The average person burns 150-400 calories per hour doing yoga. Light intensity styles of yoga such as Nadisodhana and Hatha will consume fewer calories. Higher intensity yoga such as power yoga will consume more.
How many calories are burned from yoga?
Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
“MET” is a measurement of the energy cost of physical activity for a period of time. You can find an activity’s MET on the chart above.
A task with a MET of 1 is roughly equal to a person’s energy expenditure from sitting still at room temperature not actively digesting food.
A task with a MET of 2 uses twice as much energy as a task with a MET of 1. A task with a MET of 10 uses 10 times as much energy as a task with a MET of 1.
MET values “do not estimate the energy cost of physical activity in individuals in ways that account for differences in body mass, adiposity, age, sex, efficiency of movement, geographic and environmental conditions in which the activities are performed. Thus, individual differences in energy expenditure for the same activity can be large and the true energy cost for an individual may or may not be close to the stated mean MET level as presented in the Compendium.” (as quoted from the main page of the Compendium of Physical Activities).
A person weighs 180 pounds (81.65kg) and does power yoga (a task that has a MET value of 4.0) for 1 hour (60 minutes).
Calories Burned from power yoga (per minute) = (4.0 x 81.65 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 5.72
Calories Burned from power yoga (for 60 minutes) = 5.72 x 60 = 343
Sources and External Resources
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS. The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide. Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from the World Wide Web.
- Arizona State University Healthy Lifestyles Research Center – Compendium of Physical Activities – Conditioning Exercise – Provides MET values for conditioning activities, including yoga.
- Learn about “MET” and the compendium of physical activities from Arizona State University, University or South Carolina, and Wikipedia. There is a summary of general physical activities defined by intensity from the CDC and the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Recommendations on physical activity for health from the Harvard School of Public Health and the WHO.
- Learn about the health benefits of yoga with “38 Health Benefits of Yoga” by Timothy McCall, M.D. of Yoga Journal,“Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity” by the Mayo Clinic, “Yoga: What You Need To Know” by the UK’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health,
- NHS Choices – A Guide to Yoga, “A Guide to Yoga” by the UK’s NHS, “The Health Benefits of Yoga and Exercise: A Review of Comparison Studies” by Alyson Ross and Sue Thomas of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, and “Effects of Hatha Yoga Practice on the Health-Related Aspects of Physical Fitness” by Trans, Holly, Lashbrook, and Amsterdam.