Intermediate Videos

Fast Forward Your Yoga Practice to Burn Calories, Build Muscle

If you want to trim your body and tone your muscles this year, simply pick up the pace! Power vinyasa teacher Kiersten Mooney and a team of researchers recently found yogis burned 100 percent more calories and used their muscles up to twice as much (40–50 percent more muscle firing) when they practiced faster Sun Salutations compared with slower ones. Mooney suggests first learning a new sequence at a moderate pace, similar to what you’d do in a Hatha yoga class. Start by holding each pose for 3 breaths and move toward a 1-breath-per-pose pace. Once you develop new pathways in your brain, you can build velocity with ease and safety, she says. Now try it and follow along with her flow.

See also New Year, New Yoga: 5 Reasons to Shake Up Your Practice in 2017

About Our Expert
Kiersten Mooney, E-RYT 500, is the cofounder of greenmonkey®, a health and wellness company offering research-driven, innovative yoga programs, accredited 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings, and global retreats. Since 2012, Kiersten has completed extensive published research about yoga in partnership with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She has over 20 years’ experience in the wellness industry. Kiersten was awarded degrees from the University of Miami in Sociology, Exercise Sports Science and Sports Medicine with graduate studies in Exercise Physiology & Nutrition. She is a renowned international speaker, presenting at events such as Yoga Journal LIVE!, ECA, and OMEGA. Kiersten also teaches around the globe and is passionate about inspiring students and teachers to awaken to their personal power and to live their practice fully and courageously in every aspect of life.