How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn? Discover the Surprising Benefits

Yoga has many surprising benefits, including improved strength, balance, flexibility, reduced stress, and better sleep. The bodily and mental benefits of yoga are well-known, but you may not know that one other surprising benefit is that you also burn calories.

You may now ask: “How many calories does yoga burn?” The calories you burn during a yoga session depend on several factors. These include the intensity, length, and type of yoga practiced for the session. It also depends on your gender.

According to Healthline, you can expect to lose between 180 and 460 calories per session based on the abovementioned factors. Based on research, a 160-pound individual will burn an average of 183 calories in a one-hour Hatha yoga session, whereas a man can lose up to 460 calories in a 90-minute Bikram session. On the other hand, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, the average number of calories a person loses during one hour of running at five miles per hour is 590 calories.

However, some forms of yoga can equal the calories burnt during a run. Let’s delve deeper to learn more about how many calories yoga burns.

Calories Burned in Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide

Burning calories is essential for weight loss. However, it also helps to practice a mindful approach to the calories you consume. Research shows that yoga helps achieve calorie burning and mindfulness in food consumption.

Thanks to the various yoga styles available, everyone can find one that suits them, helping even the overweight and unfit to incorporate its superb benefits into their lifestyles.

Depending on the type of yoga, the gender, and the intensity and duration of the class, a person can burn anything between 180 and 460 calories. Therefore, despite losing calories not being the main reason people choose this ancient exercise form, it’s one of its surprising benefits.

Slower-paced yoga classes, like Hatha yoga, have the lowest calorie burn count. The intense Bikram yoga, known as hot yoga because of the heated and humid environment, ups the calorie count to its maximum. A 2014 study by Colorado State University shows that, on average, women burned 330 calories and men 460 during a hot yoga session.

Hot Yoga and Calorie Burn: What You Need to Know

Hot yoga has several variations, but the most well-known is  Bikram yoga because Bikram Choudry invented it in the 1970s. The yoga teacher incorporated 26 asanas and two Prayanyamas into the exercise routine. These are performed twice in a heated room, typically taking 90 minutes to complete a session.

The temperatures range from 90 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 40 degrees Celsius) with a 40% humidity count to encourage sweating and the health benefits of detoxification and a higher calorie burn.

Other forms of Hot yoga include Power Vinyasa yoga, which uses multiple yoga styles not based on a fixed formula; the popular Hot Power yoga, which uses Vinyasa flow; and Moksha Hot yoga.

Hot yoga provides intense exercise, including dynamic flow, cardiovascular exercise, and calorie loss. While it’s challenging to specify how many calories yoga burns, hot yoga can burn from 300 to 600 calories per hour, depending on the duration, intensity, and individual factors. Individual factors include age, weight, fitness level, and metabolic rate. A person’s level of effort and engagement in the practice also plays a role.

It’s important to note that the primary focus of hot yoga should be on overall health and well-being rather than solely calorie burn.

Yoga vs Hot Yoga: Which Burns More Calories?

If you want to know how many calories yoga burns, you should know that it also depends on the type of yoga practiced. Here’s what to expect from the different yoga styles, bearing in mind that it will also depend on individual factors.

Hatha Yoga – Hatha yoga can burn about 189 calories in one hour. As the most popular form of yoga, Hatha yoga incorporates continual movement of yoga postures, focusing on balance. It provides a stimulating experience and is ideal for people new to the practice.

Ashtanga Yoga – Ashtanga yoga can burn about 351 calories in one hour. It combines breathing techniques with a series of set postures, boosting cardiovascular health and helping relax the mind. The coordination of breathing and movements performed during Ashtanga makes it an excellent way to lose weight while becoming stronger and more flexible.

Bikram Yoga – Bikram yoga can burn about 460 calories in one hour. It is the best type of yoga for weight loss. Usually, a Bikram Yoga session lasts 90 minutes, and the increased sweating in the hot and humid environment boosts calorie burn.

Vinyasa Yoga – Otherwise known as Flow Yoga, Vinyasa can burn about 550 to 594 calories in one hour. It’s a strenuous form of yoga, calling for a continuous flow of the poses while coordinating them with breath.

Restorative Yoga – Depending on the intensity and style, a person can burn around 240-300 calories in a restorative yoga session. Restorative yoga focuses on gentle stretching, deep breathing, and mindfulness to promote overall well-being and improved balance and flexibility.

Hot Yoga – Hot yoga can burn between 400 – and 600 calories in a one-hour session. Like Bikram yoga, Hot yoga uses a hot and humid environment to make the body work harder and encourage detoxification.

As you can see from the above calories burned in the various types of yoga, traditional yoga burns the least. In contrast, Vinyasa and hot yoga are more effective because they are more strenuous, promoting sweating.

How Many Calories Does a 30-minute Yoga Session Burn?

During a 30-minute yoga session, the calories burned will be between 100-300. The outcome depends on several factors, including the type of yoga, the person’s body weight, and the intensity level of the yoga session.

For example, the more energetic yoga styles, like Vinyasa yoga, are more effective in burning calories because of their active nature. Generally speaking, yoga can burn anything from 180 to 600 calories per hour, meaning a 30-minute session would burn half of that.

The Calorie-Burning Benefits of 1-Hour Yoga Sessions

Burning calories helps lose weight and fat. Yoga involves physical activity and controlled breathing, allowing practitioners to take advantage of its calorie-burning benefits.

Even though many activities burn more calories than yoga, they don’t all incorporate the other diverse benefits of practicing yoga, including its ability to balance the mind and body.

Therefore, a one-hour yoga session can burn 180 to 600 calories. Of course, the calorie loss depends on several factors, including the yoga style, its intensity, and the person’s body weight.

Quoting from Harvard Health Publishing, BetterMe places the average calorie loss for a 155-pound individual at 144 during a half-hour hatha session. That’s not too bad for this less strenuous form of yoga. The more vigorous the yoga session, the more calories burned.

Yoga and Weight Loss: How Many Calories Can You Expect to Burn?

The physical activity of yoga helps burn calories and help you lose weight, something that’s easier to achieve by incorporating a diet with fewer calories.

One study of 15,500 middle-aged people conducted for the National Cancer Institute in 2005 found that people who were of average weight at 45 and regularly practiced yoga had gained about 3 pounds less than the average person when they reached 55. Moreover, the same study showed that those participants who were overweight and practiced yoga lost 5 pounds during the ten years as opposed to the 14 pounds gained by those who did not do yoga. They concluded it is because of the mindful approach to eating encouraged by yoga.

A 2016 study suggested that even though yoga doesn’t burn as many calories as other activities, it provides the support and role modeling that offers healthy and sustained weight loss.

Discover the Calorie-Burning Power of Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is an active yoga that burns many calories for every hour of practice. According to health experts, a 150-pound woman can burn 594 calories, the equivalent of running at five miles per hour. Of course, the calories burned depend on the person’s size, the intensity of the practice (constant flow yields the ultimate results), and their fitness level.

Hot Yoga: Maximize Your Calorie Burn in Just 60 Minutes

How many calories does yoga burn? Depending on the yoga style. It can prove as effective as running for an hour at 5 mph. Vinyasa and Hot yoga are two yoga styles where practitioners can expect to burn the most calories.

How can you maximize calorie burn in just 60 minutes of Hot yoga?

Choose a Dynamic Style –  Opt for a Hot yoga class incorporating dynamic and challenging postures. Styles like Vinyasa, Power Yoga, or Ashtanga involve continuous movement, elevating your heart rate and increasing calorie expenditure.

Engage in High-Intensity Sequences – During the class, actively participate in high-intensity sequences, moving quickly between postures. Push yourself to engage in challenging poses and flows, keeping a steady pace to maintain an elevated heart rate throughout the session.

Add Strength Elements – Incorporate strength-training elements into your hot yoga practice. Poses requiring more muscular effort, such as arm balances and inversions, can increase calorie burn.

Stay Active During Rest Periods – Even during rest or recovery periods in the class, try to maintain some activity level, like staying longer in a dynamic pose, performing light stretches, or focusing on controlled breathing to keep your body engaged.

Hydrate Adequately – Proper hydration is crucial during hot yoga sessions. Although staying hydrated doesn’t directly contribute to calorie burn, it helps maintain your energy levels and supports overall performance, allowing you to exert more effort.

Consistent Practice – Regular practice is essential for building stamina and improving overall fitness.

Yoga Leads to Better Sleep, and Better Sleep Promotes Fat Loss

A survey from 2013 that questioned over 1000 Americans who regularly practiced yoga revealed that 68.5 % of the participants vouched for improved sleep after bedtime yoga.

Not many people know this, but a well-documented link exists between sleeping habits and weight loss or gain.

This empirical evidence suggests that sleep deprivation makes your body store fat for longer.

Kickstart Your Day: Morning Yoga for Maximum Calorie Burn

Starting your day with yoga can significantly boost your metabolism and enhance calorie burning throughout the day. Try this simple yet effective 15-minute morning yoga routine to kickstart your metabolism:

  1. Sun Salutations (5 minutes)
  2. Warrior Pose Sequence (5 minutes)
  3. Cooling Down with Deep Stretching (5 minutes)

Beginners should start slow and gradually increase the intensity. Consistency is key!

Yoga and Diet: A Holistic Approach to Weight Loss

Yoga isn’t just about physical exercise; it’s a lifestyle that includes a balanced diet. Here’s how to combine yoga with healthy eating for optimal weight loss:

  • Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to what and how you eat.
  • Incorporate yoga-friendly meals: Eat balanced, nutritious meals that fuel your body and mind.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before and after your yoga sessions.

Yoga for Every Body: Adapting Yoga for Different Fitness Levels

Yoga is for everyone, regardless of fitness level or flexibility. Here are some ways to adapt yoga poses:

  • Use props like yoga blocks or straps for support.
  • Modify poses to suit your comfort level.
  • Listen to your body and avoid pushing into pain.

Remember, the goal is progress, not perfection.

Tracking Your Progress: Tools and Tips for Measuring Calorie Burn in Yoga

Consider using wearable technology or fitness apps to track your calorie burn during yoga. Popular tools like Fitbit or MyFitnessPal can help monitor your progress. Remember, consistency in tracking is as important as the exercise itself.

Beyond the Mat: Incorporating Yoga Principles into Daily Life for Weight Management

Applying yoga principles in daily life can aid in weight management. Here are some tips:

  • Practice mindfulness in your daily activities.
  • Use stress management techniques like deep breathing.
  • Maintain an active lifestyle, complementing your yoga practice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga and Calorie Burning

What is the best time to practice yoga for maximum calorie burn?

While yoga can be practiced anytime, many find morning sessions most effective for boosting daily metabolism.

How does yoga impact metabolism?

Regular yoga can enhance metabolic rate by building lean muscle and reducing stress, which is often linked to weight gain.

Can I balance yoga with other forms of exercise for weight loss?

Absolutely! Combining yoga with cardiovascular exercises like running or swimming can create a well-rounded fitness routine.  

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