Yoga

I have a few questions about yoga as I am starting to think about adding it to my routine.

How does Yoga work as far as burning calories. It doesn't look like it would burn much.

Are you able to lose fat doing yoga or is it more of a stretching type exercise?

How do you figure out how many calories you burn during a yoga session? (MFP says if I did 60 minutes of Yoga I'd burn 102 calories- I am 5'10 and 182 pounds- would this be low or does it seem accurate?)

Replies

  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,876 Member
    I do yoga for flexibility and mental health. It's not really a big calorie burner so yeah...I'd just go with the 102. For me, it's just a good rest day activity.

    You lose/burn fat when you're in an energy (calorie) deficit regardless of this or that exercise modality.
  • tcunbeliever
    tcunbeliever Posts: 8,219 Member
    yoga is more about balance and flexibility than calorie burning...I love it, but it's not something you do for the calories, it's more for maintaining or improving mobility
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    I'm not an expert "yogi" but there are many different kinds. Most are not big calorie burners.

    Far more weight loss is going to come from watching your portions and taking in fewer calories, than any type of exercise. It's too easy to overeat.....and trying to make up for it thru exercise would be very time consuming.

    My favorite yoga - Hatha yoga is the stretching type yoga that is so beneficial for working balance and range of motion. We tend to lose these things as we age.

    There are more advanced "flowing" type yogas, such as Vinyasa.....but you really should get some experience first.

    Many people will use just a percentage of MFP calorie burn estimates. Start with 50% and then adjust that based on several weeks of actual results. So many things are estimates (food we log, activity level, BMR, etc).
  • OregonMother
    OregonMother Posts: 1,558 Member
    yoga is more about balance and flexibility than calorie burning...I love it, but it's not something you do for the calories, it's more for maintaining or improving mobility

    This and mental health as @cwolfman13 said. That being said, I still log it so I can keep track of what I've been doing.
  • Nysportsred
    Nysportsred Posts: 222 Member
    how does it affect mental health
  • jaymijones
    jaymijones Posts: 171 Member
    edited August 2017
    how does it affect mental health

    Meditation is a central part of yoga. It might seem weird but between the quiet environment, (if you can manage that) and the concentration on breathing and paying close attention to your body it's actually very mentally refreshing.

    And it's not just stretching and meditation, there is a lot of strength training that goes into it as well. It will be different from weights or calisthenics but it will still go a long way to strengthening your muscles.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
    yoga is more about balance and flexibility than calorie burning...I love it, but it's not something you do for the calories, it's more for maintaining or improving mobility

    This and mental health as @cwolfman13 said. That being said, I still log it so I can keep track of what I've been doing.

    and strength, depending on the variety.
  • jennybearlv
    jennybearlv Posts: 1,519 Member
    I wore my heart rate monitor doing yoga once out of curiosity. I think my heart rate gets higher napping. Maybe if you are doing power yoga or something fast paced where you are jumping around a bunch it will burn some calories, but if you are into yoga for flexibility and meditation it won't add up to much.
  • KelseyRL
    KelseyRL Posts: 124 Member
    I go to some power yoga classes, and let me tell you, I'm usually quite sweaty afterward and I will be sore for about 2 days after if I haven't been in a while. I have no idea what it burns in terms of calories, but I do know I feel like I've had a proper workout after. I'm also not doing weight training right now though, so it might have a smaller affect on people who already get a lot of that in.
  • DamienAngelica
    DamienAngelica Posts: 281 Member
    edited August 2017
    I practice yoga (a combination of Hatha and Vinyasa) at home 3 times a week. I don't do it for the calorie burn (full disclosure: I do log what MFP tells me I burned but I keep in mind that, like most of the MFP numbers for calorie burns, it's probably not accurate), but for the improvements in strength, mobility, and flexibility. The calming state of mind is a bonus.
  • StarvingDiva
    StarvingDiva Posts: 1,107 Member
    I don't know when I did P90x yoga I was sweating like crazy. But I don't know what kind of yoga that was, long and torturous yoga. Now I just do a yoga dvd at home, two days a week for flexibility because I am very tight in my hip and shoulder area from being hit by a Mack truck. It helps tremendously and the next day I feel muscles I don't feel in other exercises I do, so its working totally different muscles that I apparently don't get to and it's relaxing. I am going to an actual yoga class in September with baby goats, Really not about the yoga for that visit, more so the goats.
  • kzooyogi
    kzooyogi Posts: 121 Member
    I have a few questions about yoga as I am starting to think about adding it to my routine.

    How does Yoga work as far as burning calories. It doesn't look like it would burn much.

    Are you able to lose fat doing yoga or is it more of a stretching type exercise?

    How do you figure out how many calories you burn during a yoga session? (MFP says if I did 60 minutes of Yoga I'd burn 102 calories- I am 5'10 and 182 pounds- would this be low or does it seem accurate?)

    #1) It depends what type of yoga you do. Traditional hatha will be much more stretching. Hot yoga will burn more calories than Hatha, Vinyasa yoga will burn the most. If you see the words "power" or "strong" in a yoga class description, chances are it's Vinyasa yoga. I'm 5'8" and 140 lbs and estimate that I can burn ~400 calories with a 75 minute vinyasa class. That being said, my main use of yoga, by far, is for the mental aspect. It's definitely a work-out for your body, but it's an even better work-in for your mind.

    #2) Yes, probably, if you have a lot of fat to lose. Again, you'll get this mostly with a vinyasa yoga class. You can also try Ashtanga, however with no yoga experience, I'd advise against that. Yin yoga is a deep stretching that probably won't burn anything more than your BMR. However, regardless of the type of yoga you choose, you will most definitely see improvements in flexibility, which can help you excel at other activities that are in your fitness routine.

    #3) You need to specify which type of yoga you're doing. If you put "yoga" into MFP, it probably assumes Hatha, for which I'd say 100 calories for an hour is maybe a slight underestimate, but still not too far off. Vinyasa Yoga is an entry which I used reliably over the last year and lost 15 lbs, so I think you're okay to use it!

    Hope you enjoy your yoga journey and that you find it's something that you can practice for a lifetime! It has changed my life in so many ways. Cheers!
  • TeethOfTheHydra
    TeethOfTheHydra Posts: 63 Member
    I would suggest you investigate a few different yoga studios and styles to see if you even like it. If you do, then I would presume that calorie burn will not be significant and decide if you want the ancillary benefits.

    For what its worth, I do vinyasa yoga 6 days a week. Its as intensive or relaxed as you want it to be and would be one of the higher cal-burning styles. The main benefits for me are: 1) improving my balance, flexibility, and strength; 2) relaxation from the day's events (I do it mid-evening); 3) maintaining, to the degree possible, my muscle mass when I'm in between surfing trips. I am not spiritual and don't do meditation, but it does require concentration to gain awareness of your practice, so you tend to not think about other matters, and in a way, thats peace of mind. Most vinyasa studios have a "basics" class for beginners and most yogis and yoginis I've met are very welcoming, friendly, and helpful.
    Good luck!
  • Zantac72
    Zantac72 Posts: 2 Member
    It really depends on the style of yoga. I've clocked between 400 and 800 cal in Moksha and Bikram yoga classes. The average ashtanga yoga class with a good 60 to 90 minutes of jump-through/jump back vinyasa will burn 8 or 900 cal. If you're just doing stretching and not hoisting your entire body weight around, I'd agree, you might burn more calories having a nap. I dropped my body fat percentage from 15 to 12% doing ashtanga yoga for five months, but then got repetitive strain injury of my rotator cuff. Quality of instruction varies, so be very selective and do your research. It can be very physically and mentally rewarding, especially when combined with other fitness activities. Good luck.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,263 Member
    I wore my heart rate monitor doing yoga once out of curiosity. I think my heart rate gets higher napping. Maybe if you are doing power yoga or something fast paced where you are jumping around a bunch it will burn some calories, but if you are into yoga for flexibility and meditation it won't add up to much.

    Yes, as you say, it depends on the yoga. Mine gets into the 160s for stretches of time.
  • Heather4448
    Heather4448 Posts: 908 Member
    Gentle stretching type yoga hardly burns any calories, but it (* In my experience *) improves balance and flexibility greatly. I've been practicing once a week for about 4 months and my improved balance has had a noticeable effect on my day to day life.