How many calories does an hour of yoga burn?

Let’s talk about yoga and calories.

Ever wonder how many calories you burn during an hour of yoga?

Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer.

It varies based on factors like your weight, intensity, and the type of yoga you’re doing.

We often think about yoga as a calming, low-impact exercise.

But, the truth is, it can also be a great way to torch calories.

So, let’s dive in and see exactly how many calories you can expect to burn in an hour-long yoga session.

1) Individual differences

Let’s get one thing clear – we’re all unique.

That’s right, your calorie burn during yoga won’t be the same as your friend’s.

Just like in weight-loss or muscle-building, individual differences play a huge role.

Factors like your weight, fitness level, and even your gender can affect how many calories you burn.

Think about it.

A heavier person will burn more calories doing the same yoga routine as a lighter person.


Because they have more weight to move around.

It’s a similar story with fitness levels.

The fitter you are, the more efficient your body becomes at burning calories.

And don’t forget about the type of yoga you’re doing.

A session of hot yoga or power yoga will burn more calories than a relaxing session of Hatha yoga.

So, don’t fixate on a single number.

Instead, recognise that your own calorie burn will depend on several factors unique to you.

2) Personal experiences

Let me share a bit of my own yoga journey with you.

When I first started practicing yoga, I was purely looking at it as a form of stress relief.

The idea of burning calories wasn’t even on my radar.

But, as I got more involved, I couldn’t help but notice some physical changes.

My body started to feel stronger, leaner, and more toned.

Curiosity piqued, I decided to dig a little deeper.

To my surprise, a 60-minute session of the Vinyasa yoga that I was doing was burning a significant amount of calories!

Now remember, I’m a relatively fit woman in my mid-thirties, so the numbers will vary for others.

But it was an eye-opener for me.

Yoga wasn’t just helping me find my zen; it was also helping me stay in shape!

3) The yoga intensity factor

Did you know that Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga styles are often compared to moderate-intensity exercises like jogging or brisk walking?

That’s right!

These forms of yoga are dynamic and physically demanding, making your heart rate go up and thereby burning more calories.

In contrast, gentle styles of yoga like Yin or Restorative yoga are more comparable to low-intensity activities like slow walking.

They may not burn as many calories in the moment, but they contribute to overall health and well-being in other ways.

So, the type of yoga you practice can significantly impact the number of calories you burn, almost as much as the duration of your practice.

Keep this in mind when choosing your preferred style of yoga.

4) The impact of heated yoga

Ever heard of Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga?

These forms of yoga are practiced in rooms heated to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 40%.

Why the heat, you ask?

Well, it’s not just to make you sweat.

The heat intensifies the practice and makes your body work harder.

This means you’re likely to burn more calories than in a non-heated yoga session.

However, it’s essential to stay hydrated and listen to your body during these sessions to avoid overheating.

Everyone’s tolerance to heat is different, so while some might thrive in a hot yoga class, others might find it uncomfortable.

In conclusion, hot yoga can potentially burn more calories, but it’s crucial to consider your personal comfort and safety too.

5) More than just calories

Ultimately, yoga is about more than just burning calories.

It’s a practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit.

It’s about finding balance, peace, and self-awareness.

Sure, it’s great to know that an hour of yoga can contribute to your daily calorie burn and help with weight management.

But the real beauty of yoga lies in its ability to transform you from the inside out.

It teaches you patience, resilience, and self-love.

It helps you become more mindful and present in your daily life.

And these are benefits that no other exercise can quite offer in the same way.

So while we’re counting calories, let’s not forget to count the countless other ways yoga enriches our lives.

6) The unexpected discovery

When I was struggling with weight issues, I felt self-conscious and awkward in my body.

I’d tried numerous workout regimens, but nothing seemed to stick.

It was always about losing weight, never about enjoying the process.

Then, I found yoga.

It felt different.

It wasn’t just about burning calories or shedding pounds.

Yoga taught me to appreciate my body for what it could do, not just how it looked.

I won’t lie – it was hard at first.

I wasn’t flexible, couldn’t touch my toes, and sometimes I felt out of place in a room full of experienced yogis.

But over time, my flexibility improved, strength increased, and my confidence soared.

And yes, I did lose weight.

But more importantly, I gained self-love and acceptance.

Yoga showed me that fitness is not just about the physical changes but also about the mental and emotional transformation.

So while yoga can indeed help you burn calories, it can also lead you on a path of self-discovery and self-love.

And that’s a journey worth embarking on.

7) Consistency is key

Just like any other form of exercise, consistency is key when it comes to yoga.

An hour of yoga might burn a decent amount of calories, but if you’re only doing it once a week, it won’t be as effective for weight management as regular practice.

Yoga is not a quick fix.

It’s a lifestyle choice.

And the benefits, including calorie burn, compound over time.

So even if you’re starting with just 10 minutes a day, that’s fine.

It’s about creating a habit and making yoga a part of your daily routine.

And remember, while yoga can help you burn calories and lose weight, it’s essential to pair it with a balanced diet for the best results.

Because ultimately, weight loss is about creating a caloric deficit, and that’s achieved through both diet and exercise.

8) It’s about the journey, not the destination

The most crucial point to remember about yoga and burning calories is that it’s not just about the numbers on the scale or the calories burned during a session.

It’s about the journey towards a healthier, happier you.

Yoga is a holistic practice that can help you develop strength, flexibility, balance, and inner peace.

The calorie burn is just a bonus.

So, don’t obsess over the digits.

Instead, focus on how yoga makes you feel – both physically and mentally.

Embrace yoga for all its benefits, and let the journey towards health and well-being be your primary motivation.

It’s your practice

At the heart of it all, yoga is a deeply personal journey.

It’s not about the calories burned or the weight lost.

It’s about you – your body, your mind, your spirit.

Renowned yogi B.K.S Iyengar once said, “Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”

So whether an hour of yoga burns 100 calories or 500, it truly doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

What matters is how yoga makes you feel.

The strength it builds within you.

The peace it instills in your mind.

The joy it brings to your spirit.

As we wrap up this discussion, know that yoga isn’t just a form of exercise.

It’s a path to self-discovery and self-love.

And in that journey, the calorie burn is merely a companion, not the destination.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Yoga Group to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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