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Hot Yoga Calorie Confusion

You’ll all remember (or maybe you won’t — whatever) that 10 days ago I set my personal goals for September. One of them was to count to 10 to remain patient, another was to let my husband know how much I appreciate him, and the other was to go to a yoga class at least once per week.

And right now I want to take a moment to say that I don’t know how it’s already 10 days into September. Wasn’t I “rabbit rabbit’ing” like yesterday? What. The. Heck.

But, back to that yoga goal. I’ve been to a plethora of yoga studios in the last year or so, trying to find my niche. I like hot yoga, vinyasa style — with a lot of flowing and fast paced movements. I can’t do the low and slow, hold the pose for like 10 minutes kind of yoga — that’s just not me. For someone who is a cardio queen, I need something a little bit faster and up to speed with my “go go go!” personality.

I went to a few different studios so I could find an instructor that specifically meets my needs and who’s style matches mine. It took a few tries, but I’ve finally found it. A 75 minute hot vinyasa flow class, with an instructor who plays music to mimic the practice — slow when we’re warming up, music we can flow to when we’re on our own (Maroon 5 “Moves Like Jagger” anyone?), and encourages us to try something new and explore our own practice every single class.

With that being said, I’ve been going to the 8:30 Saturday morning class each week, and I have been loving it. I come out refreshed and stretched out from all the longer mileage I have been slowly squeezing back into my life. I feel energized and ready to tackle my weekend one errand, one chore, one get together at a time.

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have been leaving my class, dripping in sweat (awesome), and absolutely starving. No joke, I am literally ready to gnaw my arm off at the end of it. I eat my normal breakfast beforehand (this morning was hot protein oats with some TJ’s valencia peanut butter on top!) and head out. Although I know you’re not really “supposed” to eat before yoga, I’m pretty sure I would pass out if I did that. This girl needs her fuel.

While I don’t necessarily exercise just to “burn calories”, this was really weighing in on me. I exercise for the way it makes me feel, for my health, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t work out for a toned body. Yoga makes me feel strong and empowered, so “how many calories” I burned isn’t one of the reasons why I practice.

After last week’s class, I went home and Googled “calories burned in hot vinyasa yoga” — and I got a few different results. However, the main consensus was that on average, a woman my size burns approximately 560 calories an hour in a hot yoga class. I had seen some reports saying that some people will burn an upwards of 1,000 calories in a hot yoga class, but that is out of control! I feel like in yoga my heart rate doesn’t get up “that” high.

This morning before class, I pulled out my trusty Polar F6 that I used a lot when I was training for a race so I would know just how much to refuel my body after a longer run. I dusted it off (sorry, Mom — I still love it!), and strapped the heart rate monitor around my chest. For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy these pictures of my Saturday morning sleepy face looking like a fool trying to get a good picture of the watch on my wrist.

Apparently I’m not so good at self portraits like some people I know.

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