Yoga can be very different: a slow and reducing or intense and fast. When the movement is rapidly flow into one another, and you try to synchronize them with your breathing, yoga turns into a real cardio. It was about this option tells Layfhaker classes.

Try a 90-minute workout on Vinyasa Yoga: your breathing and heart rate quickens, the sweat begins to flow down the face and hands – is not cardio?

When people talk about cardio, usually mean aerobic exercise – a continuous activity that raises your heart rate to a range in which such lessons can already be called a workout for the heart. Yoga is perceived more as an exercise, to tame the restless mind, developing the mind and body, giving him the flexibility and strength. So can provide more yoga and cardio?

Arguments for”

To exercise falls under the definition of cardio, it must include three components: intensity, duration and frequency of occurrence. Ask yourself a simple question: “How is my intense practice yoga?”, “How long are these intense periods?”, “How often I practice such training?”.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) offers the basic indicators that show how much time and effort it takes to maintain the cardio-vascular system of an adult in a healthy condition. In particular, the heart rate should be within the range of 65-90% of maximum heart rates for at least 20 minutes at a frequency of workouts 3-5 times a week. But the latest research shows that the overall amount of exercise – and the balance of these three components – is more important than reaching a certain threshold of intensity. That’s according to Dr. Garber, Carol (Carol Garber) from Columbia University, co-author of the latest position on the quantity and quality of exercise needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle, issued ACSM.

It can be safely to adopt to adjust their load. If you currently have a low-intensity exercise, you can increase the runtime or repetition frequency. If the intensity is high, simply reduce the training time or insert short periods of rest between sets.

The main thing – do not forget to monitor the heart rate, since this measure will help to answer the question whether you can deduct this workout yoga for cardio.

Can yoga be replaced at a rapid pace cardio

To see whether your yoga classes counted for kardiotreniroku, you need to determine what exactly kind of yoga you are doing. If your main practice make up a class at a slow pace with reducing asana in which you need to stay in one position for a long period, this training is unlikely to raise your heart rate indicator to the desired level. But if you prefer a vigorous workout, the answer may well be yes.

American College of Sports Medicine recommends continuous, aerobic rhythmic activity, which include work the greatest possible number of muscles. In yoga, there are enough styles that fit this description. However, the general opinion on the matter is not even among the yoga teachers. For example, Lisa Black (Lisa Black), coach and yoga studio owner Shakti Vinyasa Yoga in Seattle, said that her 90-minute cardio session can replace, as the heart rate accelerates to the desired value for the first 30 minutes of training.

Others believe that one vinyasa yoga is not enough and you need to add more exercise yoga, swimming or even brisk walking practice.

scientific experiment

To test the theory that yoga can replace cardio, the experiment was conducted, which involved three people practicing yoga for a long time and have excellent physical form. Each of them is engaged in yoga six times a week for 75 minutes.

Status of the cardiovascular system of the subjects assessed Tim Fleming (Tim Fleming) from the training center for the development of endurance in Mill Valley, California. The obtained data should help to determine whether yoga practice sufficient to maintain the health of the cardiovascular system.

All three participants were given Cardiosensor. Data were collected during the week, and then were transferred to Tim for the study. After analyzing the figures, he came to the conclusion that all three of them got a load, which can be equated to the cardio. The average heart rate of the subjects was 57% of the maximum. Fleming noted that these results were achieved thanks to the duration, frequency and intensity of each workout, and a large volume of training during the week.

After that, the participants were sent to pass tests on the treadmill and measured VO 2 max . The results – 70-80%. Of course, this is not the performance that can be seen at the professional runners or cyclists (it’s sports, including the work of the large muscle groups for a long time, which provides a high load on the cardiovascular system), but they allow you to include participants in the experiment to athletes with physical education higher than the average. That is, they practice enough to maintain heart health.


If you frequently visit a vigorous yoga class (Ashtanga, Vinyasa, power yoga and so on), with time, you will be all the easier to perform the asanas complexes which at first seemed very complicated lessons. Your heart rate after six months of regular yoga practice will drop from 175 beats per minute to 160. This can be considered good progress – your heart muscle becomes stronger and develops.

To this end, it is not necessary to engage in six times a week for 75 minutes, as did the participants in the experiment. Fleming said that regular exercise three times a week would be sufficient. The main thing is that you feel the progress and you can easily keep track of it.

Try for at least a month to attend classes on the power, or other dynamic yoga, do not forget to wear a heart rate monitor , heart rate and observe the changes. I’m sure you’ll get interesting results, which will force you to look at yoga practice quite differently. 😉