I had heard about hot yoga for some time but only really understood it once I decided to try it.
Hot yoga is a practice of yoga in an environment that’s heated to around 105°F, which helps increase the body’s flexibility and circulation while providing a more intense workout.
Along the way, I discovered how many calories you can burn in a hot yoga class and the factors that affect this number.
In this article, I’ll share my findings and help you determine if hot yoga is worth it for weight loss.
What is Hot Yoga, and How Does it Work?
Hot yoga is a series of yoga postures performed in a heated room. The heat is typically set to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is increased to about 40%.
This creates a sauna-like environment that can help you sweat profusely and release toxins from your body.
The most popular form of hot yoga is Bikram Yoga, which consists of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a set sequence.
The heat in a hot yoga class can help you achieve a deeper stretch and increase your flexibility. It also helps raise your heart rate, leading to a higher calorie burn.
The humidity can also help to improve your breathing and make it easier to perform the postures.
However, practicing yoga in a heated room requires a lot of energy and can be challenging for beginners.
Hot Yoga and Weight Loss – The Science Behind It
Hot yoga has been touted as an effective way to lose weight and burn calories.
According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, participants in a Bikram Yoga class burned an average of 330 calories in a 90-minute session.
This is equivalent to the calorie burn of a moderate-intensity cardiovascular workout.
The heat in a hot yoga class can help to increase your metabolic rate and promote weight loss. When your body is exposed to heat, it works harder to cool itself down, which requires more energy.
This can lead to an increase in calorie burn and help you to shed pounds.
However, the number of calories you burn in a hot yoga class can vary depending on several factors.
Factors Affect the Number of Calories Burned in Hot Yoga
Several factors, including your body weight, the intensity of the class, and your level of experience, can influence the number of calories you burn in a hot yoga class.
Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories during exercise, as their bodies require more energy to perform the same movements.
The intensity of the class can also affect the number of calories burned, as more challenging postures require more energy to perform.
Your level of experience in hot yoga can also play a role in the number of calories burned.
Beginners may need more experienced practitioners to perform the postures as efficiently as experienced practitioners, which can lead to a lower calorie burn.
However, as you become more familiar with the practice, you can perform the postures more quickly, leading to a higher calorie burn.
How Many Calories Can You Burn in a Hot Yoga Class?
The number of calories burned during a hot yoga class will depend on the abovementioned factors.
On average, a 150-pound individual can expect to burn around 450-500 calories in a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class.
However, this number can increase or decrease depending on your body weight, class intensity, and experience level.
It’s important to note that calorie burn is just one aspect of hot yoga. The practice also offers several other health benefits that can help to improve your overall well-being.
Hot Yoga vs. Other Forms of Exercise – A Comparison of Calorie Burn
While hot yoga can effectively burn calories and lose weight, how does it compare to other forms of exercise? Let’s take a look at some calorie burn comparisons:
- Running: A 150-pound individual can burn around 590-670 calories in a 60-minute run at a moderate pace.
- Cycling: A 150-pound individual can burn about 540-620 calories in a 60-minute cycling class at a moderate intensity.
- Strength Training: A 150-pound individual can burn about 220-300 calories in a 60-minute strength training session.
As you can see, hot yoga is in the middle of the calorie-burn spectrum. However, it offers several unique benefits that other forms of exercise may not provide.
Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn in Hot Yoga
If you’re looking to maximize your calorie burn in a hot yoga class, there are a few tips you can follow:
- Hydrate: It’s essential to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hot yoga class to stay hydrated and maintain your energy levels.
- Dress Appropriately: Wear lightweight and breathable clothing that will allow you to move freely and remain calm.
- Push Yourself: Challenge yourself to hold each posture for as long as possible and maintain proper form throughout the class.
- Attend Regularly: Consistency is critical to burning calories and achieving weight loss goals. Aim to attend at least 2-3 hot yoga classes per week.
- Listen to Your Body: Hot yoga can be intense, so listening and taking breaks as needed is essential.
Hot Yoga and Overall Health Benefits
In addition to calorie burn and weight loss, hot yoga offers several other health benefits.
This helps relax the body and improve flexibility, strength, and balance while reducing stress and anxiety. Plus, the added heat helps to detoxify your body and make your skin glow like never before.
Hot yoga can be a great way to improve your overall health and well-being as long as you approach it safely and with the right mindset.
Precautions to Take Before Starting a Hot Yoga Practice
Before starting a hot yoga practice, it’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure your safety:
- Consult Your Doctor: If you have any pre-existing health conditions or injuries, you must consult your doctor before starting a hot yoga practice.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your hot yoga class is essential for staying hydrated and avoiding heat exhaustion.
- Pace Yourself: If you’re new to hot yoga, start with a shorter class and gradually build up to an entire 90-minute session.
- Listen to Your Body: If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous during your hot yoga class, take a break and sit out for a few minutes.
Conclusion – Is Hot Yoga Worth It for Weight Loss?
In conclusion, hot yoga can effectively burn calories and lose weight if you approach it safely and with the right mindset.
The number of calories burned in a hot yoga class can vary depending on several factors, but on average, you can expect to burn around 450-500 calories in a 90-minute Bikram Yoga class.
However, it’s important to remember that hot yoga offers several other health benefits beyond calorie burn and weight loss. It can improve flexibility, balance, and strength and reduce stress and anxiety.
So, if you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding workout that offers a range of health benefits, hot yoga may be worth checking out.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your mat, hydrate well, and prepare for a hot yoga class!