How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn? (Yoga Deciphered!)

I have been doing yoga for almost one year now. While my focus is the other benefits it comes with, I have to confess that time and again, I have noticed my weight stabilize and even drop a few pounds.

So, it is an open secret that yoga being a physical activity, can most definitely lead to burning of calories and at times, weight loss. There are many ways to lose weight and yoga is among them. The bigger question however is, how many calories does yoga burn?

Well, this question has been posed time and again, and time and again, the answer is the same; it depends. There is no standard number of calories burnt while doing yoga. The burnt calories depend on a number of factors. Curious? Find out more!


1. The Type Of Yoga

There are so many yoga styles each with different a function, it almost seems as if someone in India is making up some fancy poses every day. Each yoga type comes with a different intensity hence, a difference in the number of calories burnt. Since I cannot cover all the styles, I will focus on the four major types of yoga and show you the number of calories burnt in each.

  • Hatha Yoga: To explain as simply as possible, this is the yoga that involves yoga postures and breathing regulation to attain flexibility and relaxation of the mind and body. It is the most practiced and the best for beginners. I bet at one time you must have involved yourself in some Hatha yoga. This very simple yoga can vary in intensity but in most cases, a person burns between 170 to 300 calories.
  • Vinyasa Yoga: In this case, a fixed number of styles are incorporated in this yoga type, each comprising of different postures. Vinyasa involves flowing from one pose to another while controlling your breath. It is a bit more rapid than the Hatha yoga. Here, you burn approximately 580 calories per hour.
  • Ashtanga Yoga: Just like in Vinyasa, you are taken through a series of poses in Ashtanga while coordinating your breath with your movement. While participating in Ashtanga, expect to lose about 300 to 400 calories in an hour.
  • Bikram Yoga: Simply put, this is hot yoga. It involves a series of poses done for a period of 90 minutes in hot temperatures. As much as you expect to lose most calories in this yoga type due to the heat, you manage to burn between 400 to 480 calories. This ranks it second to Vinyasa which is seen to burn out more calories among the four types discussed.

2. Duration Of The Yoga Session

Come on, I bet you saw this coming right? Well, yoga, just like any other physical activity, leads to more calories burnt with an increase in the duration of the activity, up to a point. For instance, a person doing yoga for 30 minutes will shade an average of 300 pounds which doubles if the yoga session doubles in duration, while the calorie intake remains constant.

This way, you can lose more calories by increasing the duration of your workout up to a reasonable time, say a maximum of one hour doing yoga.

3. Your Weight

Studies have shown that the heavier a person, the more the calories burnt in any physical activity yoga included. Thanks to the guys at Harvard Medical, this theory has been put to test.

It shows that time held constant, individuals with different body weights burn different amounts of calories in different physical activities, including yoga. This goes out to prove that the weight of a person is a determining factor in the number of calories burnt during yoga.

Bottom Line

Yoga comes with a lot of benefits and then some. The burning of calories is one of them. It should however be noted that, yoga alone is not the best kind of physical activity for burning calories. As much as you can increase the duration of a yoga session to burn more calories, you will still not burn calories effectively to result in weight loss.

What you can do, however, is to incorporate yoga into another physical activity. For instance, practice yoga with weights. You can also include yoga into your workouts such that, on your rest days, you can be doing some yoga to burn a few calories while enhancing your flexibility and stretching out your body. This way, you will still do yoga and be able to burn a significant amount of energy.

Moreover, focusing your mind on burning calories while doing yoga will lead to your mind being distracted which defies the whole purpose of yoga. That said, Namaste my friends and make sure you enjoy yoga as much as you can. As usual, your questions and comments are most welcomed, so keep them coming.

Nancy Moore

Hi, everyone! My name is Nancy Moore and I am the founder and creator of Fitnessgrams. I created Fitnessgrams to be a haven for people looking to get fit, boost their health, lose weight, or improve their well-being. Here you will find experiences, workouts, information from the experts, healthy living tips, and tools to find well-being and balance.

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