the focus of yoga. You don't have to do yoga for weight loss. You just have to eat sensibly, play tennis or take a swim. That will keep you healthy. You don’t have to do yoga. The focus of yoga is to set another dimension alive within you that is beyond the physical. Only when that is alive, slowly the existence opens up to you in a million different ways. Things that you never thought existed become a living reality for you, simply because a dimension beyond the physical has become alive.

Editor’s Note: Isha Hatha Yoga programs are an extensive exploration of classical hatha yoga, which revive various dimensions of this ancient science that are largely absent in the world today. These programs offer an unparalleled opportunity to explore Upa-yoga, Angamardana, Surya Kriya, Surya Shakti, Yogasanas and Bhuta Shuddhi, among other potent yogic practices.

Find Hatha Yoga Program Near You

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3 years 4 months ago

Great post. Check my website on hindi stories at . Thanks!

5 years 9 months ago

what are the kriyas and how to do kriyas, could you please tell some one

3 years 4 months ago

Awesome articles,really i have got many important information after watching this video. there is a similar video to this which really helped me to get many important and helpful information as you can watch the same.
Here is the articles :

7 years 10 months ago

yes it is really true. if u do it in a longterm  process  you will find wonderful results

5 years 9 months ago

I used to actually think about suicide because of my 24 hours neck and upper back pain. Now after the kriyas , i am able to finally think about living and my back pain was a story. But I dont have any thought on yoga and weight lose. But yes , the researches say that early morning yoga releases energy from our body (meaning converting fat to energy) keep us up all day. So this is a logically explanation for weight lose with yoga. Still you need to understand weight lose is not fat lose,meaning you could also lose muscle tone if your not eating anything,this will also look like you are sliming down for the first few weeks, but it will be too late to realizes that you have gotten weak. But thats not the case with yoga, it concentrates on your week spots and makes its strong which will improve your muscles tone to average.
being in yoga lifestyle means , being in balance of yourself , being able to handle your own body weight more easily and good.
( From my experience after Isha)

3 years 4 months ago

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7 years 10 months ago

I feel good and healthy after doing kriya

5 years 9 months ago

I am doing Ashana more than 20 years which helps me to maintain the diabetic having with more than 33 years. Doing sambavi mudra also

7 years 10 months ago

Very true, sadhguru.. I can start feeling these symptoms after started doing my kriya's regularly in a short period of time.

5 years 7 months ago

हे भगवान , हे भगवानो ,
हम भगवान नही है ,भाग्य़ से बलवान नही है ,
भाग्य़ से बलवान होते , अच्छी बुद्धी के अच्छे इन्सान होते
मत मारो हमे ,
मत फैकौ हमे नरको मे ,मत बनाओ हमे बुरा
मत दबाऑ जमीनो मे , मत बरबाद करो
अगर होता कोई हमारा अच्छा भगवान या अच्छा इंसान , हम भी होते अच्छी बुद्धी के अच्छे इन्सान

7 years 10 months ago

After doing kriya im eating much and quickly feel hungry,
but since my wait remains same,thanks for sadhguru for giving me this wonderful oppurtunities

5 years 7 months ago

हे भगवान , हे भगवानो ,
हम भगवान नही है ,भाग्य़ से बलवान नही है ,
भाग्य़ से बलवान होते , अच्छी बुद्धी के अच्छे इन्सान होते , मत मारो हमे ,
मत फैकौ हमे नरको मे ,मत बनाओ हमे और बुरा इंसान
मत दबाऑ जमीनो मे , मत बरबाद करो
अगर होता कोई हमारा अच्छा भगवान या अच्छा इंसान , हम भी होते अच्छी बुद्धी के अच्छे इन्सान

7 years 8 months ago

I definitely agree that Yoga is way more than just doing something physical. It allows us to create deep connections with our inner selves. This is one amazing post. Thank you for sharing this with us Sadhguru.

5 years 6 months ago

Yoga is really very helpful for health in order to keep us strong and maintain the fitness.

7 years 7 months ago

[...] more lactic acid which causes fatigue. Why Yoga for beginner could start with any pain or stress. The manual dragged kicking and screaming into English from its Japanese roots advisable to concentrate but would learn the back is [...]

5 years 4 months ago

I was overweight and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 21 pounds in one month without exercise and it has been a life changer. I'm a little embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I've been doing then I'd be happy to help in any way. Just shoot me an email at and I'll show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things are going for me with the stuff I've tried. I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day

7 years 7 months ago

I feel very calm and peaceful after doing shakthi salana kriya! I feel a wonderful practice offered to me. I cant just say thanks for this.

5 years 2 months ago

Can a person with severe Arthritis knee do angamardhana ?

7 years 6 months ago

What is the difference between Kriya and Yoga Asana ?

4 years 10 months ago

Anything one does for a long term correctly will yield wonderful results for sure. This stands for investments too :) Yoga is a MUST investment for life.

6 years 11 months ago

Doing yoga can aid in weight loss in a natural way. This article is very useful as people can know the effects of yoga through it.

3 years 8 months ago

phenomenal wisdom, Isha yoga practices have greatly helped me get rid of all health problems, namaskaram Sadhguru

5 years 9 months ago

This is absolutely true with me shambho, I had lost weight when I was alive.