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.