The gym can be intimidating! We all think everyone is watching us and judging us while we compare ourselves and half the time the machines are occupied… but that doesn’t need to stop you from getting a kick-ass cardio session in!
Now we know that not every type of yoga can replace cardio but according to the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, certain types yoga such as Vinyasa yoga which is fast-paced, maybe just as beneficial as cycling, swimming, jogging, and other cardio activities.
While cardio exercise burns about 600 calories per hour, depending on your rate of movement. A moderately-intensive yoga class, such as ashtanga yoga, burns approximately 350 calories. However, lean muscle gain from yoga helps in slightly improving basal metabolic rate.
Vinyasa yoga: Vinyasa yoga offers an alternative way to exercise, and burns the most calories out of the various yoga practices to help you lose weight. You move from pose to pose with the breath and, in some vigorous classes, you can burn upward of 400 calories.
Muscle toning: “Chaturanga”, the four-limbed staff pose, and “paripurna” “navasana”, the boat pose, are bodyweight exercises that work muscles in the same way as standard pushups or abdominal crunches. The muscles doing the work get stronger by moving through a range of motion while supporting the weight of the body. Other poses, such as trikonasana — triangle pose — strengthen muscles by engaging them for balance and support.
It saves money: Yoga doesn’t need to require any form of membership or gym fee. There and many free youtube videos online which you can follow. You can do it in the comfort of your own home and even in your pajamas if you wish! All you need is a comfortable surface and a quiet space.
Stress reduction: Another grand benefit of yoga is its ability to reduce stress while getting your workout in! While a select few may get their Zen on during a long run, it’s one of yoga’s main intentions. This de-stressing can reduce your desire to snack mindlessly when you’re stressed out with varsity work or when you’re mindlessly binging your favorite Netflix show.
Create a challenge: Yoga can be different every single day if you want it to be. Want a challenge? Throw some arm balances and extensions into your practice. Need to focus? Try a few balance poses sequentially on the same foot. Or if you’re seeking relaxation, hang out in a downward dog, a few sun salutations, and a restorative backbend.
Free from injuries: In yoga, you learn to unite your body and mind. This allows you to move with ease and pay attention to how your body is feeling at all times, so you move in a way that feels good for you and not one that puts you in places your body doesn’t want to be. The result? An injury-free, strong, healthy, whole you.
We think a good balance between cardio such as running, cycling or swimming combined with yoga will be the most beneficial, but it all depends on your lifestyle and your schedule. You want something that will work for you and make you excited to work out and get those endorphins flowing!
And well, it gives us an excuse to wear yoga pants because jeans are stressful and we don’t need that negativity in our life.