How many calories burnt doing yoga

How many calories burnt doing yoga

Embarking on a fitness journey often involves a quest to discover the most effective ways to burn calories and shed those extra pounds. In recent years, yoga has gained prominence not only for its holistic approach to well-being but also for its potential to aid in weight loss. One of the key components of this ancient practice is Surya Namaskar, a sequence of asanas (postures) performed in a flowing sequence, often referred to as Sun Salutation. The question arises: Is Surya Namaskar more effective than other exercises when it comes to burning calories?

Understanding Surya Namaskar's Caloric Impact

Surya Namaskar is hailed as a comprehensive workout that engages various muscle groups and promotes flexibility. Advocates of this practice suggest that performing Surya Namaskar regularly can result in burning up to 400 calories per session. Unlike many other exercises, Surya Namaskar doesn't require external weights, making it an accessible and convenient workout option.

Let's delve into the reasons why Surya Namaskar is often considered superior for calorie burning:

  1. No External Weights Required:

    • Surya Namaskar relies on the body's own weight as resistance, eliminating the need for additional equipment. This makes it an ideal choice for those who prefer bodyweight exercises.
  2. Effective for Belly Fat Reduction:

    • Regular practice of Surya Namaskar is believed to contribute to reducing belly fat. The dynamic nature of the sequence engages the core muscles, aiding in toning and shaping the abdominal region.
  3. Holistic Benefits Beyond Caloric Burn:

    • Surya Namaskar is not just about burning calories; it encompasses a wide range of benefits. It is known to improve sexual function, enhance blood circulation (resulting in a radiant complexion), and strengthen back muscles.
  4. Full-Body Workout:

    • This sequence is a full-body workout that engages the arms, legs, and back muscles. It promotes spine and waist flexibility, making it an excellent choice for overall physical fitness.
  5. Improves Mental Function:

    • Yoga, including Surya Namaskar, has been associated with mental well-being. Practitioners often report improved concentration, reduced stress levels, and enhanced creativity and leadership abilities.

Other Yoga Asanas for Weight Loss

While Surya Namaskar stands out as a dynamic sequence, other yoga asanas can also contribute to weight loss and overall fitness. Here are some notable asanas:

  1. Plank Pose:

    • Toning arms, strengthening core muscles, and improving posture are some benefits of the plank pose.
  2. Boat Pose:

    • This posture focuses on balancing the upper and lower body, targeting the midriff. It is effective for burning belly fat.
  3. Sun Salutation:

    • Apart from its calorie-burning potential, Sun Salutation serves as an excellent warm-up, activating various body parts and stimulating metabolism.
  4. Leg Raise:

    • Leg raise asanas strengthen core muscles and aid in getting rid of belly fat. Double leg raising can be particularly effective.
  5. Chair Pose:

    • Concentrating on the lower body and abdominal muscles, the chair pose helps in weight reduction, increasing strength, stability, and stamina.

Yoga vs. Other Forms of Exercise

The effectiveness of yoga, including Surya Namaskar, in burning calories is notable. However, comparing it to other exercises like running reveals nuances. Yoga, being a moderate and consistent form of physical activity, might not match the immediate calorie burn of running. Yet, its impact lasts longer, contributing to improved metabolism throughout the day.

Running, considered a more physical activity, accelerates weight loss more rapidly. However, yoga, with its additional benefits like muscle building and a holistic approach to well-being, offers a unique blend of physical and mental fitness. The choice between yoga and other exercises depends on individual goals, preferences, and overall health objectives.

Does Yoga Burn Belly Fat?

While yoga, including Surya Namaskar, plays a significant role in promoting flexibility, muscle strength, and overall fitness, its impact on burning belly fat is noteworthy. A study found that restorative yoga, including specific postures targeting the abdomen, was effective in helping overweight women lose weight, including abdominal fat. Yoga's focus on the mind-body connection and stress reduction can indirectly contribute to weight loss by addressing factors like emotional eating.


In the quest for weight loss and calorie burning, Surya Namaskar emerges as a powerful and versatile practice within the realm of yoga. Its ability to engage multiple muscle groups, improve flexibility, and promote overall well-being makes it a valuable addition to a fitness routine. While it might not match the immediate calorie burn of high-intensity exercises like running, its long-lasting impact and holistic benefits make it a compelling choice for those seeking sustainable fitness.

Incorporating yoga, and specifically Surya Namaskar, into a well-rounded fitness regimen can provide a harmonious balance between physical and mental well-being. Whether one chooses yoga or other forms of exercise, the key lies in consistency, mindfulness, and alignment with individual fitness goals. As with any fitness journey, consulting with healthcare professionals or fitness experts can provide personalized guidance based on individual health conditions and objectives.