Can You Substitute Cardio with Yoga?

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on May 13, 2013

Yoga is a great fitness routine, but a lot of people who have recently started performing yoga have a lingering question: is yoga right for me? Those who perform yoga regularly often wonder if they need an extra cardio routine.

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The fact is you need both yoga and cardio together for good health. However, you cannot substitute one for the other. When you perform both yoga and cardio together, it really helps in reducing weight.


You can easily incorporate cardio during yoga, especially if you choose to perform Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Bikram yoga.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is a simple routine where you perform your yoga poses focusing on your breathing. In this yoga, breath is synchronized with your movements. With each movement, stress is laid on breathing right. You can easily mix Vinyasa and cardio to get yourself a workout routine that brings both grace and flexibility to your body. There are several poses and postures in this yoga discipline which help you expand lung capacity and increase cardio activity. Since Vinyasa is a simple fitness discipline to master, you do not have to work very hard to learn it. Even if you are new to yoga, you can easily learn to perform Vinyasa yoga.

Ashtanga or Bikram Yoga

Both Ashtanga and Bikram yoga are very rigorous physical disciplines. You can opt for either of them to get much more than a simple cardio workout. Both of these disciplines are very powerful and provide a great fitness routine. They are also restorative like some of the other more well known yoga disciplines such as Hatha yoga. Bikram yoga is usually performed in a heated room so it is best to start off with either Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga before you move to the more power-packed Bikram yoga.

What to Expect?

Yoga is a gentle fitness discipline in which the poses and postures are divided according to their difficulty levels and your fitness levels. As you get more proficient in yoga, the poses will also become more difficult and more challenging. The trick is to make sure that you attempt all poses that fit into your fitness level. If you feel some of the poses are challenging, do give them another try. Like any other fitness routine, you will experience some discomfort in yoga too. Do not avoid difficult poses because as you practice them, you will get proficient. However, do not attempt poses that are not part of your fitness level, as this may lead to injury.

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