Is Yoga Considered A Workout?

The truth about yoga is that it's one of the oldest exercise practices in the world, and, yes, it's considered a workout (via WebMD). Yoga does more than just burn calories and tone your muscles with the combination of strengthening and stretching poses. Yoga also encourages you to focus on your breath so you can relax and destress.

Yoga is excellent for reducing stress and stretching your muscles. In fact, Edward Laskowski, MD, the co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, told Everyday Health, "Classes that focus more on mindfulness and restoration may not get your heart rate up that much," so they don't qualify as a cardio workout. Still, various kinds of yoga such as vinyasa, power, and Bikram count as a moderate physical activity because they're physically challenging. Healthline considers yoga helpful to build strength over time depending on the yoga intensity. However, they don't think it's enough for whole-body strength training, and recommend compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts for a full-body strength training workout.

There are so many types of yoga, and it's possible to find a style of yoga that is right for you, depending on your interest and fitness level. You can also gradually increase the intensity over time. After all, adding yoga to your daily routine will benefit your mind and body alike (via The New York Times).

These types of yoga will burn the most calories

Depending on your goals, you can choose different intensity levels of yoga. More relaxing yoga like hatha and Iyengar focus on breathing and basic movement, but other forms of yoga can make you break a sweat and help you get a more toned body.

According to Rasa Yoga Center, if your goal is to burn calories and improve your cardiovascular endurance, you should try vinyasa. This full-body workout increases heat production, improves concentration, and improves your cardiovascular health with its quick and continuous movement that focuses on every muscle on your body. Most people assume that practicing yoga in a heated room will help them burn more calories. However, Everyday Health says that whether you are doing vinyasa at room temperature or Bikram yoga in a heated room, the number of calories burned is almost the same. The only difference is that you will sweat more in Bikram yoga.

Healthline suggests choosing strength-based yoga styles such as ashtanga or doing yoga with weights. These approaches are more vigorous, burn more calories, and help you build upper-body strength. WebMD doesn't consider yoga an aerobic exercise, but choosing athletic variations such as power yoga will make you sweat more and increase your heart rate. In this way, it can have similar benefits for your heath as cardio when you do yoga every day. Furthermore, power yoga is higher-intensity and faster, so it can help you build muscles more than hatha.