5 yoga poses to improve your cardio

Yoga Teacher

March 22, 2019

Cardio fitness from yoga? You bet! Modify these 5 traditional yoga poses by amping up the intensity and turn your yoga practice into a cardio workout for a healthy heart.

One-legged chair pose

From a Chair Pose, hover your right foot forward and flex it. Start to lift and lower your hips and keeping a strong core and find a fairly quick pace. Practice 10 squats on each side.

Dolphin push ups

From a Down Dog, lower your one forearm to the mat at a time. Then shift back up to your hands. The trick is to keep your core engaged and your hips as still as possible here. Add an extra challenge by making it a three-Legged Down Dog/Dolphin. Practice 10 push ups.

Boat Pose Variations

Boat Pose strengthens and tones your entire core and done with the right intensity will get your heart racing. Actively draw your shoulders away from your ears so your spine stays nice and straight, lean back so you have about a 45-degree angle in your hips with your legs extended. Try going from high to a low boat pose and extending alternate legs. Repeat efforts with short recover will amp up the cardio burn.

Handstand hops

From Down Dog, lift one leg to the sky. Hop up with your supporting leg and engage your core to hover momentarily with both feet lifted. Aim to hop so your hips shift towards (or even over!) your shoulders. This is a great exercise to build Handstand strength. Practice 10 hops on each side.

Crescent lunge jumps

Find a Crescent Lunge with your right foot forward, then jump high to switch your feet so your left foot is forward. Pause for just a moment before jump switching again. Practice 10 rounds (one round is both sides).

Bend & Fly are also featured in an article by LFI Labs which explains more about yoga and cardio and also has one of our favourite poses listed, the boat pose variation! Read the article here.