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What is Yoga-HIIT and is it good for you?

Combining the flow of yoga with intervals of high-intensity cardio is the latest method to achieve all-round fitness

High-intensity yoga (Ginny Rose Stewart/Unsplash)

A good exercise routine includes three essential elements of fitness: cardio, strength training, and stretching. While trainers suggest that you get some form of exercise through the week that corresponds with each of these categories, there is one new form of exercise that seems to tick every point in this list in the same workout: yoga-HIIT.

"When it comes to pairing high-intensity interval training (HIIT)—juxtaposing intense bursts of movement like squat jumps with short periods of rest—with yoga, the benefits can be profound," says Yoga Journal.

Yoga HIIT practitioner Koya Webb combines the cardiovascular, strength-training, and energetic benefits of HIIT with the flexibility and de-stressing benefits of asana. For instance, combining Utkata Konasana with Jumping Jacks.

Utkata Konasana
Utkata Konasana

There are several YouTube channels you can follow to learn more about Yoga HIIT, such as the Boho Beautiful Yoga page.

Most HIIT Yoga practitioners follow the 2:1 ratio (for instance, 40 secs of work, followed by 20 secs of rest). Martin Gibala, professor and chair of the kinesiology department at McMaster University, whose work has majorly influenced the development of HIIT as a form of exercise, the highs and rest periods of high-intensity workouts make them an optimal way to get the full benefit of shorter workouts, as opposed to longer workouts that are not as intense. And HIIT-Yoga hits this spot.

"After working up a sweat, wind down with counter stretches for active recovery. This Zen portion of the class resets the mind and body, easing any tension from the dynamic movements, and slowing down the breath to its original state," recommends Yoga Movement, a Singapore-based yoga studio.

Instagram-famous yoga trainer Alexis Novak guides her followers though bursts of cardio and strength-training punctuated by lengthening, relaxing moves.

However, most teachers recommend that if you have existing injuries, it may be better to try HIIT Yoga only under guidance of a teacher, either in an in-person studio class or an online class.

  • FIRST PUBLISHED
    01.03.2021 | 10:34 AM IST
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