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Feeling Fit: How Yoga Can Help Shed Pounds

Aired August 4, 2001 - 08:47   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIAN NELSON, CNN ANCHOR: All right, pop quiz. What do Madonna and Sting have in common?

REA BLAKEY, CNN ANCHOR: Music.

NELSON: Well, close. But the other answer is yoga. The ancient exercise has become quite the trend.

BLAKEY: Most instructors promote it as a good way to lose weight.

CNN's medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen checks it out and finds that there are more benefits to report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Is it possible that you could lose weight just by sitting still and doing stretches and poses?

JOHNNY KEST, YOGA INSTRUCTOR: And continue with each breath to release unnecessary weight and tension.

COHEN: That's the latest claim in yoga studios and on yoga Web sites. In Michigan, Johnny Kest teaches a yoga class specifically for weight loss.

KEST: When you start practicing yoga, you become more sensitive and through that greater sensitivity in your body you often make better choices of what you eat. You just, you lose the cravings.

COHEN: And what about fat?

KEST: Yoga blows away the fat promoting stress hormones that we release in our body.

COHEN: So is that true? Fitness and weight loss experts we talked to said there's no proof behind the craving or hormone claims and they said while ashtanga, or power yoga, does burn a lot of calories, the other kinds don't.

BILL KOHL: It's not nearly as metabolically demanding as the quote more aerobic physical activity.

COHEN: So if Kohl's right, then how did Evelyn Goldfield lose 47 pounds doing yoga?

EVELYN GOLDFIELD: Yoga puts you in touch with -- teaches you to face the truth about yourself and to see, to be mindful and to understand not just what you're eating, by why you're eating.

COHEN: Kest says many people find the reason they're eating is stress and yoga can help with that.

KEST: And this is what yoga teaches, how to breathe and relax through the ups and downs in our life.

COHEN (on camera): The fitness experts we talked to said even though they were skeptical about yoga for weight loss, they said if yoga helps someone stay mentally focused on eating right and losing weight, then it really could be the greatest weight loss tool of all.

(voice-over): For "Feeling Fit," I'm Elizabeth Cohen.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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