Yoga is a great activity that can be beneficial for all areas of health—physical, mental and emotional. But many people have the misconception that it is not enough to be the only form of exercise they do. But is it? If you use yoga for exercise, is it enough for your fitness needs? The answer depends on several factors, including the intensity of your yoga sessions and your overall level of fitness.

Yoga for exercise

Yoga is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy. It can be used to improve health, flexibility, strength, posture, and so much more. It is not only a rewarding physical activity, but it is also a holistic lifestyle that promotes emotional well-being and good mental health.

Yoga has always been a popular way of exercising, and for good reason: it’s a low impact holistic workout, it’s accessible to just about anyone, and it calms the mind and reduces stress. The poses are easily adaptable, so you can do them regardless of your age, level of fitness or physical limitations. Yoga can be your only exercise, depending on the type of classes you’re taking and their intensity. Depending on the style and length of class, it may or may not count towards your physical activity tally.

Intensity level

Yoga as exercise

The intensity of your yoga workout depends on which classes and forms of yoga you choose. Each type of yoga class will have a different level of intensity which requires a different amount of physical exertion. There’s a vast difference in the intensity between a yin or gentle yoga class and a fast-paced vinyasa class or a challenging hot yoga practice. And there are many variations in between like Sivananda, Kripalu, and Iyengar yoga.

The intensity will also be based on your current level of fitness. You will need to experiment and take different classes and with different teachers to find the practice that gets your heart rate up and builds muscle strength. If you are practicing at home, make sure you add in several sun salutations to make your practice more of a workout.

About 20 minutes of a sequence of active yoga poses a day is the minimum amount to satisfy your fitness requirements. If you are practicing a low to medium intensity style, then a longer practice is recommended.

Is yoga considered an aerobic or anaerobic exercise?

Yoga is considered an anaerobic exercise. It is not an aerobic exercise in the same category as walking, running, biking, or using an elliptical machine. The more athletic types of yoga, like power yoga, will make you sweat and bring you to a higher heart zone rate where you’re working the heart enough to be an aerobic workout.

What other exercises can you combine with yoga?

Physical exercise is one of the most important things that we can do to improve our health and well-being. You may not want or be able to achieve all of their weight loss, strength, and flexibility goals through yoga alone. You can practice any other type of physical exercise or activity in addition to yoga in your weekly workout routine. The most compatible exercises will be low-impact aerobic workouts like brisk walking, biking, and swimming. Weight training is a great anaerobic workout to combine with yoga as it helps build muscles and burn calories.

Can yoga improve muscle strength

Yes, yoga is a good way to build muscle tone and strength. By regularly doing yoga, you can build muscle, improve your flexibility, improve your posture, and help you maintain a healthy weight. Poses like Downward-Facing Dog and the Warrior poses work to increase strength in just about every muscle in your body.

How many calories do you burn during yoga?

Depending on the intensity of the class and your level of fitness, you can expect to burn between 200 and 600 calories per hour.

Is yoga enough to be your only form of physical exercise?

When it comes to a workout, many people are under the impression that only those who do high-intensity activities like running and weightlifting are the ones that get results. In reality, there are many other kinds of exercises that are extremely helpful for the body, even if they are low impact, like yoga and walking. In general, it is best to do more than one type of workout to ensure you strengthen and move the maximum amount of muscles and joints in your body.

Can you combine yoga and exercise together?

Yes, yoga provides an excellent workout, but it won’t do much for your cardiovascular health. Since it can be an aerobic workout, many sports teams are adding yoga sessions into their training regimen to help them get in shape and recover from injuries. Many famous athletes do yoga as part of their training, like LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe Bryant.

Should you do yoga before or after a workout?

If you are new to yoga, or practicing an advanced or vigors style, it is best not to do it before a workout. It can be a great way to warm up, but it is generally best to put it after a workout. Doing it before a workout can be too intense and it can be better used after to allow your body to recover. The bottom line thought is that it doesn’t matter a great deal what order you do it in. You should do the practice that you feel the most comfortable with, whether it’s before or after.


The question of whether or not one can get enough exercise just by doing yoga is a hotly debated topic. It is a great way to exercise, but it may not be enough for your needs, unless you take vigorous classes like vinyasa or ashtanga yoga. It is an excellent way to maintain flexibility and tone muscles, but it does not burn as many calories as other traditional workouts. It does, however, offer many powerful health benefits that other types of exercise do not.

When it comes to fitness, it’s important not to be too swept up in what you think you “should” do. As with anything in life, just be sure you’re doing what you enjoy and that it improves your overall quality of life.

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