How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?

How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?

Although yoga is a low-impact activity, it can encourage weight loss. This isn’t just because of how it burns a decent amount of calories but it also enables you to start healthier lifestyle habits, such as mindfulness during eating.

Does mindful eating help you lose weight? Research has found that practicing yoga leads to healthier eating habits, such as eating fewer fatty foods and healthier foods like whole grains and vegetables. 

There are other reasons why doing yoga regularly can help you to lose weight. Let’s explore them and also look at the types of yoga that burn the most calories. 

How Yoga Helps You Lose Weight

How Yoga Helps You Lose Weight

We’ve already touched on how yoga can promote weight loss by encouraging mindful eating so you make healthier food choices. There are other reasons why yoga can speed up weight loss. These include the following:

  • Yoga reduces stress. Since it makes use of breathwork, doing regular yoga has been linked to increased energy levels and less stress. The latter is especially important because when you carry a lot of stress this causes your stress hormone, cortisol, to increase, which in turn makes you eat more.
  • Yoga reduces belly fat. Research has found that resistance training is great for targeting your belly. And, yes, yoga can be considered resistance training because it helps you build strength. However, it’s important to remember that you should never rely on one exercise or activity in order to lose weight. You still need to focus on all-over body toning and a healthy diet that will promote greater weight loss. 

How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn? 

How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn? 

Generally, yoga can burn between 180 and 600 calories per hour, but it depends on the type of yoga you do.

  • Vinyasa Yoga: This type of yoga involves a lot of movement, so you will be using a lot of energy and burning calories. Vinyasa can easily burn around 550 to 600 calories per one-hour session!
  • Ashtanga Yoga: This is another intense type of yoga. You probably know it by its other name: power yoga. There’s a good reason for this. Ashtanga yoga can burn around 450 calories during a one-hour session.  
  • Hatha Yoga: Hatha is a gentler form of yoga that doesn’t have as much intensity, but you can expect to burn between 175 to 298 calories after doing it for one hour.
  • Bikram Yoga: This is a type of yoga in which you focus on 26 poses and two pranayama exercises. Since a session of Bikram yoga usually lasts for 90 minutes, it can burn around 330 calories per session.

Does Yoga Tone Your Body? 

Does Yoga Tone Your Body? 

If you’re interested in gaining a firmer body, not just cutting calories, yoga can help. This is because practicing challenging yoga poses strengthens your muscles, which tones them.

Adding yoga to your current fitness schedule, whether that involves cardio or strength training, is especially beneficial. It tones your body by helping you to make use of additional physical challenges that will ensure you get in shape.

When you hold yoga poses, this uses muscles in different areas of your body, such as your legs, hips, core, and shoulders. Not only does this tone your muscles, but it can also help you kill some calories. 

A study has found that yoga not only tones your muscles but decreases your waist-hip ratio and the body mass index (BMI) of people who are overweight. 

How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight From Yoga? 

How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight From Yoga? 

If you want to do yoga for weight loss, you can expect to see results within six to 12 weeks, but this will depend on how regularly you practice yoga.

Generally, you should commit to between three and five yoga sessions per week, for at least an hour per session. On the other days of the week, you can do relaxing classes, but don’t forget to have time to rest so your muscles can recover. 

Best Yoga Poses For Weight Loss

If you want to add more yoga poses to your fitness schedule that will help you lose weight, here are some effective ones to choose.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

This pose targets your abs, which is why it’s so good for reducing belly fat. Here’s how to do it: 

  • Lie down on the floor with your face down. 
  • Bend your knees. 
  • Hold your feet with your hands. 
  • As you inhale, lift your hands and feet, also raising your chest and thighs. 
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds. As you get used to it, increase the length of time to 90 seconds. 
  • Release the post with an exhalation.

Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat Pose (Navasana)

Research has found that this yoga pose promotes weight loss within 12 weeks by boosting your metabolism. Here’s how to do it. 

  • Sit on your yoga mat with your knees bent. Keep your feet firmly on the floor. 
  • Rest your palms at your sides. 
  • Lift your feet off the floor. You want your shins to be parallel to the floor. 
  • Move your upper body towards the back, but keep your spine straight. 
  • Keep your torso upright. You want to make a “V” shape with your legs. 
  • Flex your shoulder muscles while you extend your arms in front of you. 
  • Engage your core muscles. 

Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

Since this pose focuses on your core, it’s great for overall weight loss and for flattening belly fat. Note that any variation of the Warrior Pose is effective for weight loss.  

  • Stand straight with your feet placed closely together and your arms at your sides. 
  • Lunge forward with your left leg. Keep your right foot flat behind you on the yoga mat. 
  • Stretch your arms above your head. 
  • Bend your left knee and lunge a bit further. Lift the heel of your right foot off the floor. 
  • Take a breath as you simultaneously twist your upper body. 
  • Arch your back and hold this position for the count of five breaths. 

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

This yoga pose aligns and stretches many areas of your body, such as your calves, thighs, hips, and shoulders. Since it involves a twisting movement, it reduces belly fat.

This yoga pose also engages muscles in your arms and legs so you can tone your body.

  • Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. 
  • Keep your hands straight and parallel to your yoga mat.
  • Bend your left side and touch your left foot with your left hand. 
  • Hold this position for 20 seconds, then repeat it on the other side of your body. 

Plank Pose

Plank Pose

This is a yoga pose that should definitely be a part of your regular yoga sessions because it enhances your core and shoulder strength.

  • Get down on all fours on your yoga mat. 
  • Put your palms flat on your mat. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart. 
  • Walk your feet back about hip-width apart. Straighten your legs. 
  • Bring your upper forearms in as you keep your arms straight. 
  • Pull in your rib cage to relieve pressure on your lower back. This also engages your abdominal muscles. 
  • Hold the pose for between 30 and 60 seconds. 
  • Repeat the Plank Pose between two and five times.

Chair Pose 

Chair Pose 

This is a powerful pose that targets your core and lower body. If you repeat it 10 times, you’ll boost its calorie-burning power.

  • Stand with your feet touching.
  • Lower your hips and bend your knees. Do this as you move your arms overhead. Keep them shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep the weight in your heels.
  • Move your shins back so that you see the tips of your toes when you look down.
  • Move your legs down as if you’re getting ready to sit down on a chair.
  • Engage your lower belly and hold this pose for about eight breaths.
  • Repeat this pose 10 times. 

Related Questions 

How is vinyasa yoga different from Ashtanga yoga?

How is vinyasa yoga different from Ashtanga yoga?

Vinyasa yoga tends to mix things up from one yoga class to the next, while ashtanga yoga follows a sequence of poses every time.

How can you boost yoga’s calorie-burning power?

A common way to increase how many calories yoga burns is to work out in hotter temperatures. This is why hot yoga works well for weight loss. 

Conclusion

While you might not think yoga is a good weight-loss activity, as we’ve seen in this article you can torch calories by doing it. But, how much you burn depends on the type of yoga that you add to your fitness schedule.

To help you make the most of your yoga sessions, we’ve included some of the most effective calorie-burning yoga poses.

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