How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?

This article was contributed by yogaclassplan.com, a service dedicated to helping yoga teachers plan, create and manage their yoga lessons. Contact us to contribute articles.



As more people are starting to get very involved in yoga both as a means to reconnect with their spirit and focus on the mental aspect of their training, some often wonder just how many calories yoga burns. Can yoga really be used as a means to lose weight or are you better off sticking with your running and weight lifting workouts instead? Here are some things to consider about how many calories yoga burns.

The Form Of Yoga

Generally speaking, the most significant influencing factor that will determine how many calories yoga burns is the type that you are doing. The more intense forms of yoga that have you focusing on strength development and positions where you are holding in deep muscle contraction for extended periods of time will definitely be burning up far more calories than those forms that have you sitting in a relaxed position just breathing in and out. For instance, for half an hour of intense yoga such as Ashtanga, you'll burn 222 calories (based on a 140 pound person). This is a significant number of calories and it almost parallels that of jogging. If you want to lose weight and are doing this on a daily basis, you'll definitely be working towards creating the calorie deficit you need to see success. Even higher, 30 minutes of Bikram yoga will burn about 318 calories, so even if you just added this to your week on a daily basis, you'd be losing almost 3 pounds each month. Hatha yoga on the other hand is more relaxed in nature so for thirty minutes of that you'll burn just 90 calories, so it's not quite as effective it weight loss is the main goal.

Your Effort Level

Second, when it comes to yoga and calorie burn, another thing that must be considered is the amount of effort that you are putting in. Yoga is one form of exercise that is fairly easy to self-regulate how hard you're working simply by focusing less on the specific muscle groups being worked and not maintaining the proper form like you should. If you are really zeroing in on each muscle that should be contracting and being sure to fully tense it as best as possible, that's also going to up the calorie burn both during the workout session as well as after you're finished. If you kind of coast through the yoga session though, executing the movements with some effort but not really putting your all into it, then you're going to notice a much lower level of overall calorie burn and won't see nearly the same degree of weight loss benefits. So keep these two main factors in mind when thinking about how many calories yoga burns. When you're doing the right variation and working as hard as you can, it definitely can be an effective way to lose weight as long as you're also following a good diet plan as well.