Take your yoga practice to the next level by adding high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, to your flow.
Several studies have shown the benefits of HIIT training — it improves your endurance, increases your metabolism, regulates insulin levels, burns body fat without losing muscle and continues to burn calories even after the session ends.
By combining HIIT and yoga, you will be able to get the benefits of both disciplines. You reap the benefits of HIIT while increasing flexibility and muscle strength, preventing injuries and improving athletic performance through yoga.
This sequence combines yoga poses with HIIT. The fat-burning, sweat-inducing workout integrates short intervals of fast-paced activity consisting of calorie-blasting plyometric moves, like burpees and jump squats into your sun salutations and beyond, with periods of active recovery.
Do each move for 30 seconds pushing yourself to the maximum level while maintaining good alignment, then transition to the next pose.
With each HIIT-inspired asana, aim for 10 seconds of slow, mindful active recovery. Breathe through your mouth whenever needed, and you can always come into child’s pose if you get out of breath.
Start the practice with a few rounds of dynamic sun salutation to warm up and increase body flexibility and also prepare the body to move fluidly during the intense HIIT workout.
Make sure that you adequately warm up your wrists too. Finish the practice with pigeon pose, forward fold, supine spinal twist, reclining bound angle pose and savasana.
High-plank and Knee Draw
Start in a high-plank position and draw one knee in towards your chest or elbows. Alternate sides. Remember to tuck the pelvis under, which will prevent your hips from flying into the air. Once your hips come too high, you’re going to lose the core activation.
Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
From high-plank position, step your right foot outside your right hand. Lift your right arm up straight up toward the ceiling, open your chest and bring your gaze up toward your hand. Return your right foot to starting position and switch legs.
Burpees With Squat Jumps
From plank position, ascend to downward-facing dog. Keeping your core engaged, bend the knees and jump forward to squat or malasana.
Explosively jump upwards and land softly to squat, lower your hands to the ground and jump your feet backwards to plank position — for added challenge, bend your elbows to chaturanga.
Reverse Plank Toe Touch
Start by sitting on the ground with bent knees, your feet hip-distance apart and your hands behind you. Lift your hips, making sure to keep your neck neutral and core engaged. This will be your starting position.
Lift one leg as high as you can and reach towards your toe with your opposite arm. Keep tension in your core by not allowing your hips to drop while performing this portion of the move.
Hold for a brief count before returning to the starting position and switch arms and legs. Keep alternating for 30 seconds.
— Nerry Toledo is a Dubai-based yoga instructor. She conducts regular give-what-you-can community classes with the goal of making yoga more accessible for everyone. For schedules and locations, go to www.nerryfit.com