Yoga does not look the most intense but the unusual stances can still help you burn a few more calories. Find out how many.
Some rough estimations are that the average person burns around 74 to 127 calories while doing Hatha yoga for 30 minutes.
At what end of this range you are depends a lot on your body weight. The 74 calories are for a 125-pound (56 kg) person whereas the 127 calories are an estimation for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.
It is worth noting that while yoga does offer nice benefits, it does not burn that many calories. If this is your main goal, you want to consider other workouts too.
Below, you can also find more detailed calorie-burning estimations, how different types of yoga compare in this area, and how to burn more calories while doing them.
Biggest factors in calories burned with yoga
How many calories you actually burn with yoga is hard to measure and even harder to predict. This can be inconvenient if you are trying to lose weight by counting calories.
That being said, there are still ways to make your estimations at least somewhat better. One of these is knowing what details influence the number of calories burned with yoga a lot.
Knowing about these details will also help you change your yoga workouts in a few that makes them more effective for burning energy.
With that in mind, here are some of the things that play a role in how many calories you burn with yoga:
- Body weight: Just to keep yourself alive, your body has to use energy measured in calories. Heavier bodies tend to require more energy to make this happen.
- Body composition: Human bodies can have different ratios of different tissues. Someone with a lot of muscle mass tends to burn more calories than someone of the same weight with more body fat.
- Intensity of the yoga pose: What makes yoga more effective for burning calories than just sitting still is that the poses are more challenging. At the same time, there will still be differences between the effects of these different poses.
Chart of yoga calorie-burning estimations
The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has a list that mentions calories burned with activities. For yoga, this number is simplified into between 3.5-7 calories per minute (1).
Luckily, you can also make more precise estimations with certain methods. More specifically, there are numbers called MET values which indicate how physically challenging activities are.
You can use these MET values in the formula below to get an idea of how many calories yoga and other exercises burn.
Formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute
MET estimations for yoga can vary from source to source. However, one of these mentions METs varying from 2 with Nadisodhana yoga to 4 with Power yoga (2).
In the first table below, you can find different calorie-burning estimations for Hatha yoga.
After that, you can find a comparison of rough estimations of how many calories different types of yoga burn.
It is worth mentioning again that these are rough estimations. How much energy you actually burn can still vary due to differences in a variety of areas.
To help you understand that you likely want to consider other activities besides yoga too, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contain about 87 calories (3).
Calories burned with yoga per time interval
Measuring how long your yoga sessions are is a convenient way to estimate the number of calories you burned.
|1 Minute||15 Minutes||30 Minutes||45 Minutes||60 Minutes|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||2 calories||37 calories||74 calories||111 calories||148 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||3 calories||46 calories||92 calories||137 calories||183 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||4 calories||55 calories||109 calories||164 calories||219 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||4 calories||63 calories||127 calories||190 calories||254 calories|
Calories burned with types of yoga
It is also helpful to know that there are different types of yoga with different estimations for how many calories they burn.
The numbers below are for the individuals doing the yoga for 30 minutes.
|Nadisodhana Yoga||Surya Namaskar Yoga||Power Yoga|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||59 calories||97 calories||118 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||73 calories||121 calories||146 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||87 calories||144 calories||175 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||102 calories||168 calories||203 calories|
Ways to burn more calories with yoga
While yoga is not the most versatile in terms of the way you can approach it, there are some things you can do to burn a few extra calories.
The first way is choosing more challenging yoga poses and workouts.
Secondly, you can make it so your muscles have to hold a heavier weight.
The most straightforward way to do this is by implementing resistance training workouts to build muscle.
In theory, you could also wear a small weighted vest although this is not very yoga-like and could interfere with the poses.
How long does it take to see results from yoga?
You may wonder if these low numbers still mean yoga can help weight loss and if so, to what extent.
The first thing to note is that yoga can help weight loss but that the effects will be small. Additionally, you still need good habits in areas like the things you eat to make this happen.
To make this even more clear, you do a thought experiment. Assume that all of the extra calorie-burning from yoga will come from body fat.
In that case, a 155-pound (70 kg) person doing 15 minutes of yoga a day would burn an extra 385 calories or about 0.11 pounds (0.05 kg) in a week.
If the same person implements the same yoga routine over 30 days, they will burn an extra 1650 calories or about 0.47 pounds (0.21 kg) of body fat.
While these weight loss results from yoga would be welcome, they are not that impressive either.
Should you do yoga to burn a lot of calories?
If you want to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, yoga is likely not the best exercise choice for you.
There are many workouts that can offer similar calorie-burning effects of 30-minute yoga sessions in only a few minutes of actual exercise.
If you do decide to implement yoga for other reasons and want to burn a few extra calories, you also want to implement muscle-building exercises.
Adding extra weight in this healthy way will make you use more energy.