Can Yoga Get You Fit?

Can yoga really make you fit? Or is it only good for stretching and reducing stress? Find out in this episode of Get-Fit Guy and get two exclusive yoga fitness workouts.

Ben Greenfield
3-minute read
Episode #218

One of the most popular Get-Fit Guy episodes is Does Yoga Burn Calories?

In that episode, I dispel the myth that yoga is a good way to lose weight. I also point out that yoga burns fewer calories than walking and is mostly good for stress reduction, lowering blood pressure, learning to breathe properly, and developing a habit of focus and meditation.

Even Bikram yoga done in a super hot room, in which your heart rate can often go through the roof, is not so difficult because it’s burning calories, but rather because your body is making concerted blood-shifting attempts to cool itself.

But what if yoga actually could burn calories? Could yoga get you fit? The answer may be yes, and in this episode, you’ll discover why (and how).

How Yoga Can Get You Fit

If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool yoga devotee, you may want to stop listening or reading, because the style of yoga I’m about to describe is definitely untraditional, and would probably be considered blasphemy by a true yogi.

Here in my hometown in Washington state it's cold, dark, and gray in the winter mornings. So rather than heading outdoors to swim, bike, run, or do obstacle course training, I do yoga as my morning habit.

But this isn’t your average yoga. While I still use the focused exhalations and inhalations that are the cornerstone of any yoga practice, instead of moving through traditional yoga poses, I’ve been doing a mash-up of sun salutations, calisthenics, super slow “eccentric” style body weight moves (also known as negative training, which I talk about here), and even a bit of kettlebell training.

By the time I finish this hybrid form of yoga, I am dripping with sweat and breathing hard, but still have that same feeling of relaxation, calm, and a more oxygenated body that I experience during a regular yoga class.

My hybrid form of yoga has been influenced by practices such as:

And of course, I utilize my own experience with traditional forms of yoga such as Hatha and Bikram. Trust me, I’m not a fitness meathead who came up with a new Get-Fit Guy form of yoga without any prior personal yoga experience whatsoever!

Since I’ve been able to avoid gaining holiday pounds and keep myself in good shape with relatively low impact to my body (a body that was beat up from a year of hardcore training and needed a bit of a change-up), I figured I would share my personal fitness yoga routine with you!


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.