For yoga to burn calories, add Hatha yoga poses that burn over three calories per minute to your class or home practice. These poses are the back bend known as Bow Pose, an intermediate variation of the Plow Pose and the series Sun Salutation. According to a yoga study published in “Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine”, over three calories per minute, but less than 4 calories per minute, is about the maximum amount of yoga calories burned you can expect with Hatha yoga.
Yoga to Burn Calories: Bow Pose – Dhanurasana
The Bow Pose, also known as Upward Wheel or Dhanurasana, is a Hatha yoga back bend that burns about 3.03 per minute. The book Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha recommends repeating Bow Pose three to five times and holding the pose for “as long as is comfortable.” If you repeat Bow Pose five times and hold it for one minute each time, about 10 to 12 breaths, you would achieve about 15 yoga calories burned. Contraindications for Bow Pose include a weak heart, hernia and ulcers.
Yoga to Burn Calories: Plow Pose Hands-to-Toes – Halasana II
The Plow Pose Hands-to-Toes, also known as Halasana II, is a Hatha yoga inversion pose that burns about 3.05 calories per minute. In this version of plow pose, reach your hands back to grasp your toes, instead of using your hands to support your back. The book Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha recommends yoga beginners perform Halasana II for 15 seconds to 1 minute, while intermediate and advance level yoga practitioners can hold this pose for 10 minutes or more. Achieve 10 yoga calories burned for every 3.5 minutes you hold this version of the plow pose. Contraindications for Halasana include sciatica, high blood pressure and arthritis of the neck.
Yoga to Burn Calories: Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar
The yoga series Sun Salutation, also known as Surya Namaskar, burns 3.79 calories per minute or 13.9 calories per round. It’s not just one yoga pose, but a series of 12 Hatha yoga poses done in rhythmic sequence, in sync with your breath. Yoga beginners typically do 4 rounds, for 55 yoga calories burned. Intermediate or advanced level yoga practitioners typically do 6 to 10 rounds for 83 to 139 yoga calories burned. Contraindications for Sun Salutation include being pregnant for 12 weeks or more, back conditions and coronary artery diseases.