We’re thrilled to partner with our friends at YogaWorks to bring you the YogaWorks Teacher Training Tip of the Week. Each week, our friends from YogaWorks TT will break down some of the most challenging poses, as well as shed light on the basics, for all of us to enjoy. Like what you see? Click here for more info on YogaWorks’ Teacher Training programs.
People often ask whether yoga will help them lose weight. The answer? A definite maybe.
Vigorous and dynamic forms of yoga, such as Ashtanga or Power Yoga, will likely increase
your heart rate and burn calories with consistent practice. Other systems, such as Iyengar
or Yin Yoga, may not directly shed pounds, but they do increase bodily awareness and
mental focus—eventually unveiling the deeper emotional issues that surround weight and
If weight-loss is a student’s primary goal for starting a yoga practice, it’s important to
start slowly. Too many new students rush into strong classes before they’ve developed
the bodily awareness to move safely, and many wind up getting injured. Yoga is not a
sprint; it’s a steady marathon. Therefore, the best advice for newer students is to build a
solid musculoskeletal foundation in basic postures—a key emphasis of every YogaWorks
Teacher Training—before moving at a faster, more dynamic pace.
The Knee-to-Nose Tabletop position in this week’s video is one way to activate the
abdominals and the breath in a supported and well-aligned position. Various forms of Sun
Salutations are great for revving up the heart rate, effectively warming the hamstrings,
shoulders, and spine; they can be done as a general warmup for a longer practice, or simply by themselves. Check out some examples in the video below:
A typical YogaWorks class moves the body through a vast range of motion at each joint,
illuminating the areas that require extra strength, flexibility, or simply patience and
compassion. Yes, the body undergoes profound changes—which may include weight loss—as an asana practice deepens. In a YogaWorks Teacher Training, however, trainees quickly realize that the deepest transformation occurs from the inside out.
About David Kim
Yoga came to me only when I was ready to receive it. As a New York journalist fresh out of Brown University, I dabbled in a few yoga classes, and continued to do so after moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. But the yoga didn’t take hold right away. As time passed, the movie business slowly dimmed my creative spark, and daily gym workouts had forged a muscular armor, stunting my freedom to move and breathe. I felt stuck. Something needed to shift, and I approached an Ashtanga-based yoga class at my gym with new eagerness. It was a revelation! The deliberate breathing and foreign-sounding postures slowly pried open my body, releasing years of unconscious tension and stress. When tears welled up in my eyes during a seated hip opener, it dawned on me: yoga went far beyond the body—it connected to my emotions, my intellect, even a long-buried sense of Spirit. Focusing heavily on asana, I pushed my physical practice to its limit, tearing my knee cartilage, thanks to over-ambition and sloppy alignment. Good timing led me to the YogaWorks Teacher Training, taught by Lisa Walford and Annie Carpenter, my soon-to-be mentors. Their depth of knowledge and life experience redefined my practice, literally from the ground up. The philosophy and meditative practices spoke to my innate beliefs about a true Self—or universal Consciousness—that exists beyond our narrow ego identities. I began to view yoga as a lifetime practice, one that transcends fitness or postures. Visit my website here.