Want to lose weight? How many calories does Yoga burn?

Can yoga help you to lose weight?

How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn 2
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An hour of basic yoga burns 200 to 240 calories. However actual calories burnt will vary based on intensity, duration, and body weight.

A more detailed view based on type of Yoga and weight of person is shown in table below:

Let’s break down a few styles of yoga in slightly more detail and see just how many calories each will burn on average by duration and body weight. We shall start with the most basic and work up to the most impactful.

How Many Calories Does Iyengar Yoga Burn?

This style of yoga puts a heavy emphasis on posture and controlled breathing. This form of yoga is a perfect choice for rehabbing injuries, especially with usage of props to help with alignment. People with chronic pain from previous injuries or ailments that affect the muscle and joints will benefit from this type of yoga. 

This style can be challenging from a flexibility and balance perspective; However, it is not as intense as other forms of yoga, which means that fewer calories will be shed. 

Calories burned10min20min30min60min
Iyengar Yoga 31 – 37  63 – 74  94 – 111  188 – 221 

Calories burned is equivalent to various home activities such as laundry (including walking to and fro the wardrobe), mild-stretching, or walking very slowly, strolling (1.7mph).

How Many Calories Does Hatha Yoga Burn?

Hatha is a basic version of yoga, typically used to introduce yoga to beginners. This form of yoga focuses on use of postures, slow movements and breathing to maximize your body and mind awareness.

As a result, Hatha yoga is great for new yoga enthusiasts. Keep in mind that the low-intensity level in this type of yoga is reflected in the amount of calories burned. Even so, it is designed to help you manage stress, improve mood and increase flexibility. 

Calories burned10min20min30min60min
Hatha Yoga 34 – 40  68 – 80  102 – 120  204 – 240 

Calories burned is equivalent to fishing or moderate house activities (sweeping, cleaning), billiards, operating a snowblower or walking leisurely at 2mph.

How Many Calories Does Ashtanga Yoga Burn?

Ashtanga translates to “eight-limbed yoga” and with a name like that you probably guessed that it is more intense and energetic than Hatha yoga. This practice forms the basis of yoga as an exercise.

This exercise is very structured, focusing on a fixed series of poses, the movement from one pose to another and breathing system. Purpose is to build strength and flexibility of the body

Calories burned10min20min30min60min
Ashtanga Yoga 54 – 64  109 – 128  163 – 192  326 – 384 

Calories burned is equivalent to video-exercise (DVD/TV) cardio-resistance (moderate effort), gymnastics or weight training (light weights).

How Many Calories Does Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga Burn?

Now we will feel the burn for sure. Hot yoga, and its very similar cousin Bikram Yoga, are yoga classes (usually Hatha yoga) that take place in a room heated upwards of 100° F and steeped in humidity. This causes a lot of things to happen in your body that will promote elevated metabolism which in turn will burn calories.

Not only will the heat and the subsequent poses help stimulate blood flow, but you are going to sweat. This means you will be losing excess water weight and increasing your metabolism which all leads to burning calories. The heat of the room and the intense focus on poses and breaths will help your body attack those calories.

Calories burned10min20min30min60min
Bikram Yoga 68 – 80  136 – 160  204 – 240  408 – 480 

Calories burned is equivalent to resistance (weight) training – squats (explosive effort), yardwork – mowing lawn, moderate-to-vigorous effort or brisk walking (4 mph).

How Many Calories Does Vinyasa Yoga Burn?

You will glide from pose to pose in this style that is derived from Ashtanga Yoga. With more dynamic movements and with continued focus on breathing, Vinyasa yoga is a modern form of yoga.

Where Ashtanga yoga follows a set pattern of poses, Vinyasa’s flow of poses is only limited by the instructor’s creativity. That means if you get bored quickly then this could be the perfect choice for you. Typically, this system of yoga is a little more intense with more movements so you will sweat more and that means a few more calories burned. 

Calories burned10min20min30min60min
Vinyasa Yoga 75 – 88  150 – 176  225 – 264  449 – 528 

Calories burned is equivalent to swimming laps – freestyle/crawl light (leisurely pace) or stationary bicycling (100watts) light effort.

Can yoga help you lose weight? Yoga and diet – yes!

Weight loss is a result of creating an energy or calorie deficit in the body. Physical activity or exercise, including yoga, does increase calorie expenditure. By this logic, yoga can help you lose weight. Easy!, well not so fast…

… unfortunately, real world data paints a more complicated picture. Most studies have shown that exercise alone play a very small role in weight loss, driven in part by compensatory intake of calories and reduction in non-exercise thermogenesis. 

The takeaway is for effective weight loss you’ll need to deploy a comprehensive approach that focuses on heightened control over intake of calories (i.e. both quality and quantity food) and to a lesser degree, increase the amount of physical activity.

Though yoga does play a small role in weight loss, there are other substantial health (physical and mental) benefits that you get from practicing any form of yoga — even if just for 10 or 20 minutes per day. For example, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine website the practice of yoga has been shown to help:

  • Relax, decrease stress and sleep better, 
  • Increase energy levels and brighter moods,
  • Improve heart health,
  • Improve mobility (incl. easing of arthritis) , flexibility, balance and strength
  • Promote better self-care

Yoga is more that just burning calories

In the end, yoga is about so much more than the calories you burn. You can develop better body awareness and a sense of peace that will help you make your way through this hectic world we live in, but burning a few extra calories is a definite plus.

No matter which yoga style you choose, adding yoga into your daily routine is a great idea for physical exercise, mental clarity, and emotional balance.