Cardio yoga is a popular style of exercise that combines yoga with cardiovascular, or cardio, exercises.
It has become increasingly popular among those who enjoy the relaxation benefits of yoga but demand more intensity.
This article explains everything you need to know about cardio yoga, including its benefits, specific workouts, and how it compares with other forms of cardio.
Rooted in Indian philosophy, yoga focus on poses, breathing techniques, and meditation practices to enhance consciousness and relieve anxiety (
The practice has become increasingly popular throughout the world as a means to relieve stress, improve sleep, boost mental and emotional health, and relieve general low back and neck pain (
While there are many types of yoga, Hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced, referring to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures (
Most yoga classes — ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga — are hatha yoga.
While these types of yoga differ in the series, movement, and pace of the physical postures, they generally aren’t thought of as cardio or aerobic exercise (
This is because they focus on breathing techniques, body flow, and postures, rather than dynamic movements that ramp up the intensity and elevate your heart rate.
Conversely, cardio yoga workouts involve performing yoga-inspired movements at a quicker pace and with continuous flow to engage more muscles and challenge your cardiovascular, or circulatory, system.
Unlike traditional yoga, which focuses on breathing techniques, body flow, and postures, cardio yoga incorporates more dynamic movements that ramp up the intensity and elevate your heart rate.
Because there’s not an accepted definition of cardio yoga, instructors may mix in their own favorite movements and movement sequences.
While yoga is generally safe, make sure you’re on a flat surface and don’t have any conditions that may interfere with balance, such as neuropathy or orthopedic-related limitations (
Here are a few moderate-intensity cardio yoga workouts to try that work all your major muscle groups, including your arms, chest, back, and legs (
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Surya Namaskar, commonly known as the Sun Salutation, is a series of postures performed in a sequence (
Here is the sequence:
- Samasthiti. Start standing up straight with your feet together and weight evenly distributed. Your shoulders should be rolled back and your hands should be hanging by your side with your chin parallel to the ground.
- Urdhva hastasana. Inhale and bend your knees slightly, raising your arms over your head. Bring your palms together and look at your thumbs.
- Uttanasana. Exhale and straighten your legs. Bend forward from the hips and bring your hands down. Relax your neck.
- Urdvah uttanasana. Inhale and lengthen your spine, looking forward and opening your shoulders.
- Chaturanga dandasana. Exhale and jump or step your feet back. Bend your elbows and keep them…
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