How to burn more calories in a yoga class

Does yoga count as a workout? Follow this advice to take your yoga routine to the next level.
by Stephanie Mansour / / Source: TODAY

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Do you not count yoga as a workout because you feel like it’s more relaxing than intense? As a certified yoga instructor and weight-loss coach for women, I often encourage my clients to attend yoga classes — and then add in a few tricks to burn more calories!

Yoga has a long list of health benefits: it can help to improve your flexibility, has meditative qualities and engages a wide range of muscles. But does it burn calories? With these tips below, you'll be sweating through your asanas and truly feeling the burn.

1. Add pushups to your flow.

Instead of going from a plank to chaturanga to upward facing dog, take a pause on your knees. Then, do five modified pushups before coming back up into plank and into chaturanga.

By adding these extra pushups each time you’re in this position, you can burn up to 50 additional calories if you do this 10 times in a class. Plus, you're adding a bit of strength-training to the routine.

2. Practice your jumps.

From downward facing dog into forward fold, you could walk your feet or step your feet into forward fold. To challenge yourself, work on doing a jump forward. Bend your knees, reaching your butt back over your ankles, and then lightly hop to the front of your mat into the forward fold. If you do 10 of these jumps throughout class, you’ll burn an extra 25 calories — and you'll work those glutes!

3. Add moving lunges to standing poses.

When you’re in crescent lunge, warrior I, or warrior II, bend and straighten the front leg instead of holding it static in the pose. Moving in and out of a lunge can help you to burn more calories than just holding it still.

Remember to do what feels best for your body. If the temperature is hotter (as in hot yoga), you’ll burn more calories due to the heat. If you do a vinyasa flow class, you’ll most likely be moving faster than in a traditional hatha yoga class, so you’ll burn more calories. Do what feels best for you!

Stephanie Mansour is a health and fitness expert and weight-loss coach for women. Join her complimentary weight-loss challenge here!

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