Average Calories Burned While Practicing Yoga

By Patricia | September 23, 2008
Calories Burned During Yoga

Burning calories with yoga may not seem an effective method to use, but performing the different yoga postures and breathing exercises can be more effective than most weight loss programs. The amount of calories burned in yoga will depend on the style of yoga you are performing. The number of calories burned in a traditional yoga session will be around 200 calories in an hour for a person weighing 150 pounds. Some of the effective yoga postures for burning calories are Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose), Ardha Kapotasana (Seated Half Pigeon Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend pose), Ardha Sarvangasana (Half Shoulder Stand Pose), and Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose). Whether or not yoga is effective for burning calories, focusing solely on the calories burned in yoga would be inappropriate as it trivializes the overall benefits of yoga.

To perform the Uttanasana, you should first come into the Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Let your knees bend and keep your lower back straight to support your upper body. Then, bend forward slowly so that your upper legs are touching your belly. Let your groins relax while transferring your weight to the heels front part. While breathing properly using your belly, let your chest stretch to your knees without losing your lower backs support. Each time you breathe out you should stretch your legs. Move your pelvis up from the back so that your legs eventually become straight. From the crown of your head, stretch downwards and once you’re holding on your ankles use some force of stretching to lengthen your body.

Bikram (Hot) Yoga Calories Burned

You could also practice other styles of yoga like Bikram yoga or hot yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Power yoga. According to studies, in practicing Bikram yoga, the calories burned for a person weighing 150 pounds will be around 1000 calories for each session. In a session of hot yoga, the calories burned for a person weighing 120 to 160 pounds will be around 350 to 700. In Bikram yoga, the calories are burned in performing the postures in a room that is maintained at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which provides an excellent cardiovascular workout.

Power Yoga Calories Burned

You could also try Power yoga, which is an extension of Ashtanga Vinyasa, and comprises of vigorous yoga postures that involve moving rapidly from one posture to another. The calories burned in Power yoga are higher than that in Hatha yoga. In Power yoga, the calories burned will be around 300 in an hour, depending on your weight. To ensure that the calories burned in yoga are high, you must make sure to perform the postures regularly and complement your yoga session with a well balanced diet.

On an average, yoga burns approximately 200 calories per hour, however, the amount of calories burnt and the level of workout achieved really depends on the type of yoga you choose to practice. It is also important to deepen yoga practice and involve yourself further in practice to go beyond simple yoga asanas in order to burn more calories. Every form of yoga has its own set of asanas and postures that bring about relaxing, muscle strengthening effects in practice. However, depending upon your choice you can decide which type of yoga will be beneficial for you.

  • Hatha Yoga: Hatha Yoga is a gentle form of yoga and is the most common type that concentrates on simple basic asanas. These asanas must be tandem with the correct breathing technique for the right effect. The amount of calories burnt while practicing Hatha Yoga is approximately 175 calories per hour.
  • Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga Yoga refers to a connotation of the eight limbs or the eight forms of spiritual practices as described in the Yoga Sutra or the yoga text. 'Ashtanga yoga' is a set of six series and each series increases in difficulty in practice. Ashtanga yoga is also referred to as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. The amount of calories burnt in practicing Ashtanga Yoga is approximately 300 calories per hour.
  • Power Yoga: Power yoga is a modern form of yoga that has seen the acceptance of a wide audience in the west. In the traditional manner, power yoga is an extension of Ashtanga Vinyasa that consists of intense yoga poses by moving in a rapid motion from one pose to another. The benefits of power yoga are immense and calories burnt are also higher than that in Hatha yoga. Approximately 300 calories per hour are burnt when practicing power yoga.
  • Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa yoga is an energizing form of yoga that links one yoga pose to another and creates a kind of fluidity in traditional yoga postures. The 'Vinyasa flow' is especially apparent when practicing Surya Namaskar. The calories burnt during Vinyasa yoga is approximately 445 per hour.
  • Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga: Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga usually require a heated room to practice the art. The specially prepared environment with approximately 105°F (40.5°C) and 40 percent humidity is right to practice this particular form of yoga. Bikram Yoga and Hot yoga burn the highest amount of calories that is approximately 630 calories per hour.
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