Is yoga the missing link?

Adding yoga to a cardio routine could benefit you more than you think.

The benefits

Despite its popularity, the fitness benefits of yoga can often be overlooked because of a few common misconceptions. Many people assume yoga doesn’t raise your heart rate as much as running or a spin class. However, integrating yoga into your regular fitness routine can actually help you to reach your cardio goals faster, as it increases stamina, strengthens muscles and improves balance and flexibility, as well as easing aches and pains and shortening recovery time. There are different even styles to try depending on what suits your needs…

 

Hot yoga

Get your sweat on with a series of poses performed in a humid studio (similar to a sauna). Practising in the heat promotes flexibility and could also help refresh your skin.

 

Ashtanga yoga

Although this style is more physically demanding, there are sessions available for everyone from beginners to experts. You’ll practice the same set of moves each time and hold the poses for a count of five breaths. It’s a great option for building strength and flexibility.

 

Iyengar yoga

This style of yoga focuses on alignment through precise movements. In this case, poses are held for a long time, while you focus on controlling your breathing. If you suffer with injuries or stiffness, or just prefer a slower pace, this is the one for you.

 

Vinyasa yoga

Fast-paced and energetic, Vinyasa yoga sessions are made up of quick poses that you’ll move between without stopping. Try a beginners’ class to learn the poses so you’ll feel more comfortable stepping up to a faster speed – it’s a good overall workout once you get the hang of things.

 

Restorative yoga

Using props such as blankets, bolster cushions, and eye pillows, this class focuses on total relaxation. You’ll sink in to several different poses throughout the class, and as they tend to be less challenging than other yoga poses, it’s a great option for recovery from injury or simply restoring your mind.