8 Yoga Poses That Burn More Calories Than Walking

  • 1 month ago
5 minute read.
8 Yoga Poses That Burn More Calories Than Walking

Yoga is often celebrated for its ability to improve flexibility, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity. However, many people may not realize that certain yoga poses can also be an effective way to burn calories and boost fitness levels, sometimes even more efficiently than walking.

Finding an exercise routine that is both effective and enjoyable can be tough. Walking is a popular choice because it is low-impact, easy to do, and can be done almost anywhere. But for those who want to take their fitness to the next level, adding yoga poses that burn calories can be a great option. Yoga, with its focus on mindfulness and overall health, offers a mix of physical effort and mental relaxation, making it a great alternative to traditional workouts like walking.

Yoga’s benefits go beyond just burning calories. Each pose works for different muscle groups, improves flexibility, and enhances balance and coordination. Plus, the mindful aspect of yoga helps with better breathing, reducing stress, and creating a deeper connection between the body and mind. It makes yoga not just a physical workout but a complete approach to health and well-being.

Whether you’re an experienced yogi or a beginner, these calorie-burning poses can add variety and intensity to your fitness routine, helping you achieve your health goals while enjoying the many benefits of yoga.

Also Check: Is It Ok To Do Yoga Twice A Day?

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair Pose, often described as sitting in an imaginary chair, is an intense lower-body workout that engages the thighs, glutes, and core. The sustained effort required to hold this pose makes it an effective calorie burner.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the thighs, glutes, core and improves stamina.
  • How to Perform: Stand with feet together and bend your knees, lowering your hips as if sitting back in a chair. Raise your arms overhead, keeping your chest lifted and your weight in your heels.

Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)

Chaturanga Dandasana, similar to a low plank, is a demanding pose that builds strength in the arms, shoulders, chest, and core. Transitioning through Chaturanga in a yoga flow can significantly boost calorie expenditure.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the arms, shoulders, and core, and enhances upper body endurance.
  • How to Perform: From Plank Pose, bend your elbows to lower your body in a straight line, hovering just above the ground. Keep your elbows close to your ribs and maintain a strong core.

Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Plank Pose is a staple in many fitness routines due to its effectiveness in building core strength and burning calories. Holding a plank requires engaging multiple muscle groups, which increases the overall calorie burn.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the core, shoulders, arms, and legs, and improves stability.
  • How to Perform: Begin in a push-up position, hands directly under your shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core and maintaining a neutral spine.

Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Upward-Facing Dog is a powerful backbend that opens the chest and strengthens the arms, shoulders, and back. It’s often included in Vinyasa flows, contributing to its calorie-burning potential.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the upper body, stretches the chest and abdomen, and improves posture.
  • How to Perform: From Chaturanga Dandasana, press through your hands to lift your chest and legs off the ground, keeping your thighs active and your shoulders away from your ears.

Crow Pose (Bakasana)

Crow Pose is an arm balance that challenges strength, balance, and concentration. Holding this pose requires significant effort, especially from the core and upper body, making it an excellent calorie burner.

  • Benefits: Strengthens the arms, shoulders, and core, and improves focus and balance.
  • How to Perform: Squat down with your feet together. Place your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart. Lift your hips, bend your elbows, and place your knees on the backs of your upper arms. Shift your weight forward and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your hands.

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

Sun Salutations are a dynamic sequence of movements that can significantly elevate your heart rate, making them an excellent calorie burner. This series of poses, including forward bends, backbends, and planks engages multiple muscle groups and enhances cardiovascular fitness.

  • Benefits: Improves flexibility, strengthens muscles, and boosts cardiovascular health.
  • How to Perform: Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), then move into Raised Arms Pose (Hastauttanasana) and Hand to Foot Pose (Hasta Padasana). Transition to Plank Pose, then Lower down into Eight Limbed Salutation (Ashtanga Namaskara), followed by Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana) and Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana). Step forward into Equestrian Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana), then return to Hand to Foot Pose, Raised Arms Pose, and finally back to Mountain Pose.

Boat Pose (Navasana)

Boat Pose is a powerful core-strengthening pose that engages the arms and legs, making it a great calorie burner. Holding this pose requires significant effort and balance, contributing to its high calorie-burning potential.

  • Benefits: Strengthens core muscles, improves balance, and enhances concentration.
  • How to Perform: Sit on the mat with your legs extended. Lean back slightly, lifting your legs to create a V-shape with your body. Extend your arms parallel to the ground. Hold the position while maintaining a straight back and engaged core.

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III is a challenging balancing pose that targets the legs, core, and back. The effort required to maintain balance and alignment in this pose helps to burn calories efficiently.

  • Benefits: Enhances balance, strengthens the legs and core, and improves focus.
  • How to Perform: From Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), shift your weight onto your front foot and lift your back leg parallel to the ground. Extend your arms forward or to the sides for balance, keeping your torso and lifted leg aligned.

[Also check: Soreness after yoga? This is what your body needs]

Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn in Yoga

  • Maintain Consistent Practice: Regular yoga practice enhances muscle engagement and endurance, leading to higher calorie burn.
  • Focus on Form: Proper alignment and technique ensure that you are engaging the correct muscles and maximizing the intensity of each pose.
  • Incorporate Flows: Moving through sequences like Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga increases heart rate and calorie expenditure.
  • Combine with Cardio: Integrate these yoga poses with other cardio activities to create a balanced and effective workout routine.

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Incorporating these calorie-burning yoga poses into your routine can provide a full-body workout that rivals the benefits of walking. Doing these poses helps in shedding calories, and offers the additional benefits of increased flexibility, improved muscle tone, and enhanced mental clarity. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or a beginner, these poses can add a new dimension to your fitness journey.

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