How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn?
It may not be the first activity that everyone thinks of when it comes to losing weight, but yoga has been proven to be a very effective way of doing just that. Admittedly, it will only have a limited impact if it is the only thing you try, especially if you continue to eat a diet that is high in calories and fatty foods.
Assuming, you are serious about losing weight, are now eating a suitable diet, and see yoga as a way of burning calories, the question may now be, ‘How many calories does yoga burn?’ It is a very apt question, because if you want to burn calories as part of your weight loss program, then it stands to reason that you’d want to know how many calories any activity you undertake is actually going to burn.
By establishing how effective each activity is, it will allow you to prioritize which ones you wish to pursue, and as a result of that, possibly determine a schedule for them. This does not necessarily mean that you only focus on those that can burn the most calories. You may have some which you enjoy more than others, plus the benefits you want from each may extend to more than just calorie burning.
If you have already decided to add yoga to your weight loss program, you should take a look at the Yoga Burn Challenge. It is a comprehensive yoga program that you can follow in the comfort of your own home, and it contains numerous yoga poses and exercises that are specifically designed to support weight loss.
What are Calories and Why do They Influence Our Weight?
A calorie is a unit of energy, and we invariably get our calories from the food we eat and the liquids we drink. We could not survive without them, as they are what gives our bodies the energy to do everything we need to survive, including keeping our heart beating and our lungs breathing.
The simple fact is that your body is burning calories literally every minute of the day. Even when you are at rest, you’ll burn about 1 calorie per minute. Obviously, the more energy we use, such as when playing sports, the more calories we burn. The problems begin when we increase our calorie intake, such as by eating lots of food, but not burning it off.
The calories that are not burned off are stored by our bodies for when the energy they give us may be needed. Unfortunately, the form in which they are stored is fat. Too many unburnt calories mean increased levels of fat, and that is what ultimately causes unwanted weight gain.
We reverse this weight gain in two ways, and ideally by using both. The first is to reduce our caloric intake by eating more nutritious meals that have a controlled number of calories, and the second is to participate in physical activity which requires our body to use energy and thus burn off the fat which it has stored.
Using Yoga to Aid Weight Loss
While activities like jogging, swimming and going to the gym might first spring to mind when thinking about those most associated with weight loss, yoga is definitely one to consider. The many physical movements which play a part in the different types of yoga, all require our body to burn calories.
In addition, those who practice yoga regularly are likely to have joints and muscles in better condition, and thus more able to take part in other sports and physical activities. You must not forget the psychological benefits yoga has been seen to produce, including the fortitude to continue with a weight loss program, even when your motivation is fading.
Ultimately, calorie burning will be down to the physical movement that yoga relies upon. One of the key aspects of this is that yoga requires participants to move, bend, and stretch almost all parts of their body. This means that calories, and thus fat, are being burned from all body areas, rather than just one, which is the case with some physical activities.
What Can Influence the Number of Calories You Burn?
Regardless of the sport or physical activity, including yoga, there is no simple number which can be applied to say how many calories everyone will burn each time they do yoga. The reason for this is that there are several factors that will influence the number of calories you burn.
In the case of yoga, some the main factors will be your current weight, your body’s fat-to-weight percentage, the type of yoga, and the length of time you do yoga during any particular session. There can also be genetics which comes into play for each individual.
This is why anyone who plucks a number out of the air and tells you that is how many calories you will burn is merely guessing if the factors we’ve mentioned have not been established and taken into account.
Calculating the Calories You Burn With Yoga
Several studies have been done over the years to establish how many calories yoga can burn, with two of the main factors being shown to impact the calculation. The type of yoga which is undertaken also influences the numbers.
For example, if we have two people who weigh 140 lbs., and 200 lbs. respectively, the former would burn approximately 177 for each 60 minute Hatha yoga session, while the latter would burn 252. Hatha yoga is a general type of yoga that focuses on movement and breathing.
With 60 minutes of Bikram yoga, the individual weighing 140 lbs. could expect to burn 447 calories, and the person who weighs 200 lbs. should burn 638 calories. One of the reasons for the higher figure is the fact that Bikram yoga sessions normally take place in a room heated to 105°, and with high humidity.
These two examples should highlight the fact that the benefit in terms of burning calories works exponentially whereby those who weigh the most burn the most calories when all other factors are equal.
Burning Calories With Yoga at Home
While the examples we’ve given refer to specific yoga class types, there is nothing to stop you from doing yoga at home to burn calories and lose weight. Generally, you can expect to burn approximately 1 calorie for every 1 pound you weigh, for each 30 minute session of yoga you do at home.
If you are unsure which yoga program to follow, you should check out Yoga Burn Challenge. This sequential yoga program is ideal for both beginners and those who have more experience doing yoga.