Does Yoga Burn Calories?

You may believe that as a low-intensity exercise and one adept at promoting wellness and various mental health benefits, yoga does not burn many calories.

Yes, it can improve flexibility and strength while reducing stress, but caloric burn? While you may want to dip into an increasingly cardiovascular workout, you can still burn calories while performing yoga.

Does Yoga Burn Calories

The caloric burn does differ and depends on the type of yoga workout yet an hour can burn between 200 and 600 calories which is still a fair few calories.

In this guide, we will look at how yoga burns calories and the different caloric burns that come with different types of yoga.

How Yoga Burns Calories?

For some, the practice of yoga is akin to meditation where the body and mind are aligned in an effort to reduce stress.

This may seem like a low-intensity exercise compared to running, aerobics, or swimming but slowly moving into different poses for an hour will still burn calories.

However, if you really want to feel the burn then the movements will be faster and use the entire body where you should sweat. If the temperature has been raised in the room, you should sweat more and burn more calories as a result.

The Different Caloric Burns For Different Yoga Types

There are so many different types of yoga that it is worth exploring how many calories you can expect to burn, depending on which one you do.

From Hot Yoga to Vinyasa Yoga and Hatha Yoga, each one has a different style that moves the body in different ways.

Each type still burns calories but due to the intensity, and the prevailing conditions in the yoga studio, you can change up your workout for a different amount of calories being burned each time.

Hot Yoga

Anyone performing Hot Yoga will definitely feel that they are getting a worthwhile workout. This is a potent form of power yoga performed in a hot room so you should be sweating and your heart rate will be raised.

The body will be working hard and that sweat from the hotter temperature is known for its ‘detoxification’ purposes, of flushing those toxins out from the skin. Hot Yoga also helps to increase an individual’s cardiovascular endurance. 

If you do want to burn a lot of calories while performing yoga then Hot Yoga is a great option.

While Vinyasa Yoga will still burn more calories in comparison, an average male aged 35, weighs 77kg, and is 5’10 tall will burn around 540 calories during an hour.

For an average woman who is also aged 35, weighs 59kg, and is 5’4 tall, she is likely to burn around 415 calories. 

Vinyasa Yoga

As the body moves continuously during Vinyasa Yoga, you can expect to burn many calories. The practice is known as ‘flow’ yoga and is performed in a fast-paced environment so you will be forced to move rapidly.

This is a full-body workout with quick, continuous movement which is designed to increase an individual’s focus, as well as their endurance for heat and cardiovascular activity.

With that description in mind, it should not be too surprising that Vinyasa Yoga burns so many calories. That average man can burn around 675 calories in one hour while the average woman stands to burn 515 calories in that same hour. 

Does Yoga Burn Calories (1)

Hatha Yoga

As a gentle and relatively pedestrian type of yoga, you can relax a bit more during a Hatha workout, compared to Hot Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga.

Poses are held for longer yet, because of those extended periods, the caloric burn is still pretty decent. You need body strength to hold those poses and while the amount of calories burned is less than Hot or Vinyasa Yoga, it is still a workout.

For that average man, a single hour of Hatha can burn around 215 calories; for an average woman, that same hour will burn around 164 calories. 

How Does Yoga Compare To Other Activities?

Burning at least 165 and over 600 calories per hour depending on the type of yoga does mean you get a decent workout. If you want to burn some calories then there are other activities that you can do.

Golf is another low-intensity activity and the approximate calories burned in an hour are around 330, if the golfer walks and carries their own clubs.

Aerobics stands to burn a few more calories at 480, then slow freestyle swimming can burn just over 500 calories, and running at about 5MPH can burn nearly 600 calories.

Final Thoughts

The main health benefit of practicing yoga is not so much how many calories you burn, but how you feel after it.

It is a good habit to get into as the workout can reduce stress, and help your body shape become more flexible and toned while it can be used to curb emotional eating.

Different types of yoga have different movements and intensities so try a few until you find the right one.

It may be a low-intensity workout such as Hatha Yoga or one where you really feel the burn such as Hot Yoga or even one where you are continually moving like Vinyasa Yoga.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Practicing Yoga Good For Trying To Lose Weight?

Some forms of exercise have a more direct impact on calorie loss such as running and swimming. However, yoga helps an individual manage their stress which in turn can help improve their mood and prevent emotional eating.

By getting the right support and consistently working out, yoga can help burn calories as well as improve muscle mass and tone over time which can help an individual with their weight loss and health.

How Does Yoga Help Change An Individual’s Body Shape?

By involving so many stretches and by using resistance, muscular contraction can be induced. When the muscles are stretched, their fibers lengthen and then re-align.

This can change an individual’s body shape over time to create a leaner and tighter physique. 

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Angela Frederik
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