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Yoga and Weight Gain?

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After looking for answers I'm posting this question here. I started yoga about a year ago due to back problems, and developed to practice 3-5 times per week. It has been great for me and in deepening my practice I have become stronger, and my balance and flexibility have improved. I do mostly vinyasa yoga, and have found bikram yoga to be too hot for me. I have been active all my life and have really enjoyed discovering yoga now that I'm in my late 40s.

My problem is that yoga seems to cause my body to bloat and gain weight. After a few months of yoga, my clothes became too tight and I felt puffy and a bit lightheaded sometimes. I have always been fit with a BMI of about 20, and am in the habit of drinking a lot of water. Over the past 2 weeks I have taken a break from yoga and have lost 8 pounds! Today I realized that my clothes are not tight again. My eating habits have not changed before, during my yoga practice, or through this 2 week break. 

Has this happened to anyone else? I asked my yoga instructors about it and mostly I get reassurances not to worry about gaining weight. In fact, I don't care much about weight gain or loss, I'm just trying to understand. Everything I have found describes yoga as a way to help weight loss, with no information on the condition I am experiencing. I'm now wondering if I should not resume my yoga practice, if it may be causing bloat or imbalance in some way. I love yoga and I'm hoping to find information to make the right decision. Thanks!

 

 

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I am not sure why you are feeling more bloated, unless you are unknowingly drinking even more water or eating more to compensate the additional calories you are burning. Even though eating habits are the same, is the quantity exactly the same? The only time I felt something similar was when I ran more often, I would feel hungrier and eat more than I needed to.

I wouldn't worry about weight gain (since muscle weighs more than fat), but the bloating doesn't sound normal to me.

Glad to hear to are feeling good everywhere else - does your back feel better? Good luck on figuring it out - might want to try asking your doctor about it.

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That is bizzarre.  Yoga helped stabilize my weight because I had high cholesterol.  Yoga is supposed to make your muscles more dense and keep your body from holding on to fat tissues.  You might want to look into refining your practice to fit you better.  Are you engaging bandhas correctly, specifically uddiyana? What is your pranayama like?  Maybe there are certain asanas that you should do more or less of?

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