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DR. ELAINE'S BLOG

FLOW YOGA BOOSTS CALORIE BURNING

WEIGHT LOSS GOOD NEWS! FLOW YOGA BOOSTS CALORIE BURNING!

"Vinyasa yoga (also known as flow yoga) is a vigorous flow style of yoga in which participants move quickly through yoga poses. Yoga practitioners report that a rigorous one hour vinyasa class offers a great cardiovascular workout that challenges flexibility, strength and endurance. Now research shows that vinyasa yoga can burn up to 540 calories an hour - the equivalent of an eleven-minute mile.

 

The study, published in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise investigated the hemodynamic and metabolic demand of vinyasa yoga practice in experienced yoga practitioners..."

 

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STUDY CONTINUEDAdelphi University researchers administered a 15-minute videotaped vinyasa yoga sequence including six yoga positions to thirteen experienced yoga practitioners (average age 36 years). All of the practitioners were familiar with the yoga sequence before testing. The participants’ oxygen consumption (VO2), heart-rate response (HR), blood lactate levels, and caloric expenditure were monitored as they participated in the yoga session.

 

The researchers found that the participants’ heart rates increased an average of 77 percent of the maximum, blood lactate levels were elevated an average 4 mMol/L and the average caloric expenditure was 7 kcal/min, during the yoga session. The participants’ burned up to 507 calories per hour, the equivalent of running an 11 minute mile.

 

“Despite the lack of relationship between HR and VO2, and the mild blood lactate level, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga can provide a moderate cardiovascular stimulus through a combination of anaerobic and aerobic energy requirements,” conclude the study authors. “The 6.7 MET energy cost of Vinyasa Yoga is similar to the moderate exercise intensity required by aerobic dance and walking.”

 

The study results are good news, demonstrating that vinyasa yoga practice can burn as many calories as other aerobic activities, like walking and jogging. However, keep in mind that the yoga practitioners were doing intermediate to advanced vinyasa yoga in this study. This provided maximum intensity in the aerobic training zone.

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