What Type Of Yoga Burns The Most Calories?

An array of benefits entice people to start yoga, whether it’s mental health improvements or physical improvements. In addition to increased strength, better muscle tone, and reduced stress, yoga can help you blaze through calories. However, like most exercises, some yoga types offer a higher calorie burn than others.

Key Points:

  • Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Hot Yoga classes can help burn up to 650, 600, and 400 calories, respectively.
  • Vinyasa and Ashtanga involve fast-paced sequences to target cardiovascular endurance.
  • Hatha yoga is slower than the other types of yoga and offers a gentler workout with fewer calories burned.

So, if you’re on the hunt for the best type of yoga to burn as many calories as possible in a single session, we’re here to help. This article details the highest calorie burns in different types of yoga, plus a few tips for the best weight loss option, so continue reading to learn more!

What Yoga Types Burn The Most Calories?

Like other forms of exercise, certain types of yoga burn more calories than others. If you’re looking for the best yoga classes to burn the maximum amount of calories, look no further.

Vinyasa Yoga

Yoga - Push Ups

Also known as flow yoga, Vinyasa yoga is a fast-paced style that keeps participants working through its sequences. While most types of yoga incorporate muscles throughout the entire body at some point through the session, Vinyasa yoga challenges the whole body during the session.

Like Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga classes are rarely. However, most classes feature Sun Salutations, or Surya Namaskar, which creates some familiarity in the class. Poses flow fluidly from one to the next, creating a graceful, heart-pumping challenge.

It targets cardiovascular endurance by keeping a swift, continuous pace, which engages and torches the muscles. Given the speed and nature of Vinyasa yoga, it’s no surprise that it can burn up to 650 calories in a single session. Most participants burn between 400 and 500 calories, but some may burn even more.

Ashtanga Yoga

Women Yoga

Also known as power yoga, Ashtanga yoga is another excellent option for an impressive calorie burn. The class keeps participants moving at a rapid pace, sparing no time to relax or rest. Instead, you flow through various sequences, combining poses with breathing techniques for a challenging session.

The class repeats itself, building the intensity through each level. As the course progresses, the muscle burn becomes more intense, keeping your heart rate up as you challenge your body through the advancements.

In a typical Ashtanga yoga class, participants can burn a whopping 600 calories, although most burn between 400 and 500. While it inspires an impressive calorie burn, its challenging nature makes it an unsuitable choice for daily yoga sessions.

Bikram or Hot Yoga

Hot Yoga Class

Don’t underestimate the grueling intensity of a hot yoga class. While the name, hot yoga, might sound like a breeze, it’s far more demanding than you might expect. The name comes from the studio’s temperature, which is usually set to a whopping 105 degrees.

On top of the sweltering heat, the humidity level is around 50%, usually between 40% and 60%. The humidity levels can make the room feel much hotter than it is, creating an even sweatier environment. For example, at 80% humidity, 100 degrees Fahrenheit can feel like 157 degrees. So, between the heat and humidity, hot yoga is a sweat fest.

In addition to that, hot yoga involves a grueling 26-pose sequence paired with two breathing exercises for a challenging class. While you might enter the class feeling fresh as a daisy, you’ll likely leave the class sweaty all over and tired but invigorated.

After learning about hot yoga, you might expect it to offer the highest calorie burn. However, while there’s no doubting the intensity of these classes, they usually don’t burn as many calories as Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga. Most folks sweat profusely, but the calorie burn isn’t quite up to par with the other two yoga styles.

So, how many calories do you burn in a hot yoga class? On average, participants burn around 400 calories in a single session, although they may burn more or less based on effort, fitness level, and intensity.

Hatha Yoga

While this type of yoga doesn’t blaze through the highest number of calories in a single session, don’t rule it out! It’s a classic approach to yoga that usually encompasses what people imagine of yoga, as it covers an extensive range of postures and breathing exercises.

Since Hatha yoga is a broad type of yoga, no two classes are identical. The flows and sequences you’ll find in a Hatha yoga class will vary based on the studio, so you can always expect something different.

On average, you’ll burn between 150 and 300 calories in a one-hour Hatha yoga class. Since it isn’t as intense as Vinyasa, Ashtanga, or Bikram yoga, it’s more suitable for daily sessions. While rest is still important, you will likely notice you’re not quite as tired or sore after Hatha yoga compared to one of the above yoga classes.

How Many Days A Week Can You Do Yoga?

Women Doing Yoga

The number of yoga sessions you can do in a week depends entirely on your fitness level. Some folks can handle up to five or six sessions per week, while others may be more comfortable with two or three. It all depends on you.

While you might be tempted to push your body to its limits and power through to your fitness goals, it’s essential to understand your body and its capabilities. As you progress in your fitness level, you can start incorporating more and more, as your body will need more work to feel a challenge and progression.

However, when you’re initially starting yoga, it’s essential to start slow. Work within your limits, taking it a day at a time. For example, if you do a hot yoga class one day, you might feel sore and exhausted the next day. This is okay, but giving your body time to recover is vital. With hot yoga, in particular, you need to be diligent about rehydrating your body, as you’ll lose a lot of fluid through sweat.

Of course, there might be some days when you do a Hatha yoga class, and you feel perfectly fine the next day, with no muscle soreness or physical exhaustion. In this case, doing yoga the following day is fine. But it’s essential to respect your body’s physical limits, as failing to do so can open the door to injury and illness.

Which Yoga Type Is Best For Weight Loss?

When trying to lose weight, it’s crucial to maintain a calorie deficit. Exercise is one way to help support this deficit, so yoga classes that burn more calories can be beneficial. That said, doing Bikram, Vinyasa, or Ashtanga yoga classes every day isn’t feasible, as your body needs time to recover.

On top of that, most of your daily calorie burn comes from your basal metabolic rate (BMR). These calories are those you burn while your body maintains essential, life-sustaining functions like breathing, circulation, and digestion. Your exercise calorie burn only makes up a small percentage of the total amount you burn daily, so it’s important to remember that exercise is only a small piece of the bigger picture.

You can find our detailed take on this topic here.