Is Yoga As Beneficial As Cardio Workout?

By Patricia | December 11, 2008
Yoga & Cardio To Increase Stamina

Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, refers to any sort of exercise that benefits the heart. Cardio exercises are performed to elevate the heart rate for a sustained period of time so that the body burns fat to produce energy. Thus, cardio is one of the most popular forms of exercise to reduce weight. Some of the popular forms of cardio include aerobics, running, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. The one thing that is common to all forms of cardio exercise is that they are all very active forms of exercising.

Consider Yoga on the other hand; Yoga is supposed to be a gentle form of exercise that originated in ancient India. It consists of slow, complicated stretches, meditation, and chants. This is one of the most popular misconceptions regarding Yoga. Yoga is all these things and much more. There are Yoga routines that rival and surpass traditional cardio exercises in terms of raising the heart rate and burning fat. Let us look at two of the most popular Yoga routines that are as beneficial as a cardio workout.

Bikram Yoga: Bikram Yoga, or Hot Yoga as it is more popularly known, is a fast-paced energetic style of Yoga that is performed in a heated room. It consists of twenty six postures and two breathing exercises. The average duration of a typical Bikram Yoga class is ninety minutes. The hot atmosphere is which this Yoga is performed not only mimics the temperatures in India, the birthplace of Yoga, but also allows the muscles to retain their flexibility and aids in the excretion of wastes from the body through sweat.

Power Yoga: Power Yoga is based on the techniques of Ashtanga Yoga. It is a vigorous exercise which stretches every part of the body to its maximum potential. Holding the pose correctly and synchronizing ones breath to the fast-paced movements form the crux of Power Yoga. Power Yoga lays a lot of emphasis on the Surya Namaskar (or Sun Salutation). Power Yoga not only improves strength, flexibility , and endurance, nut also increases the basal Metabolic Rate and lean muscle mass, thereby paving the way to fat loss.

If you do not have access to a class that teaches these two forms of Yoga, there are many other gentler schools of Yoga that you can also benefits from such as Ashtanga Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Ananda Yoga, etc. In fact you can supplement your Yoga routine with cardio exercises on alternate days to garner maximum benefits in terms of increased stamina and weight loss.

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