By Ms. Shalini Bhargava
Director at JG’S Fitness Centre
It’s true, a yoga session offers many benefits than one, but along with leaving you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, you might also feel the need to get a major cardio boost. Sounds familiar right?
While yoga is characteristically categorised as a “light-intensity physical activity,” a couple of poses tend meet the criteria for moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity. How about converting your favourite yoga postures into a vibrant cardio workout? Yoga has on offer a multitude of relaxing poses which may not do much in pumping your heart rate, however, yoga can be a challenging exercise, particularly if you cherry-pick the right poses and do them in an incessant flow, which will advance your heart rate and will certainly count as ‘cardio.’ The yoga inspired cardio workout is full of some of our preferred yoga stretching and strengthening movements – but each one with a bout of body-weight cardio in between. Cardio yoga workouts like Side Plank, Boat Pose, Chair Pose, Crescent Lunge and Warrior 2 to name a few will burn calories at a much faster rate and will lend you a rapid, dynamic, feel-good stretch, all while efficiently toning up muscles all over the body.
Below mentioned are a couple of functional Yoga Poses that can be turned into an effective cardio workout:
Plank Pose: The plank posture is known to strengthen your core, operatively tone your arms and glutes, and is already an exceptional full-body exercise on its own. To add a cardio workout, one must consider incorporating mountain climbers and plank jacks.
Plank Pose Arrangement Tips:
· Your shoulders must be stacked over your wrists
· You must consider engaging your core in order to keep your shoulders, hips, and heels in a diagonal line
Mountain Climbers: From Plank Pose, you must draw your right knee in a way to tap your right-side elbow. Now gradually get your feet back together, and shift to tap your left knee towards your left side elbow. You get to select your speed! You can either stay slow and gradual with it, or you can take it up to a jogging pace to actually get your heart pumping. You must practise 10 rounds.
Plank Jacks: In this type of cardio yoga, you must hold a strong Plank Pose. When you are all set to begin, you must hop both feet away from each other and then back together. By keeping your shoulders fixed over your core and your wrists ensure they are engaged throughout. You must practise 10 jacks.
2. Chair Pose: This pose fortifies your back, glutes and quadriceps, while you spread your shoulders and chest. You must be seated with your hips being as low as they will go while at the same time elevating lifting your chest up for a very sturdy variation of this pose.
Alignment tips for Chair Pose:
· You must sit your booty back till the time you can peek over your knees and see your toes
· You must occupy your low abdominals with a small tuck of your pelvis to guard your lower back
· You can consider bringing your hands to heart centre, if you experience a strain to spread your chest up with your arms elevated and your hips being low.
One-Legged Squat: From your Chair Pose, you must hover your right foot in the forward direction and bend it. Start to elevate and lower your hips about an inch in each direction. By keeping your core strong, you must scout for a fairly rapid pace. You must consider practising ten squats on each side.
Squat Jumps: Nothing like a little plyometrics to get your heart pumping! You must gather your energy in Chair Pose and must consider squatting low to jump as high as possible. Totally spread out your body with your back and legs being straight, as you jump up. Now safely land back in Chair Pose and perform the moves again. You must practise ten reps.
Boat Pose: This posture is known to reinforce and tone your overall core encompassing your back and aids to lengthen your spine. Stabilizing here on your tailbone also facilitates in improving your equilibrium and body coordination.
Boat Pose Alignment Guidelines
· You must actively draw your shoulders away from your ears in a way that your spine stays in the upright position
· You must lean back so you have about a forty-five-degree angle in your hips
Mermaid Crunches: This pose lends you an imagination of being a flawless mermaid swimming through the ocean. From Boat Pose, stabilize yourself on your right-side hip. Stay stable as you spread out to a Low Boat position on your right hip and then gradually crunch your elbows towards the direction of your knees. Practice ten crunches on either side.
Swim Kicks: To perform this posture, you must spread out to Low Boat, suspending your chest and legs just above the mat with your palms being faced up towards the sky. By imagining that you are swimming quickly, you must kick your heels and gradually count to ten. Rest by lying totally on your back. Practice three, 10 count rounds.
Adding a little bit of cardio to your everyday yoga asanas will certainly raise your heart rate, thus elevating your stamina and fortifying your heart.