When it comes to exercise, you wouldn’t be blamed if you didn’t consider yoga to burn a lot of calories Tons of forms of yoga don’t exactly make you start sweating, and poses like corpse pose and child’s pose are pretty far from what most consider to be physical activity.
However, we know that yoga has tons of health benefits. Ranging from flexibility to a healthier mind, yoga is great at cleansing toxins and making you feel fresh.
But even during the slowest practices you have to be burning calories, right? Well, the total number of calories you can burn doing yoga might surprise you – ranging anywhere from 175 to 550 calories in one hour of practice, and potentially even more.
How much you burn comes down to how you approach yoga.
Pick the Right Pose
As you might have expected, certain poses are going to burn more calories. If you’re looking to boost the number of calories you burn, then you should focus on a few specific poses.
Chair pose is perfect for yogis of all talent since it requires no special skill. Basically, chair pose is like a half-squat, engaging the quads, glutes and core. Twisting during chair pose is only going to make this pose harder – meaning more calories burned.
Along with chair pose, plank pose and chaturangas are going to give you a full body workout. Planks and chaturangas work out the arms and shoulders while also forcing you to engage your core. These poses will make you sweat, and any yoga class with these is going to help you burn calories.
If you do yoga on your own and want to burn calories, make sure to include these!
Typically, any 1-hour yoga class is going to adhere to a specific style of yoga. Because each yoga class uses different poses and you can push yourself as much as you want, the number of calories you end up burning will change class to class.
That being said, there’s a general range of calories you can expect to burn with certain styles. Most yogis and non-yogis would assume that Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, is going to burn the most calories.
It turns out that a typical Bikram class is probably going to make you burn around 400 calories. While this is definitely something to be proud of, it isn’t the most intensive style when it comes to burning calories.
Vinyasa yoga, also known as flow, takes the calorie burning crown. Most flow classes use chaturangas and chair pose pretty often, along with other deep lunges and balances. Working through a full Vinyasa class will help you burn somewhere around 550 calories.
Other forms of yoga, such as Hatha or Ashtanga, will burn slightly less than Bikram or Vinayasa, but you can still easily burn 175-350 calories. It all depends on your teacher, the poses and how hard you push yourself that day.
Yoga Helps with Weight Loss
One of the beautiful things about yoga is that you can always push yourself to try harder. Unfortunately, that makes it nearly impossible to determine exactly how much someone can burn doing any style or pose.
But yoga is a legitimate way to burn calories. You are constantly moving during most classes, and your heart rate generally stays in the “orange” zone – an area where your heart is beating at a quick, yet comfortable, pace.
Practicing yoga can spur your metabolism as well, so even if you don’t burn as many calories as you’d like during a class, your body will continue to burn calories faster even after you’ve left the mat.
Combining yoga with a healthy diet and other exercises is definitely going to help you lose weight – plus you’ll get all the other benefits that come with yoga!