Being healthy and getting fit requires you to take care of your body, both with what you consume as well as how you exercise. When it comes to exercise, you’ll want to have a blend of both strength training and cardio exercises. Cardio can be anything from brisk walking to kickboxing, or cardio yoga. Cardio yoga benefits men in many ways which some other cardio exercises don’t.
In this article, we will:
- Discuss why cardio is important for overall health
- Explain what cardio yoga is and how it differs from other types of yoga
- Talk about the top 5 cardio yoga benefits
- Discuss hot yoga and if it could be right for you
- Explain how to start cardio yoga as a beginner (+ sample schedule)
Why is Cardio Important for Men’s Overall Health
Doing cardio exercises regularly can help increase the blood flow throughout your body. This allows for an increase of oxygen in your body which can help improve organ function. Additionally, as we age, there is an increased risk for health issues, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Having a regular cardio routine can help not only maximize your endurance, but also ward off these issues.
Specifically speaking, cardio yoga can be one of the best cardio exercises you can do, due to the numerous benefits it brings.
What Exactly Is Cardio Yoga?
Cardio yoga, which may also be referred to as power yoga, is a more challenging type of yoga that focuses on engaging your muscles. It’s also typically done at a quicker pace. When you’re moving from one flow to another seamlessly, you can raise your heart rate and give yourself a great cardiovascular workout.
Cardio yoga benefits anyone who wants to participate in it, though it’s absolutely necessary that before jumping in, you learn the proper techniques. Cardio yoga, like any exercise, can be a risk for injury if done incorrectly. This is why it’s especially important to take it slow at first and ensure you’re doing the proper techniques, before speeding up your pace. One way to tell that your technique isn’t quite right is by noticing any shoulder, knee, or back pain consistently after your cardio yoga workouts. If this is the case, be sure to slow down and focus on your technique again.
It can be helpful to have someone with you to watch your form to ensure you’re doing it correctly. If nobody is around, practicing in front of a mirror, or recording yourself as you’re doing a routine can help you identify which poses you may need to focus on your technique.
Regardless of how fit you are when you begin doing cardio yoga, you will reap some great benefits of this exercise.
What Are The Top 5 Cardio Yoga Benefits?
Now that you know a little bit about what cardio yoga actually is, let’s discuss what the cardio yoga benefits are.
It combines different types of training into one effective workout.
It considers all of the fitness training aspects that go into a yoga workout and then combines it with cardio. This means you’re getting a wide variety of fitness benefits within one workout. For example, when you’re doing cardio yoga, you’re not only getting your heart rate up and getting a good cardio workout, you’re also working on your mobility, your strength, and your balance all at the same time. Yoga itself is a great strength training exercise, using your own body weight to strengthen your muscles. Additionally, certain poses will force you to work on your balance (which requires great core strength) and help improve your mobility. Improving your mobility allows you to have a better range of motion.
It aids in your weight loss.
As mentioned before, it takes more than just working out to lose weight, but when you pair the intensity of cardio yoga with healthy eating and drinking enough water, you’re sure to lose fat and gain muscle instead. Cardio yoga is a great way to work on all areas of fitness. Being more fit in general will lead to a healthier and better quality of life.
It can add intensity to your workouts.
If you’re looking for something that’s a little more intense than your typical cardio workout, cardio yoga is a great way to do that. Working your muscles at a faster pace can give you the intensity that you may crave during a regular yoga workout. You can also do cardio yoga in a hot yoga studio to really boost it’s intensity. (more on that below)
It strengthens your core
This is the case with any type of yoga. When you’re practicing yoga, you’ll have to work on your core muscles. This helps to keep you balanced and ensure you’re doing certain poses correctly. Having a stronger core can also help you get better at certain sports, improve your posture, and even help relieve some back pain you may have.
It can destress you.
By doing cardio yoga, your body is going to inevitably be releasing endorphins. Endorphins trigger something in your body that makes you feel happy and relaxed. It’s a great exercise to partake in throughout your week that will not only make you look great, you’ll feel better too.
Combining Hot Yoga with Cardio Yoga
Hot yoga is essentially doing yoga in a room of elevated temperature and humidity. It will help you sweat more and can give your heart, lungs, and muscles a more intense workout. You may want to combine hot yoga with cardio yoga, if you’re looking for extra intensity in your workout. Combining cardio yoga with hot yoga will help you burn more calories than a typical yoga session.
Due to its elevated temperature, it’s also important to be aware of some risks so you can mitigate them. It’s easier to become dehydrated due to the amount of sweat you will produce. Be sure to stay aware of how you’re feeling during the workout and drink plenty of water. If at any time during a hot yoga workout, you get lightheaded, nauseous, or simply feel uneasy – then it’s best to stop and try doing yoga again without the added heat.
It’s not necessary to do cardio yoga only in hot environments, though it can provide an added challenge, and added benefits, if you’re looking for it.
Starting Cardio Yoga as a Beginner
When you’re a beginner to cardio yoga, you’ll want to start off slow. It’s more important to ensure you’re using the proper technique and build up the necessary skills before increasing your pace.
To get started with cardio yoga, you may want to begin with a quick cardio flow. One cardio flow you can start to master is down dog knee to nose. This cardio flow focuses on core strength.
First, start with a downward facing dog.To get in this position, you’ll want to first get into tabletop position, having your arms stacked underneath your shoulders, and your hips stacked above your knees. Curl your toes under and lift your hips. Try to keep your feet flat on the ground, but if not it’s okay (this comes in time). Your gaze should now be looking at your toes.
Once you’re in downward facing dog position, you’ll want to lift your right leg up and back.
Shift forward, your shoulders going over your hands, while simultaneously bending your right leg and moving it forward to bring towards your nose (though you can also do your chin or elbow if that’s a challenge). You may need to round your back to do this.
After completing that move, extend your right leg back up and place it by your left leg, leaving you back in downward facing dog and repeat move with your left leg.
Another way to get started is by following along with a beginner’s workout on our YouTube by clicking here.
How Much Is Too Much
The hardest part about being a beginner is figuring out not only the right technique, but knowing whether you’re doing too much or not enough. You’ll want to push yourself to ensure you’re getting the most benefits out of the exercise, but you won’t want to do too much that will tire yourself out and risk injury. It’s important to remember that simply doing something quickly without the proper technique isn’t helpful for your fitness.
You’ll know if you’re doing too much and pushing yourself too hard if you find yourself huffing and puffing throughout the workout and simply unable to maintain the proper technique. If this is the case, you’ll want to slow down, or simply do the pose for a shorter amount of time and work up to it. However, if you’re breathing heavy, but still able to focus on the poses and technique – this is okay.
Cardio yoga is not necessarily about moving quickly through the workout. It’s about how much you are exerting yourself. You want to go deeper into the poses and push yourself to improve the posture, only slightly beyond your comfort zone. As you get comfortable with that, push yourself a little further.
|Foam Rolling||60 mins Cardio Yoga||Recovery Yoga||60 mins Cardio Yoga||Recovery Yoga||60 mins Cardio Yoga||90 mins Cardio Yoga|
There are many benefits to adding both recovery yoga and foam rolling to your routine.
Recovery yoga keeps you energized and reduces your soreness. It’ll help speed up your recovery so you can continue to push yourself in other workouts.
Foam rolling is great to do in order to work out any additional tightness in your muscles.
Join our FREE 7-day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge! This yoga challenge is perfect for men that want to try yoga. It’s great for those who have no previous experience or have limited flexibility. Get noticeable results that will help you feel better and get stronger.