Calories Burned During Yoga

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Author Brandt Bhanu Passalacqua lost 100 pounds on a journey that began with his first yoga class. Other individuals have experienced equally amazing results. If you are embarking on a weight loss plan or are trying to maintain your target weight, chances are you like to keep track of the calories burned during physical activity. As a point of reference, in order to lose one pound, you must create a 3,500 calorie deficit by burning more calories than you consume.

Average Calories Burned During Yoga

On average, individuals burn approximately 200 calories during one hour of yoga. This amount is similar to walking 2 mph. But the actual figure depends upon a number of variables including weight, gender and the type of yoga. Heavier people burn more calories per hour doing the same activity as lighter individuals. Similarly, men tend to burn more calories than women. For more specific caloric expenditures, consult a free online calorie counter.

Types of Yoga

Hatha yoga classes focus on breath and awareness while postures are performed slowly. Because the pace of these classes is typically slow, calorie expenditures are low.

In Ashtanga yoga classes, participants perform one or more of the six sequences of poses derived from traditional hatha yoga practices. Focus is on coordinating the flow of the poses with the breath. Because the pace of these classes is rapid, Ashtanga yoga burns more calories per hour than less-strenuous forms of yoga. The same principle of rapid calorie burn applies to Kundalini yoga, which also incorporates spiritual chanting and meditation exercises.

Authentic Bikram yoga classes, otherwise known as hot yoga, are held in hot, humid rooms. Temperatures reach 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity. The extreme conditions of these classes are said to promote weight loss, with upwards of 600 calories burned in one hour.

In Iyengar yoga classes, expect to find various props such as straps and blocks. These props help participants achieve proper alignment. The intense focus on the physicality of the postures raises the caloric expenditure above that of hatha yoga, but because the pace is slower, fewer calories are burned than with ashtanga yoga.

If you are looking to incorporate yoga into a weight-loss plan, try to find Ashtanga or Bikram classes.

Health Benefits of Yoga

Regardless of the number of calories burned and whether they lead to significant weight loss, a regular yoga practice offers numerous health benefits. According to Dr. Donald Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic, the health benefits of yoga include “improved blood lipid levels and enhanced mood.” Additionally, yoga leads to increased flexibility by stretching muscles and improving the elasticity of joints.


Mayo Clinic Staff; Exercise for Weight Loss; exercise/SM00109

Brandt Bhanu Passalacqua; My Story; page/story

Elysium Yoga; Calories Burned in Yoga; calories-burned-in-yoga-2/

Types of Yoga; “Women’s Health Magazine”; yoga/ashtanga-yoga