Friday, April 13, 2012

Bikram Yoga Calorie Count

Whenever I want to lose a few lbs or just get my eating habits on track I count calores.  I use the iPhone app called Lose It!  I credit this app for helping me lose about 15 lbs a couple of years ago and helping me keep it off (even though it keeps wanting to creep back up!)

I track all my calories in and any I burn with exercise, so I wear a heart rate monitor while exercising.  For a long time after I started doing Bikram I just estimated my calorie burn because I didn't want to wear the monitor in class.  It seemed too sweaty and just wrong.  Yoga shouldn't be about burning calories.  It should be about meditation and balance, right?

So I googled and I found estimations that you can burn up to 1000 calories!  I knew this was unlikely since I have a pretty good feel for what I burn during any given workout but I also knew that Bikram was HARD, so I estimated 600 calories.  I let myself have those 600 calories for months before I hit the dreaded weight loss plateau.  Since I was religiously counting calories and weight loss is simply less calories in than calories out, I knew there was a snafu in my counting.  I wondered if the 600 I was giving myself at Bikram was too much.

When I finally wore a heart rate monitor to Bikram I was dismayed to learn I only burned 350 calories!  But so be it, I readjusted my Bikram entry on Lose It! and reminded myself that I was not at Bikram to only burn calories.  I was there to stretch and strengthen, to meditate and find balance.

I have now worn my heart rate monitor a handful of times and I have found that the average burn is between 350-400 but yesterday I burned 500!  I have no idea why, I didn't feel like I was working any harder than normal but it was darn hot in there.

So long story short.  I burn a decent amount of calories in 90 minutes while meditating and finding balance, stretching and strengthening.  I love Bikram Yoga.

Do you track calories burned in your Bikram Yoga class?  I'd love to hear what your experience is.

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