Is Yoga an alternate for walking?

Yoga and walking both have their benefits. One cannot replace the other. 

You should always choose a form of exercise that you would enjoy doing and more importantly, do consistently. 

Walking provides a myriad of health benefits. It

  • Aids in weight loss
  • Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Increases your stamina
  • Boosts your mood
  • Alleviates symptoms of stress and depression

Yoga is a more holistic practice that involves both physical movements and breathing exercises. It 

  • Increases your flexibility
  • Boosts your muscular strength and endurance
  • Improves your concentration and attention
  • Reduces the risk of diseases and injuries
  • Improves your lung capacity
  • Calms your mind
  • Leaves you feeling peaceful and rejuvenated

Yoga vs Walking: A comparison

Calories burned

As per the results of a recent study from Colorado State University, both walking and yoga have similar effects on weight loss as both these activities burned the same number of calories when performed at the same intensity. 

It was found that women burned 330 calories and men burned 460 calories in a 90-minute yoga class. This is roughly the same number of calories that they would burn doing a brisk 90-minute walk.

But a more intense type of yoga would burn more calories than slow walking and vice versa.

Here’s a quick look at the calories burned in different types of Yoga vs walking.

Calories burned during Yoga for a person weighing 180 lbs. (81.6 kg)

15 min

30 min

45 min

60 min

Hot yoga

107

214

321

429

Vinyasa Yoga

118

236

354

472

Hatha Yoga

54

107

161

214

Ashtanga Yoga

86

171

257

343

Power Yoga

90

180

270

360


Calories burned while walking at different paces

Weight of the person (lbs.)

5.6 kmph

6.4 kmph

7.2 kmph

155

270

334

400

185

300

372

444

215

412

432

516



Weight loss

Both yoga and walking are fantastic for weight loss. 

Yoga does have an upper hand though, as it helps in building and toning your muscles thanks to its dynamic movements and pose holds.

Regular practice of Yoga is also shown to reduce cortisol levels – the stress hormone that is notoriously known for creating a layer of fat around your midsection.

Another way Yoga helps in losing weight is by helping you sleep better. When you are sleep-deprived, your body not only produces more cortisol but also more of the hunger hormones namely leptin and ghrelin that cause you to crave more fatty and sugary foods.


Blood sugar management

Both walking and yoga are known to maintain a steady blood sugar level and help control diabetes. 

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association, recommends walking for 30 minutes, at least 5 days per week to manage Type-2 diabetes. 

As per a few studies, yoga seems to be more effective than walking when it comes to reducing blood glucose levels. Yoga asanas including Surya Namaskar, Dhanurasana, Bhujangasana, Tadasana, etc. are especially beneficial for diabetic patients. 


As you can see, walking and yoga can both do wonders for your body. We highly recommend pairing yoga with walking to reap the maximum benefits.