What is Cardio Yoga?
Many people think that yoga is not exactly a cardio workout because an ideal cardio workout consists of at least half an hour of endurance aerobics, which elevates the heart beat rate for a steady and long duration. But, latest research reveals that effective cardio workouts need not be based on endurance. Short periods of cardio training can also do the trick and this method is known as burst training.
During yoga practice, the heart rate is elevated. The initial minutes of a yoga workout warm the tissues, circulate blood and make the heart pump. During a yoga class, the students’ heart rates fluctuate as they try to hold the poses for an optimum duration. Read on to learn about a few styles that can give you a great cardio yoga workout:
Vinyasa Yoga aka Flow Yoga
This yoga style is designed to make your body move. Sun salutations are an integral part, which make the heart and blood start pumping. The yoga styles of Anusara, Power Yoga and Ashtanga specifically incorporate Vinyasa yoga.
This practice involves raising the kundalini or coiled serpent force at the base of the spine, up the chakras or energy centers in the body, to reach the chakra at the top of the head. As a cardio workout, kundalini yoga involves bursts of physical effort that increase the heart rate. Kundalini yoga also includes deep meditation to integrate the intense energy produced in the physique.
In this method of cardio yoga, poses are performed in a heated room which elevates the heart rate, sweats out toxins and circulates oxygenated blood in the glands, organs and muscles. There are 26 postures in Bikram yoga, which are guaranteed to make your heart and blood start pumping.
Cardio Yoga Breathing
Yoga also involves deep breathing techniques which condition the lungs and heart, and make them stronger. Regular practice of deep yoga breathing increases lung capacity, as the lungs learn to cope with the inhaled extra oxygen. Similar to cardio workouts, our body learns to use and circulate oxygen more effectively. Thus, cardio yoga breathing can provide the same benefits as a regular cardio workout.
Benefits of Cardio Yoga
Cardio workouts not only help shed flab but also lower the risk of strokes, heart attacks and heart disease. Yoga, though a bit slower to be effective, can also help burn extra calories, while lowering the risk of heart ailments. Research reveals that regular yoga practice consisting of meditation, breathing and postures can reduce stress, blood pressure and heart rate. Yoga also improves awareness about our body and mind, helping us to make the right lifestyle choices. Adopting correct lifestyle habits can in turn lower the risk of heart disorders.