It’s really difficult to tell how many calories you’re burning doing anything. Thankfully, for running and walking, there are pedometers with weight and calorie calculators. On Sparkpeople’s website, there is an option for just about anything… except for Yoga.
So if I’m going to enter that I did Yoga, which counts as a ‘cardio workout’ even though you’re relaxing and stretching, I need to know how many calories I burned, or how to go about figuring that out.
It’s important to note that doing Yoga on its own isn’t recommended for people trying to lose some serious weight, although it will help in your general flexibility and peace of mind. Yoga is recommended for so many different types of training, but if you want to tone up and really burn off fat, you should combine your yoga with a mix of cardio and weight lifting.
Most websites can’t tell you exactly how many calories you’ll burn per hour, but they’ll give you something like this: “According to HealthStatus.com, a 130-lb. person will burn about 304 calories during one hour of Ashtanga yoga and about 413 calories during one hour of Bikram yoga. This same person will burn only about 164 calories during one hour of Hatha yoga, although this style of yoga usually targets strength and flexibility rather than weight loss.”
Considering 130 is a nice, round number, that’s helpful, unless you don’t weigh 130lbs!!! So, what do you do?
Well, you could search some more, which is what I did. I found a helpful calculator on Glamour’s website, which is in metric and imperial (kg and lbs), that allows you to enter what kind of yoga, your weight, and how long you did it.
I weigh 136lbs today. So for me to do 65 minutes of Hatha (not power) Yoga, the calculator says I’ll burn 175.43 calories. This is most likely an average taken of all of the slower forms of Yoga, since there is also an option for ‘Power Yoga’.
NOW. If we want to put that against the information that is listed from Healthstatus.com above, we need to make a math equation. Let me help you with this.
First, we need to find out how many calories per minute someone whoe weighs 130 lbs burns.
This is figured out in this way: 164 (cal burned)/60 (minutes) = 2.73 calories per minute.
So if I weigh 136, then I weigh 5% more than 130. 2.73 (cal per minute) x 1.05 (percent more) = 2.86 calories per minute at 136 lbs.
From there, if a 136 lb person does 60 minutes of Hatha Yoga: 2.86 (cal per min) x 60 (minutes) = 171.6 calories.
Compared to the figure above from the calculator: 65 minutes at Glamour gets you 175.43.
65 minutes with my math equation (numbers rounded up and down to the nearest .1) gets you 185.9 calories burned. That’s a really small difference, and in these cases, I always take the lower number as the correct one. Not because it is (I have no way to prove WHICH is correct), but just because I don’t want to lie to myself and it’s better to just accept the lower number and maybe work a bit harder!