Cardio yoga 101: Here’s how you can add some intensity to your yoga workouts

Yoga is an exercise that helps in more ways than one! But did you know there’s something called cardio yoga that combines both yoga and cardio. Sounds too good to be true? Read on to find out all about it!
slow weight loss
Cardio yoga helps to burn more calories. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Geetika Sachdev Published: 14 Jun 2021, 16:25 pm IST
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The world is your oyster, if you’re looking to get fit. Yes, there are a plethora of exercises today that one can try out, including cardio yoga. Wondering what it is? As the name suggests, cardio yoga combines yoga with cardio exercises. It is great for those who enjoy yoga but want more intensity in their workout. But before we get down to its benefits, let’s understand cardio yoga in detail.

What is cardio yoga?

This form of yoga has its origin in Indian philosophy, and focuses on poses, breathing techniques, and meditation practices to benefit your physical and mental health. It doesn’t just relieve stress, but also improves sleep, boosts mental and emotional health, and helps to get rid of low back and neck pain. When you engage in cardio yoga, you are performing yoga-inspired movements at a quicker pace, so that more muscles in your body are being engaged. 

What are some cardio yoga workouts?

Since there is really no standard definition of cardio yoga, there’s a lot that can be experimented with. Here are a few moderate-intensity workouts that you can try out: 

1. Surya namaskar

cardio yoga
With each movement, slowly you shall workout each part of your body. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s the sequence:

1. Samasthiti: Stand straight with your feet together and weight evenly distributed. Your shoulders should be rolled back, with your hands hanging by your side.
2. Urdhva hastasana: Inhale and bend your knees slightly, raising your arms over your head. Bring your palms together and look at your thumbs.
3. Uttanasana: Exhale and straighten your legs. Bend forward from the hips and bring your hands down. Relax your neck.
4. Ardha uttanasana: Inhale and lengthen your spine, looking forward and opening your shoulders.
5. Chaturanga dandasana: Exhale and jump or step your feet back. Bend your elbows and keep them tucked into your sides. You may either keep your knees off the floor, or modify the exercise by bringing your knees to the ground.
6. Urdhva mukha svanasana: Inhale and point your toes away from your body. Lift your chest while your knees stay off the ground. Open your shoulders and look up to the sky.
7. Adho mukha svanasana: Exhale and tuck your toes under, lifting your hips and bringing your shoulders down.
8. Urdhva uttanasana: Inhale and jump or step your feet together between your hands, lengthen the spine and look to the front while opening your shoulders.
9. Same as step 3
10. Same as step 2
11. Same as step 1

Also, read: These 4 actresses swear by surya namaskar to stay in shape

Some other yoga poses that are helpful:

1. Child’s pose pushup: Start in a kneeling plank position, perform a pushup, then sit back onto your heels with your arms extended in front. Bring your body forward into the kneeling plank position and repeat.

cardio yoga
Hold onto that stretch and give your back a new lease on life with child’s pose. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Walk downs: Start in the standing position, bend at the hips and walk in a way, making yourself come down to a plank position. Go into the downward facing dog position by pushing your hips to the sky. Hold this position for 1–2 seconds. Walk yourself back, maintaining hand contact with the floor. Return to the standing position and repeat.

How does it help?

Since it’s more vigorous, you are bound to burn more calories! It outperforms walking and other moderate-intensity exercises, so you know weight loss will no longer be a far-fetched dream. So, try it out and let us know what you think about cardio yoga!


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About the Author

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town. ...Read More

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