Tuesday, December 31, 2013



If you need some help and inspiration for your New Year's Resolution this may give you the boost to start a practice or be persistent with your yoga practice in the coming year! 

One of the questions I get a few times a day is "Is yoga going to help me with weight loss?" "Do I need to add cardio to my yoga routine?" 
Now most of the yogis crazy about yoga have come to yoga not for the weight loss benefits but because of the divine feeling of connection with spirit it gives us. The flexibility and the toning of the body and the weight loss effects are an added bonus. 
Yet even though yoga's main focus is yoking the spiritual and the physical yoga is actually extremely effective for weight loss. 
Here is how and why in just a few bullet points. 
1. Yoga has a calming effect on the nervous system thus it can be effective for emotional, stress eating. 
2.  Some poses in yoga can stimulate digestion and assimilation thus helping with appetite, satiety and therefore weight loss (indirectly and directly)
3. Doing yoga burns calories!!!!
4. Doing (my) POWER YOGA burns a lot of calories. :)
5. Doing my Interval Yoga is a well rounded routine in which you are doing cardio, stretching, toning, strengthening and awareness meditation in one. Therefore you DO NOT need to add cardio or running to an Interval Yoga class. But you do need to add some cardio or interval training to a traditional Vinyasa or Hatha Yoga class. 
6. To be precise Interval Yoga is much more effective for weight loss than Cardio is because I incorporate Interval Training into the class- which is in essence Intervals of Intensity. They are proven to be much more effective for weight loss than running or spinning alone.

Actually just 10 minutes of Interval Training can give you the same weight loss results as a 50 minute cardio session can give you. Better yet Interval Training can be amazing for post exercise calorie burn.  In fact you can burn an additional 200 calories throughout the day after a short interval training session. 200 calories on top of the calories burnt during the exercise itself.  And your metabolism is much higher for the rest of the day. 
A study (PDF) from the University of New South Wales followed the fitness and body composition changes in 45 overweight women in a 15-week period. The women were divided into two groups and assigned interval or continuous cycling routines. The interval “sprint” cycling group performed twenty minutes of exercise, which repeated eight seconds of “all out” cycling and then twelve seconds of light exercise. The continuous group exercised for 40 minutes at a consistent rate. At the end of the study, the women in the interval group had lost three times the body fat as the women in the continuous exercise group. (An interesting note: the interval group’s loss in body fat came mostly from the legs and buttocks area.)
7. Interval Yoga will increase your endurance and cardiovascular capacity just the way cardio does. Interval training has been proven to achieve the same results in a quarter or a fifth of the time required for a cardio workout. In other words you can Do yoga and intervals and in just 30 minutes you can work on your flexibility and strength while incorporating cardio elements into your yoga and this way you are going to improve your cardiovascular endurance and achieve weight loss results.

8. IF YOU ARE DOING MY VINYASA OR BEGINNER CLASSES AND STRIVING TO LOSE WEIGHT. THEN YES! YOU CAN ADD A CARDIO ROUTINE TO YOUR YOGA PRACTICE.  I recommend my 10 minute short Interval workouts but if you are a runner you can do intervals of running or spinning etc. Just make sure you stretch after running :D 
9. Yoga can stimulate or balance your glands- adrenal, thyroid, pituitary, etc and thus help you with hormonal balance and address hormonal weight gain. 
10. The twisting poses in yoga are extremely effective for mid section weight loss. The media have been saying for years that you can't spot reduce when losing weight. Lately this myth has been proven wrong. In fact you can trim down certain areas of your body with an effective and mindful exercise and diet approach.
I have done that myself many times and I know for a fact that a mindful approach to movement and fitness can sculpt and shape your body. 
11. This is an indirect benefit - but yoga can prevent future injuries thus keeping you active throughout your entire life. Yoga can help you achieve structural balance which is key in any long term weight loss or fitness plan. 

In order to keep this short I am gonna wrap it up here. If you have any questions or requests for future posts please let me know.



  1. Ali! Thank you for sharing this with us.. im looking forward to a new year with your yoga. Thank you for all your kindness and the help you giving me with my weight loss.. you showed me a new possibility with training,i almost gave up.. Ali remember you helped so many people around the world. Im one of them,and i will be forever greatfull. Thank you sweetheart ��

    1. Jennifer thank you your kind and encouraging words. Means a lot to me! Wishing you a lot of inspiration and Love in the coming year! <3

    2. Two summers ago, I worked with a great gal from Hollywood, Rachel Nichols.
      Rachel did some TT workouts while filming a movie up here in Toronto.

      That's about it for me in terms of training Hollywood actors or
      actresses in person, but recently I was asked, "Imagine you're
      working with a major film star who has eight weeks to lose 30
      pounds of fat and build some muscle in preparation for the lead
      role in the latest Hollywood blockbuster. What do you do with them?"

      Here's my answer...

      I would have control over every single thing that they eat. That's
      the biggest ticket to success here. No booze, no excess sugar, and
      just giving them enough reward to stick with the program.

      If this "star" is a typical overweight, sedentary individual, we'll have
      no problem getting rid of 20 pounds of fat through nutrition.

      As for exercise, we need to be consistent, and stick with our intensity
      principles. We would do 3 hard workouts per week using strength
      training followed by interval training with the program being centered
      around basic movement patterns done with free weights.

      Everything is done in supersets in the workout to get more done in
      less time. For example, we might do a squat supersetted with a
      pressing exercise. I also like to pair free weight exercises and
      bodyweight exercises in supersets, for example, a dumbbell split
      squat paired with a decline pushup.

      We'll do 3 superset pairs, each for 1-3 sets, and stick to 8
      repetitions per set. Then we'll finish the workout with 6 hard
      intervals of 30-60 seconds (with 60-120 seconds rest between each).
      This way, we are in and out of the gym in 45 minutes.

      On "off days", we'd still get at least 30 minutes, if not 60
      minutes, of low-intensity exercise. But it wouldn't just be slow
      cardio. Instead, we'd focus on low-intensity bodyweight training.
      For example, if the actor can do a maximum of 25 bodyweight squats,
      15 pushups, and 5 chinups, we would use easier versions of those
      exercises in circuits.

      Here's a sample 6 exercise bodyweight circuit that we'd do at least
      3 times, doing 10 reps per exercise.

      Wall Squat
      Kneeling Pushup
      Beginner Inverted Bodyweight Row
      Stability Ball Leg Curl
      Mountain Climber

      After that, we might cross train with a variety of cardio exercises
      to avoid overuse injuries that occur when you repeatedly do the
      same activity and nothing else.

      So that's pretty much it. If he (or she) sticks to their nutrition,
      we're as good as gold and the actor will be ready just in time.

      Click here to start losing fat with Turbulence Training: ===> Drop 30 Pounds in 8 Weeks? <=====

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      Craig Ballantyne, CTT
      Certified Turbulence Trainer
      Author, Turbulence Training

      PS - Turbulence Training Beats Cardio for Fat Burning Effectiveness.

      "Craig's workouts were fun and challenging - I didn't dread going to the
      gym and I wasn't overly sore after our sessions. Much like my trainer in
      LA, Craig's workouts were always different: the exercises, the supersets,
      the weights...the combination of elements always varied and, therefore,
      I never got bored or felt like I was in a workout rut. And my co-stars
      couldn't believe how great my arms looked, thanks to Craig helping me
      do my first chin-up. Thanks Craig!"
      Rachel Nichols, actress

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      "I have been in love with Turbulence Training ever since I started.
      I am 6'3", 28/M and my starting weight/body fat% was 208 pounds and
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      10.8% body fat."
      Nick Walters, New York, NY

  2. Great post!I have lost weight even with your beginner classes! Can't wait to try your interval yoga classes. Thanks Ali

    1. Oh Maria congrats!!!! Makes me very happy to hear that! Keep it up in the coming year! Love

  3. i love number 9. hormones give the orders for switching on and off fat storage and fat burning as fuel. i knew yoga was calming and stimulating somehow and lowers cortisol, but reading this entire blog put lots into perspective. my other favorite part of this blog to read was the spot training.

    1. Seth I kinda knew you would like #9 :) yes, i had to disagree with the popular myth that you can't spot reduce :D glad you enjoyed it! happy new year to you!

  4. great post and well written....I have lost 10 kilos of my weight through your videos...and i have been recommending your videos to everybody around because anyone who saw me after a long time definitely inquired about my weight loss thanks to you once again for everything and being so accessible...will definitely go through all your write ups.....:)

    1. Sachin I am very happy and proud of you! You took matters into your own hands and made positive changes in order to better your body and mind :) Thanks for kind and sweet comments! love

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  6. Thanks a lot for posting this! Weight loss, good muscle toning, increased flexibility, improved strength, calmer mind, clearer thinking, stress free and sound sleep are just of the tons of benefits that I get from yoga.

  7. Keeping track of your diet and calories can be tricky sometimes.Log Your Activity; Track Your Progress; Track Your Nutrients; Achieve Your Goals

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