Debunking A Seemingly Popular Myth

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

hot yogaIf you’ve been following along the past couple days, you know that I signed up for a 10 day/10 classes hot yoga challenge. I’ve been wanting to try hot yoga for some time now. When I’ve mentioned this to others, I heard about what a huge calorie burn it is.

The heat raises your heart rate, you have to work intensely to hold poses, it builds cardiovascular strength and so on. They even have a calorie estimator on the website that said in 60 minutes I’d burn 508 calories, and in 90 minutes 762 calories.

OK, I’m there! Sign me up. I could use a good substitute for the stairmaster and running I’ve been doing lately.

Here’s where the myth part comes in. Yesterday I took the 90 minute class and wore my heart rate monitor. I sweated myself silly while twisting into the poses and holding. I didn’t sit out any part of the class. Grand total calorie burn – 172 calories. Hmmm, maybe that was a fluke. The strap was on crooked and I didn’t notice.

I did the 60 minute class tonight and again wore the monitor, and the total calories burned were 126. See the picture as evidence and it included an extra 5 minutes of pre-class waiting. To put this in perspective, on a leisurely 35 minute stroll with Thing Two I burn 140 calories. A stroll with the dog stopping to pee on every blade of grass for half the time burns more calories than hot power yoga.

Now I’m not completely knocking it. There are some huge benefits such as stretching muscles, relaxation, and meditation. I just want to call a spade a spade. There’s no calorie burn, cardiovascular improvement, or anything else going on here for me. I don’t mind doing it, I just don’t want to be led to believe I can give up real exercise for this. I can give up daily massages for it though. 😉

Maybe I’m some freak of nature, which is highly possible. I enjoyed the class but don’t have time to do 90 minutes and then have to go for a run afterwards to burn what I need each day. I think after the challenge is over, I may buy a punch card and take classes every now and then but I won’t be signing up for a membership. The gym will suit me just fine.

Have you tried hot yoga? What is your calorie burn? I must know if it’s just me or if this really is just a myth. Inquiring minds!


  1. I took a hot yoga class once, and I passed out within the first 10 minutes. My Doc told me to never try it again. My body just couldn’t take the extreme heat. I must say the people in that class were very fit and toned looking.

    • Accidental Fitness Quest says

      Same in my class. I’ve got 7 more days to go and I plan to wear the monitor for them all. Maybe it was just an off couple days or I’m doing something wrong. At least this will be a nice recovery week. And my skin has never been softer with all the sweating. Ha!

Speak Your Mind