Cardio yoga is a kind of yoga class which combines Yoga moves together with cardiovascular exercises. This type of workout takes classic yoga moves and makes them a bit faster, with a more rapid transition between sequences. The non-stop movement makes sure to get your heart beating as well as your muscles burning. Through the course of the workout, you end up sweating a lot and giving your cardiovascular system one heck of a workout! Cardio yoga has become increasingly popular among those who enjoy the relaxation benefits of yoga but demand a little more intensity.
These yoga series pair breath with movement, so that rather than holding poses for long periods of time you’re quickly moving through them every time you inhale and exhale. This, clearly, will get your heart racing.
One breath per movement will boost the heart rate depending on the pacing and rhythm of the practice. Timing is key with these types of flows. Instead of moving as if you’re taking an unhurried stroll in the park (as you would do in traditional yoga), move in your yoga practice like you a have some place to be five minutes ago. Create a tempo that means business.
The Difference Between Cardio And Traditional Yoga
Your traditional yoga workout will focus more on the breathing, flow and postures (which are called asanas in Sanskrit) than on a real “workout”. The movements are slower, even the faster types of yoga, and while your muscles and joints get a great workout, your heart and lungs are never fully pushed to their limits. Cardio yoga includes more dynamic movements which ramp up the intensity and elevate your heart rate.
In addition to getting your heart pumping, cardio yoga flows can also be helpful for centring your practice as well. Breath is the most influential tool in a yoga practice. This is because it encourages us to move fluidly as well as with intention. In addition, it establishes a point of focus. Most importantly, it helps us to create space where we feel comfortable, both physically and mentally.
Traditional Yoga Sequences That Can Be ‘Cardio-ised’
- Start in Tadasana with your feet together as well as your weight evenly distributed. Your shoulders should be rolled back. Your hands should be hanging by your side with your chin being parallel to the floor.
- Inhale and bend your knees slightly. Raise your arms Bring your palms together and then look at your thumbs.
- Exhale and then straighten your legs. Bend forward from your hips and take your hands down. Loosen your neck.
- Inhale and then lengthen your spine. Look forward and open your shoulders.
- Exhale and then jump or step your feet back. Bend your elbows and make sure to keep them tucked in at your sides. Lower your body. Keep your knees off the floor or alter the exercise by lowering your knees to the ground.
- Inhale and then point your toes away from your body. Raise your chest while your knees keep off the ground. Open your shoulders and then look up to the sky.
- Exhale and tuck your toes under your feet. Lift your hips and bring your shoulders down. Look at your navel. You may want to remain in this position for up to five deep breaths.
- Inhale and then jump or step your feet together between your hands. Lengthen your spine and look to the front while opening your shoulders.
- Exhale and then lower the crown of your head toward the ground and relax your neck.
- Inhale and bend your knees. Raise your arms overhead and bringing your palms together while looking at your thumbs.
- Exhale and then straighten your legs. Bring your arms to your sides.
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