Which Yoga Class Is Best for Burning Calories?
Yoga – a cure-all for (almost) all life’s problems. It reduces stress, improves flexibility, tones the muscles, and brings clarity to the mind. To the yogi, the mind-body relationship of the discipline may hold even more significance than simple weight-loss, but for those starting out or seriously looking to improve their physique, finding a class the offers the highest number of calories burned during yoga is top of the list.
Calories – class by class
No doubt, yoga is a full-body workout, and you’ll engage muscles you never knew you had, but which type is best for you? From Vinyasa to Hatha, Ashtanga to Bikram, it’s hard to know where to start, so let us break it down for you.
The calorie calculations below are an average. To find a more exact estimate for how many calories you can burn personally, use our specialized calculator at the bottom of the article.
This is classic yoga. When someone talks about yoga, what they probably mean is Hatha. In modern usage, it covers a wide range of general yoga postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). The term isn’t very specific, so what you should expect from a Hatha class will vary based on the studio you choose.
Hatha provides an excellent workout full of stretches and pose-holding but isn’t as strenuous as some other types.
Average calories burned per 1-hour class: 175 – 298 calories
Vinyasa (aka flow yoga)
Sometimes called flow yoga, Vinyasa, like Hatha, describes a variety of yoga movements. In Vinyasa, unlike Hatha, practitioners flow from one movement directly into another and combine them with breathing techniques.
The constant movement makes it more calorie-burning efficient, and for a beginner, this yoga class may be perfect for those looking to burn calories without too much strain on their system.
Average calories burned per 1-hour class: 550 calories
Ashtanga (aka power yoga)
With a name that means “eight-limbed yoga” it’s no surprise that Ashtanga is also known as power yoga. In an Ashtanga class, you’ll be moving non-stop through a variety of poses, similar to the practice of Vinyasa, and combining them with breathing techniques.
A power yoga workout that will leave you with lots of burned calories. Its continuous fast-paced flow means constant activity, which is good if weight loss is your goal.
Average calories burned per 1-hour class: 450 – 600 calories
Bikram (aka hot yoga)
Similar to Hatha, Bikram yoga is a series of 26 poses combined with two breathing exercises. What sets it aside from other types is that this type of yoga is performed in a heated room. This is said to improve the effects of the technique by maximizing detoxification and create an atmosphere similar to the climate of India.
You may have heard the rumors of the supposed benefits of hot yoga and the calories burned, but does it live up to expectations? And how many calories can you expect to burn in a 1-hour hot yoga class?
Unfortunately, there’s little evidence to support claims that doing yoga in a hot room will lead you to burn any additional calories. Yes, you’ll sweat more, but you’ll also need to be extra careful to make sure you’re properly hydrated. Nonetheless, Bikram does provide a decent workout and moderate calorie loss.
Average calories burned per 1-hour class: 330 – 470 calories
Not specifically associated with calorie burning, Iyengar yoga places focus on pose, placement, and body alignment. Perfect for stretching sore muscles or preparing for other types of exercise. Iyengar can be the perfect accompaniment with its ability enhancing your posture and therefore lower your risk of injury.
Although Iyengar isn’t a huge calorie-burner, don’t count it out – your limbs will thank you later.
Average calories burned per 1-hour class: 175 calories
Our Yoga Calorie Calculator
Everyone is an individual, which is why how many calories you’ll burn in a single yoga class will vary based on your fitness level, the type of yoga – hot, power, flow, etc. – and your starting weight. Our yoga calories burned calculator will help give you a close estimate so you can figure out which class works for you.