Moderators: melkor

Calories burned doing hot yoga?

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In my activity log, i just entered hatha yoga which only burns about 140 calories an hour. I'd think that hot yoga is a lot more strenuous though. Does anybody have an idea as to how many calories i would burn doing 90 minutes of hot yoga?

i'm 16 y/o female, 5'6, small frame and about 124lbs

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We've had this conversation several times - and my conclusion tends to be "log it as Pilates if you're feeling adventurous. The heat is deceptive and makes you think you're working harder than you are."

See this thread for an example of the previous discussions - yoga is a useful tool for several things related to various fitness qualities, but it's not a weight loss tool and it's strength training only for a raw beginner. Do it for the stretching, the mental benefits, and relaxation, but choose something else if you're looking for weight loss benefits.
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If you log onto this site you can plug in your numbers, and it will calculate the calories for you. ight-loss-and-yoga.htm


Not sure if this helps but I weighed myself right before taking a 90 minute hot yoga class and then directly after and I was 1 lb less, however it probably is all water weight from sweating so much.

It was a great class and its good for strength I think.

do you like hot yoga?  to me, it seems like it might be torturous.

I really liked it.  it was hard but I felt great afterward.  It was worth it!!!!

sorry for a silly question but does hot yoga just mean yoga done with the heating on? lol. i've just started going to a yoga class and the instructor always turns the heating right up - i was going to ask if we could turn it down but maybe we're doing 'hot yoga'?!

Plus, it is the hardest class i've ever done! much harder than body pump even now i've upped my weights. And my instructor stood on me last week. I don't know what the pose was called but she got up and stood on my thighs! I have to say I always feel great afterwards though.

Hot yoga (also called bikram yoga) is when the room is heated to 90-105 degrees.  the heat is good for a few reasons - helps get poses and stretches the muscles better and the sweating is a cleansing.  Its definitely not easy and uses muscles that you would ont normally use in a pump class.

Definitely not a silly question.

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Original Post by melkor:
... yoga is a useful tool for several things related to various fitness qualities, but it's not a weight loss tool and it's strength training only for a raw beginner. Do it for the stretching, the mental benefits, and relaxation, but choose something else if you're looking for weight loss benefits....

I don't necessarily agree with the statement that you should look for alternate methods to yoga to lose weight. On my first go-around at losing the bulk of my weight 2 years ago, I started taking ashtanga yoga classes while also starting a regular exercise regiment and changing my eating habits. That combination helped me steadily lose 1-2 pounds a week until I finally dropped from 165 lbs to 130lbs (I held steady at this weight for a year and I'm again getting serious about losing the last few - I'm 5'4, 127 lbs, 31 years old currently).


Ashtanga yoga is practiced in a warm room and not a super-heated room like in Bikram (which I've also done a few times). Instead of doing really slow stretching movements, Ashtanga is practiced by going through a series of "asanas" at a higher tempo. It definitely gets your heart pumping and your glands sweating! It absolutely aided my weight loss because I wasn't doing a lot of weight or circuit training at the time (I'm doing more so now) and yoga helped because you are working with your own body weight most of the time. I gained muscle definition, stability, agility and focus that kept me on track and injury-free through my goals.


Of course, it all depends on what your goals are. Yoga definitely helped me achieve mine - physically and mentally. My experiences with Bikram though was that it makes you feel like you are working harder because you are sweating a lot. I felt I was focusing more on not passing out and less on the positions and movements ;-p. However, if you enjoy this type of yoga anyway, it definitely doesn't hurt your exercise routine. Hope this helps.

 Mmm, personally I feel that the focus when doing yoga shouldn't be on either the weight loss or strength training potential of the exercises - there are far better ways of doing either. You ought to be focusing on the mental and physical qualities where yoga actually is the best choice of training mode - strength endurance, flexibility, mind/body connection, body control in general - and leave weight loss concerns at the door.

 'Course, the important bit in any weight loss effort is the calorie deficit, and anything that gets you moving helps create that deficit.

 There are fitness qualities where yoga or pilates is the right choice of training modality, but they're not a good choice when fat loss is your goal - it's not resistance training in any meaningful sense for anyone but a raw beginner, and despite the sweating when doing Bikram it's not a calorie burner equivalent to spending the same time on the treadmill.

 'Course, anything at all beats the couch, but I still think that it helps to use goal-appropriate training modes. Yoga's a decent addition to your toolbox and we tend to not do enough flexibility/mobility training without it, but it won't do everything you need to have a well-rounded training regime.
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Melkor, when I was in the throes of my ED, I did hot yoga every day as my form of "purging". Now obviously my weight loss was not due to the hot yoga alone, but I definitely think it burns a considerable amount. I always guestimated around 500 cals, though I have never taken a heart monitor or anything to check (I'm female, 5'6, medium frame, started at 134 and got down to 108). Don't underestimate it--granted it isn't quite the same as running a marathon, but it is definitely physically strenuous.

To the OP: If you get into the habit of doing hot yoga, I suggest that you make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes. It is really common for people who do it a lot to get their electrolytes all screwed up because of the exposure to extreme heat resulting in a TON of sweat (as you prob experienced, lol). Also, make sure you are hydrating really well !!!!!! that goes without saying though. A lot of people on this site don't think it burns a lot (I can understand that..I mean it's just, but after having quite a bit of experience with it, I would say that it burns about as much as running a few miles. If you aren't looking to lose weight, I would suggest a different type of yoga... probably vinyasa (sort of like power yoga) if you want to build muscle and get "toned". Some studios even offer hot vinyasa.

Best of luck with the yoga; stick with it, it has a lot of benefits! Just don't go too crazy.. lol.

 Mmm, well, I know someone who did sneak a HRM into a yoga class :)

 'Course, that was Ashtanga, not Bikram, but the heat is deceptive - though I'm prepared to believe a calorie burn of about 500 for 90 minutes of Bikram. Well, slightly depending on who you are, but yeah, I'd not quibble much with that estimate. Which is about 1/3 of what you'd burn on a bike in the same timeframe.

 It won't hinder your efforts, and if it brings you the results you want in a time frame you can live with, sure - efficiency of any one workout is overrated compared to the effect of consistency anyway. However, for anyone who've got significant fat to lose (like me when I started, 57lbs ago) it's not significantly useful as a fat loss tool.
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lol i just read that post.. funny. I should try to do that with Bikram.. tho the sweat might make it messy.

No I definitely agree that there are more efficient/effective ways to burn fat and all that, I just felt like dispelling the myth that "bikram doesn't burn a lot of calories". Especially if someone is logging bikram as hatha.. that is just no comparison. 

According to: rned.asp

you burn 846 calories for your weight at 1 1/2 hours.

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At my weight (over-weight - 5'8", 165lbs -  JUST started bikram) I burn about 1123 calories during a 90 min session of bikram. And if you don't think it's a good way to lose weight and tone up, you clearly haven't seen the men and women in my class whose sole exercise is bikram. Hot hot hotties. There is only one other overweight person in the class and she's well on her way if she keeps up with it. Some additional weight loss factors that bikram brings to the table are less cravings, eating better because toxins and fake food no longer satisfy your body and actually make you feel ill, and relieving stress which causes unnecessary weight gain. You have to practice at least 3 times per week, though.

That would be the same as

Calories Burned for running - running, 6 mph (10 min/mile)  

 a 165lb person burns 750 calories

for 90 minutes.

 I don't believe that for a second. That would mean that Bikram is a better calorie burner than Army Calisthenics:

  Calories Burned for conditioning exercise - calisthenics (e.g. pushups, situps, pullups, jumping jacks), heavy, vigorous effort  

 a 165lb person burns 600 calories

Which is utter, utter nonsense. You seriously think that any kind of yoga is going to burn more calories than Army PT with a Parris Island drill sergeant shouting in your ear?

 No, sorry, not even remotely realistic.

Yeah, sure, lots of fit-looking people take a class like that; they were fit to begin with. And since diet is the only thing that matters to weight loss anyway, with exercise being a distant second at best (only athletes who exercise for multiple hours a day are able to expend enough calories through working out to have an appreciable effect on weight loss) any overweight person who starts a diet will see results whether or not s/he does any exercise or just stops eating crap.

 It's clearly a workout, and it's clearly going to have some effect. But don't believe the hype or the marketing material from Bikram; it's nonsense. You can achieve the same effects by taking a sauna, the "toxins" talk is utter tripe, and of course when you stop eating industrial junk and start getting real food into your diet you're going to feel better and start avoiding industrial food-like objects.

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I have a shoulder injury so lately I've been doing Bikram as I can't do any weight lifting right now. I too was interested in the calories burned. So I've been wearing my Polar monitor.  My numbers vary on the heat of the room, time of day and the instructor. I've had as low as 285 and as high as 700 for the 90 minute session. On average it seems to be around 500. However, I feel I need more weeks of data to confirm this.


yoga in 50 degree burns the same amount of calories as 100 degree room.....

Is it vinyasa? If it is it burns a lot more calories. I do the vinyasa style in a heated room for an hour and a half and i also run in hot weather and the yoga is more difficult and I am more tired after. You are constantly moving up and down and holding more difficult poses with out a break. Other styles like Hatha are slower and not very difficult... more deep stretching and way less movement. The problem is most people don't know that there is difference and clump yoga into one. Try this website: rned/conditioning-exercise-intense-yoga-ashta ngavinyasapowerclassical-hatha.asp


isn't 124 lbs for 5'6" a bit light?

I definitely think that doing anything in extreme heat burns more calories than doing it at normal room temperature.  It takes energy to regulate your body temperature. 

I know from personal experience that working in heat takes it out of you.  I spent last summer working outdoors all day in the brutal Florida heat (high humidity 95-100 degerees)  wearing long pants, hiking boots, long sleeved shirt an carrying a spotting scope and backpack.  I HAD to bring food with me into the field or I would faint.  Yes I always brough two Nalegenes of water/gatorade (64 oz.) but would have to consume some serious calories by about 11am or get super faint.  I have worked much more physically demanding jobs and never had to be so careful about my eating. 

I remember from my mammalogy course that there is a high and low temperature where an organism has to use energy (burn calories) to regulate it's body temperature. 

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