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Breakthrough Fitness

Does Yoga Burn Calories?

It’s been a popular form of exercise for thousands of years.

But does yoga burn calories?


Yoga is a low-cost, low-impact activity that some health gurus swear by. Anyone who’s tried it knows that yoga can help improve strength and flexibility (some of those poses are downright difficult).

But can yoga replace those hours you spend sweating next to your personal trainer? Can it help you shed excess pounds? And most importantly: does yoga burn calories?

At Breakthrough Fitness, our aim is to cut the fat—literally and figuratively! As you set off on your weight loss journey, we want to help you make sense of the many different workout styles, fad diets, and misinformation that can get in the way of your goals.

In this article, we’re discussing the benefits (and downsides) to yoga.


What Is Yoga?

Yoga is an exercise that’s been around for thousands of years. A blend of breathing, stretching, meditation, and exercise, yoga was developed in India 3,500 years ago and is still being practiced worldwide as one of the most popular types of physical activity.

The physical, mental and spiritual benefits of yoga and its history have led to its continued popularity.

Nowadays, yoga comes in many different forms. There’s hot yoga, aerial yoga, tantrum yoga, and even goat yoga! With so many varieties to choose from, you could try a new one each week and never get sick of it!

The question is…should you?

close up of woman in upward dog pose

Does Yoga Burn Calories?

As you’re considering the health benefits of yoga, you’re undoubtedly wondering whether yoga can help you shed a few extra calories.

Yoga does burn calories, but so does any other activity you do during your day.

The average person burns about 1800 calories a day just doing nothing. Your heart, brain, lungs, and other organs need a lot of energy just to function. Instead, the question shouldn’t be: “Does yoga burn calories?” but “How many calories does yoga burn?”

Actual caloric burn depends on a lot of factors—such as your age, current weight, metabolism, and the type of yoga you practice. However, the typical yoga session burns an average of 120-200 calories an hour.

Working in an office environment? Roughly 100 calories an hour.

If you’re looking for a workout that’s going to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, yoga probably isn’t for you.


So…I Should Skip Yoga?

C’mon…I’m a personal trainer. I would never tell anyone to completely avoid a particular type of workout (especially if it’s one you enjoy)!

Yoga has many other benefits that can help you on your fitness journey, such as reduced stress, improved mood, better posture and flexibility, and improved balance. Millions of people throughout history have used yoga as a way to connect their bodies and minds on a spiritual level or just age more gracefully.

As an anaerobic activity, yoga can be a good form of strength training, particularly for beginners who may be intimidated by those free weights at the gym.

My advice? If you’re starting out as a straight-up couch potato, yoga can be the perfect way to transition from your living room to the gym. And if you really enjoy it, feel free to attend regular classes every once in a while.

But if you’re looking for a full body transformation, think of yoga as a stepping stone, not your final destination.

man rolling up yoga mat on the floor

What Are Your Fitness Goals?

Everyone who has ever walked into a gym or picked up a dumbbell has had a goal in mind. For some people, they want to look hot at the beach. Others want to fit into their old prom dress. Another one might want to bench press a motorcycle one day. Each one of these goals requires a different set of techniques.

My point is, if yoga were the best exercise in the world—the only one you needed to do from now on—I would have opened up a yoga studio.

The very fact that there are so many ways to workout is proof that no one thing works for everybody. In fact, no one thing works for anybody. As your body changes, your workouts have to change, too.

So, even if yoga is working out great for you now, that doesn’t mean it’s all you’re ever going to need.


Ready To Transform Your Body?

If you’re ready to make fitness a part of your daily routine, Breakthrough Fitness has the resources, support, and expertise you need to reach whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.

With Private and Semi-Private training sessions, we have options to work with any schedule and budget. Contact us to schedule your first strategy session!