Where activities like running and aerobics may present as a bit intimidating for those of us who haven’t seen the inside of a gym in a while, power yoga offers a combination of quick movements and graceful stretches that can be tweaked to suit the abilities of even an exercise beginner.
Given the movement that different techniques and poses demand, power yoga can be a total replacement for exercises that you may not be keen on, packing a one-two punch that leads to a buff body and peaceful mind.
Now that we’ve established that power yoga has what it takes to be an effective form of cardio exercise, get ready for the best part: power yoga is an absolute joy to do. It’s tough – no less tough than other vigorous exercises – but it feels so right for the body that it quickly becomes less of a chore and more of a treat.
Yes, you heard me right: a hardcore workout can be fun, even for those of us who generally see cardio as something akin to torture.
Introducing Burst Training
Experts have been telling us for years that a good cardio workout requires at least 30 minutes of continuous vigorous activity, allowing our bodies time enough to increase heart rate over a long period and leading to quick. hardcore fat burning.
While there is no doubt that this form of exercise regimen is effective, the latest research happily indicates that short bursts of high-paced action can actually be even better in their ability to promote higher levels of metabolism over longer periods.
The science evolving around this area of human fitness is being dubbed “burst training.”
Luckily, the variation offered by many yoga routines makes for the perfect opportunity to take advantage of burst training, offsetting it with smooth, graceful activity that inspires a unique sense of relaxation, as well.
Best Yoga for Cardio
While all forms of yoga offer something in the way of vigorous exercise, there are a few styles in particular that work to boost your heart rate, unlocking the benefits of burst training that we discussed above.
Of course, you’re not limited to these three suggestions, but they do serve as a useful jumping-off point for your own investigation into what varieties of yoga will work best for you as a replacement for a regular cardio workout.
For best results and the happiness that variety often brings, mix up your routine to include all three!
A very particular style of exercise that includes 26 poses, Bikram yoga is unique is its requirement that your exercise area be heated up to an almost uncomfortable level, helping your body to sweat out toxins, maintain an increased heart rate and promote blood flow to muscles.
Combined with its challenging movements and poses, Bikram yoga promises to help you to relieve yourself of the need to perform any other cardio exercise when done on a daily basis.
Kundalini yoga is a form of high-action exercise that will likely prove too difficult for beginners, but just right for those with with cardio experience.
While it offers the same variation between quick and slow movements as its siblings, Kundalini is especially powerful in its many poses that require fast and extended movement, providing 5-10 minutes of difficult, heart-racing exercise offset with meditation aimed at helping you to focus the energy it creates within you.
A favorite form of power yoga, the Vinyasa style focuses on moving your body in ways that promote increased blood flow, fluctuating between fast- and slow-paced poses in order to keep your heart rate high throughout, and allowing you to concentrate on steady, relaxing breathing as you work.