Burning Calories Through Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga or Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, as it is also known as, is a more modern form of the classical form of yoga. This type of yoga was popularized by Krishna Pattabhi Jois in the middle of the last century and is a more gymnastic form of this ancient Indian discipline. The most popular form of this type of yoga is what is known as Power Yoga. So, how effective is Ashtanga Yoga in burning calories? Let’s have a look.

What is Ashtanga Vinayasa Yoga?

The word ashtanga comes from two words asht meaning 8 and ang meaning parts or limbs. Vinayasa means the ideal alignment of breath and movement. This type of yoga consists of more active form of yoga, where the yogasanas (positions) are more dynamic. This type of yoga seeks to increase blood circulation and generate internal heat as well as induce sweating to rid the body of impurities and toxins.

Power yoga is popular interpretation of ashtanga vinayasa yoga which combines the original values of yoga with the more modern requirement of a active exercise based form of yoga. Much of the time, power yoga is practiced in a warm, often artificially heated environment of about 105 degrees F or 40 degrees C.


The order of exercises is set and predefined. It starts with the opening sequence followed by the main, back bending exercises. This followed by the finishing sequence ending with shavasana (the corpse position) at the end.

Is it possible to lose weight with Ashtang Vinayasa Yoga?

We tend to think of Yoga as a gentle form of low impact exercise that improves flexibility and core strength rather than a way to shed extra pounds. However power yoga is a more active form of yoga which requires a lot more activity and movement. According to some estimates it is possible to burn up to 445 calories per hour of this form of yoga if proper form and breathing methods are observed.

So basically doing this form of yoga can be as effective a way of burning calories as brisk walking. Practitioners of power yoga also tend to be fitter and their muscles are typically better toned due to the practice of this form of exercise.

So the combination of a very hot environment and the series of fairly grueling exercises makes this form of yoga the most strenuous and a great way to burn off extra calories. As to whether it can help you lose weight; that would depend upon how what and how much you eat and how dedicated you are to the performance power yoga.