Although not all the benefits of yoga have been studied by doctors and scientists, teachers and practitioners do not tire of trumpeting, for example, that the activity stimulates metabolism and regulates the production of hormones. "The asanas (postures) are a type of massage in the thyroid gland and the stimulation of this tends to cause weight loss," says Fernanda Neis, a professor at the University of Yoga in São Paulo (SP).
In addition, calorie burning cannot be ignored when it comes to the most vigorous styles. "It is estimated to be expended 500 calories in an hour of power yoga, an amount similar to a more pulled step class for advanced students," says Andrea Loschiavo, 28, yoga teacher academy Life Sport in Sao Paulo ( SP). Already the softer styles, such as hatha yoga, cause burns 225 calories, slightly less than a walk at a fast pace (350 calories).