Incorporating exercise into your regimen is an important component to a successful weight loss program. While yoga burns some calories and provides numerous health benefits, it’s not considered efficient if you're looking to burn a significant number of calories. The number of calories you burn during your 20-minute yoga session depends on a variety of factors.
Yoga offers many health benefits, including developing muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, coordination and balance. It also requires your body to use more calories in order to fuel your muscles during your workout. Burning calories is important if you're interested in losing body fat or maintaining a healthy body composition. Every time you burn 3,500 more calories than you consume over a period of time, you lose about a pound of body fat.
How many calories you burn during your yoga workout depends on a variety of factors, including your own body weight and what type of yoga you’re participating in. Larger people will burn more calories than those who weigh less during the same workout. The more intense types of yoga will directly increase the number of calories you burn.
According to Harvard Health Publications, a 125-lb. person burns about 120 calories per 30 minutes, or 80 calories every 20 minutes of Hatha Yoga. A 155-lb. person burns about 149 calories per 30 minutes, or 99 calories in 20 minutes. A 185-lb. person burns about 178 calories in 30 minutes, which equates to about 119 calories in 20 minutes.
Elysium Yoga states that there is a significant difference in calories burned among the variety of types of yoga. Hatha, a low intensity type of yoga that focuses on basic postures, burns the fewest amount of calories, while more intense types of yoga, such as Vinyasa and hot yoga, burn the most calories.
In terms of calorie burning, yoga is not the most effective type of workout. According to MayoClinic.com, running, jumping rope and rollerblading are the most effective exercise types for burning calories. If you’re interested in losing weight, consider incorporating a more intense type of activity, or increase the duration of your yoga workouts.