Why The Intensity Of A Workout Matters?
There is no doubt that some types of workouts are more effective at burning calories than others. The same goes for the degree of intensity of the same type of training. Let’s take for example running. An average 155-pound person burns 298 calories during 30 minutes of running with a speed of 5mph (8 km/h). And when the intensity of this workout increases, and the person runs faster, with the speed of 6mph (9.6 km/h), they burn 372 calories for the same amount of time (3). This rule can be applied to any other type of workout, including yoga, which is considered by some people as one of the least calorie-burning workouts.
There are different types of yoga, some indeed are less intense, and some require more physical effort and result in burning more calories, such as fusion yoga and power yoga. If you are curious about the number of power yoga calories burned, this article is exactly what you need. Read on about the effectiveness of power yoga for weight loss, its benefits, and ways to do power yoga for weight loss at home.
What Is Power Yoga?
Power yoga is basically a dynamic type of yoga. Unlike the calm and relaxing hatha yoga sessions, the power yoga workout is more active and vigorous. This form of training is a challenging workout for your whole body, with the focus on building strength. It is not the best option for beginners, or people with low fitness levels, as it requires an initially higher level of flexibility and physical performance. During a power yoga session, rather than focusing on one pose, you focus on a set of poses done in a sequence, and performance of the accelerated transition, which results in a higher number of power yoga calories burned, compared to the hatha yoga.
If you are wondering: “Can power yoga help you lose weight?”, the answer is yes, of course. Yoga by itself has proven to positively affect the weight loss process and encourage slimming in people who regularly perform yoga workouts (6). A 2016 study showed that yoga may offer diverse behavioral, psychological, and physical effects that may make it a useful tool for weight loss. It states that yoga interventions improve obesity-related outcomes including body mass index (BMI), body weight, body fat, and waist circumference. Participants of the study reported less stress eating, reduced appetite, fewer cravings, and a shift toward healthier, more mindful eating, which altogether led to a successful and lasting weight loss (1).
Another study showed that regular yoga sessions promoted healthy eating habits, greater mindfulness, management of emotional eating, and healthier food cravings (8), in such a way adding to the process of weight loss and weight management.
A 2009 preliminary study stated that a 12-week yoga program helped adult female participants fight their binge eating disorder and reduced BMI, hips, and waist measurements (7).
These are only a few examples of how yoga promotes weight loss. The number of power yoga calories burned is higher than that of a hatha yoga. So, if you combine all the evidence-supported weight loss benefits from a regular yoga session and add the increased caloric expenditure which power yoga provides, you get an effective weight-loss tool. However, you are unlikely to lose a significant amount of weight by sole power yoga training. If you want your weight loss to be more effective and visible, you should also make certain adjustments in your diet. A healthy well-balanced nutritional plan, accompanied by regular power yoga workouts will result in burning more calories than you consume, which is the base of any weight loss process (5).
How Many Calories Do You Burn With Weight Loss Power Yoga?
Like any other physical activity, yoga burns a certain number of calories. Power yoga, which is a more vigorous form of regular yoga, burns even more calories. As the number of power yoga calories burned depends on such factors as height, weight, age, gender, intensity and duration of the workout, etc., it is almost impossible to find the accurate data on how many calories you will burn personally, unless you use a calories burned calculator, or calculate it yourself. To do so, use the following formula:
Duration of power yoga workout in minutes × 0.0175 × MET × weight in kilograms = Total power yoga calories burned (2).
The MET (Metabolic Equivalent for Task) for power yoga is 4.2. And to calculate your weight in kg, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2.
So, if your weight is 180 pounds, the equation for the 1-hour power yoga calories burned will look like that:
60 × 0.0175 × 4.2 × (180/2.2) = 360 calories.
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Power yoga can not only help you trim a couple of inches but may also offer you a great number of other benefits. Here are some of the power yoga benefits that will make you want to get right into it:
It is a common knowledge that yoga can help you improve your flexibility, and power yoga is not an exception. Greater flexibility may reduce the risk of injuries, improve range of motion, and add to the quality of your physical performance (4).
Stamina, also known as endurance, is essential for proper physical performance. Regular power yoga workouts may significantly increase your stamina levels, due to the fluid but intense movements of this type of training. During a power yoga session, you may notice how your heart rate increases, thus increasing the blood flow. This helps to awaken all your muscle groups thus promoting the most effective work of your muscles.
One of the main focuses of power yoga is muscle strengthening. As it requires great strength, especially when you perform advanced movements and poses, power yoga enhances the strength of both your muscles and bones. It is a full-body workout, which involves all your muscle groups, and decreases the chance of muscle imbalances.
Yoga is well known for its ability to reduce stress and improve your mental state, and power yoga shows to be effective at that too. Power yoga practice stimulates the parasympathetic system, which is responsible for relaxation and calmness, thus lowering the level of stress and putting your mind at peace.
Despite power yoga training being very beneficial, if performed wrong, it may cause harm. If you have a low fitness level, it is recommended that you start with regular hatha yoga sessions, and with time, as you increase your fitness level and improve your physical performance and flexibility, you can start a power yoga training. You should consult a health professional or doctor before starting your power yoga workout, especially if you experience the following:
- Severe heart conditions
- Shoulder, knee, leg, back, or any other type of injury
- Recent surgeries
- Any other serious medical condition
Another benefit of power yoga is that you can perform it at home. All you need is a mat and some determination. If your goal is to shed pounds, the ideal option for you is to incorporate at least two sessions of power yoga into your weekly routine. Power yoga helps to prepare your muscles for lifting weights, so you can alternate between power yoga and other types of workout. If you aim at sustainable weight loss, a combination of power yoga and cardio training is exactly what you need. Here are some tips that will help you perform power yoga properly and incorporate power yoga training into your routine:
Choose The Perfect Time For A Power Yoga Session
As people tend to be the most energetic after they wake up, you can try practicing power yoga early in the morning. This will fill you with energy for the rest of the day while boosting your mood and waking up every part of your body. Try to accompany your morning power yoga practice with a short, relaxing evening routine. Even a couple of poses may improve your sleep and set a positive mood for the next day. Start each practice with slow breathing. Take deeper breaths each time, and exhale through your nose. Try to match your every movement with an inhale or an exhale.
Start Slowly, Then Gradually Increase The Difficulty
Power yoga may be quite demanding and exhausting, especially if your fitness level is not that high. Don’t be afraid to start from the beginning and slowly increase the intensity of your training. There is nothing shameful in taking a pause and having an additional couple of minutes of rest. It is ok to modify poses that are too difficult for you. Don’t worry, you will learn to perform them correctly with time.
Set Realistic Goals
Using power yoga for weight loss is a common practice. It is quite effective at helping you melt fat, but you should not expect dramatic weight loss after the first week of training. Decide what you want and set realistic goals that you will reach gradually but surely. This will prevent you from giving up halfway through and add to your motivation.
Ask For Guidance
Power yoga is far from being a simple workout. It can be performed at home. However, if you are a beginner, and have no idea how to do it, you may require some guidance. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice from a specialist, as the wrong performance of power yoga practices may have a counterproductive effect.
Take Your Time In Savasana
Savasana, or corpse pose, is a final resting pose. It is an important aspect of both regular yoga and power yoga. Savasana is an essential part of a workout and should never be underestimated or neglected. Don’t forget to spend at least 5 minutes in savasana after every challenging workout. This will allow you to meditate and will maximize the benefits of your training. Lie down on your back, with your legs slightly apart and palms on your sides, facing the ceiling. Close your eyes if you want. Take a deep breath and concentrate on your breathing. Try to clear your mind, while remaining focused on your breathing.
Unlike regular hatha yoga, power yoga is quite dynamic and vigorous. Naturally, it burns more calories than a classic yoga session and has a greater effect on your muscle strength. It is also quite efficient at helping you shed pounds, improve flexibility, and reduce stress. However, it is not for everyone. If you have a low fitness level or suffer from certain health conditions you should opt for a more slow-paced workout. That is why, before starting a power yoga workout, make sure to consult a health specialist. On your way to a better life, you need to supplement both mental and physical health.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A Different Weight Loss Experience: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Behavioral, Physical, and Psychosocial Changes Associated with Yoga That Promote Weight Loss (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Burning Calories with Exercise: Calculating Estimated Energy Expenditure (2009, hss.edu)
- Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights (2018, health.harvard.edu)
- Stretching: Focus on flexibility (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Weight-loss basics (2019, mayoclinic.org)
- Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat (2015, health.harvard.edu)
- Yoga as a treatment for binge eating disorder: a preliminary study (2009, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Yoga’s potential for promoting healthy eating and physical activity behaviors among young adults: a mixed-methods study (2018, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)