Wonder How Many Calories Are Burned in Different Yoga Classes? We Have Answers!

The calories burned in yoga differ greatly depending on the style! Credit: lululemon athletica

If you ask any avid yogi why they love yoga so much, weight-loss and calorie burn would probably be pretty far down the list. While you don’t want to take away from the mind/body connection people flock to yoga to experience—admit it—you are a little curious how many calories your favorite yoga class is scorching. And if you are on a weight-loss plan, being informed on just how many calories you are expending can be the key to your success.

There is no way around it. Yoga is as an amazing full-body workout— but the intensity can vary based on which class you take, from gentle and relaxing Hatha yoga to sweat-dripping-off-your-nose hot Bikram. So which classes burn the most (and the least) amount of calories? The answers may surprise you.

“If the method to test caloric expenditure was only based on heart rate, then Bikram and other hot yoga classes might top the charts as the styles of yoga that burn the most calories,” explains Jill Lawson, founder of Jill Lawson Yoga. “But while a higher heart rate does correlate with a higher calorie burn, other factors can play a role in increased heart rate without the corresponding caloric expenditure.”



Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    I wear a heart rate monitor, so I can see for me what the real calorie burn is. For the yoga classes I take (typically some sort of flow) I’m lucky to get 200-250 calories out of a class. It’s definitely done for the calorie burn!

    What I get out of it is stretching, flexibility, and an overall sense of calmness and relaxation that I never feel coming out of any other sort of exercise class. Mind-body connection indeed.

  2. D says

    4 years ago I was hit by a 18 wheeler and messed up my left side of my body. So I am not very flexible in my hips on that side nor my neck (for example I cannot look over my left shoulder) so recently I bought a Wii and I’ve been doing the yoga almost everyday along with my regular boxing and high impact cardio and I have noticed that I am starting to get more flexibility in my hip, so I’m hopeful with a little more work with the yoga, I can get better range. There is a bikram yoga place in town that doesn’t charge much, but I hate humidity so I’m concerned I won’t do well in it.

  3. Li says

    As an athletic woman, it somewhat surprises me that the yoga class that appeals to me most is a slow paced hatha class. I find the spiritual aspect, and the soothing nature of the class balances my exercise routine which is already heavy in calorie burning pursuits. The flexibility and ease of movement that I have gained helps not only in my other fitness activities, but also in daily life.

  4. jah says

    I’ve been enjoying hot vinyasa flow classes for 10+ years and I’ve never thought about the calorie burn. For me it’s about the stretch, the strength and the cleansing feeling I get during a hot class. I love it! I need the yoga classes to balance the running and weight-training I do on the other days. If I had to choose one type of exercise it would be yoga.

  5. Cindy says

    I just recently got into Restorative Yoga after an ovarian cyst left me rather athletically debilitated. Believe it or not, my stress decreased immensely and my ovarian cyst actually shrunk! I couldn’t beleive it. Aside from the fact that I lost some muscle definition due to my weight-lifting and HIIT hiatus, I am totally going to incorporate this into my new workout routine when I get back into the swing of things.

  6. hot yoga huntington beach says

    was really shocked to see Vinyasa yoga as the type of yoga that burns the most calories. I assumed it would have been Bikram because you sweat so much in hot yoga. Contrary to popular belief, as we’ve already learned, don’t rely on sweat as a gauge of how intense an exercise is. A combination of heart rate and perceived effort are much better indicators of how hard you are working and how much energy you are expending.

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