At the risk of sounding like a product-pushing yoga instructor, there’s a difference between getting into shape and getting fit. By the time you finish this workout, you’ll be ready to tackle whatever trail or stairs are lying ahead.
Yoga is one of the best ways to increase endurance and stamina, but you need a good routine to reap the benefits. If you’re like most of us, your current yoga routine consists of 5-10 minutes of mindless stretching and 10-15 minutes of gentle breathing before you collapse on the couch. This is a great place to start, because it builds endurance and coordination, but you need to step it up a notch. If you want to increase your endurance and stamina, you need to include bursts of challenging strength exercises (like yoga) with high-intensity intervals (like running). This approach has a greater impact on endurance and stamina than doing yoga for hours on end. When you work out, your body adapts. It develops new
If you are looking to increase endurance and stamina, then you should check out this 15-minute HIIT Yoga Sequence. Yoga is a great way to train the body and increase your endurance. This routine includes a static stretching pose, seated hamstring stretch, tree pose, warrior I, warrior II, downward dog, and a series of mountain climbers. It’s a quick routine that is perfect for no-equipment sets.
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a form of interval training/cardio training that alternates a short burst of intense training with even shorter periods of rest and recovery. HIIT is becoming increasingly popular in the fitness world because it allows for an effective workout in less time. HIIT workouts several times a week are excellent for cardiovascular health, increase endurance and stamina, and are known to promote weight loss*.
The concept of HIIT has recently even been used in yoga classes. The result is a dynamic practice that allows you to have more energy while speeding up your metabolism.
Below is a series that uses yoga poses and the HIIT principle to give you a workout that will increase your resistance and endurance. Please warm up by doing Surya Namaskar C for a few minutes (2-3 rounds are sufficient).
The goal of this series is to work at a high intensity followed by a short rest period. You can assume the child’s position or stay in the head-down dog position to rest.
Dog descending limbs Transition to size
Transition from Downward Dog Stance on one leg to Plank Stance and then 30 Mountain Climbs / Rest in Downward Dog Stance – Notice: Keep the neck long, the gaze between the arms or slightly forward, and keep an active core. Rest.
Go into Tadasana on one foot
Looking down from the last dog, do a crescentic dropout and then step forward with one foot into tadasana, leg bent and clasped in front of the chest and hands in prayer. Return to the half moon lunge and extend your arms above your head. Repeat 20 times and finish with a high half lunge before switching to vinyasa and resting.
Go to malasana
Walk or jump forward from downward dog to Malasana, then do 10 jumping squats. Jump up from Malasana with arms extended and land lightly in Malasana with a prayer in your hands. Complete this sequence with Bakasana in Vinyasa, then rest or go directly to the resting pose.
From the high plank pose, lower the right elbow to where the right arm is, lower the left elbow to where the left arm is in the forearm plank pose, and then come back up by raising one arm at a time. Repeat 5 times and end in the rest position.
Preparation of support columns
Come out of the downward facing dog with the right foot below the navel and lift the left foot, balancing on the hands. Bring the legs up and alternate a total of 10 times, ending with vinyasa. If the changes are handstand or too difficult, you can change legs to lunge (foot out of hand). If it is difficult to keep your hands straight, you can also do it with your fingertips.
Perform a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 pike jumps from the down dog and land in the down dog for a rest position. If you don’t feel comfortable jumping from the middle of your mat, you can also do it by leaning against the wall. Place your hands shoulder-width apart. With your hands firmly on the ground, bounce slightly, bringing your shoulders and pelvis together and arranging your wrists as your knees go to your chest and your heels press against your buttocks.
After this last HIIT exercise, rest fully 5-7 times in the child’s pose, listening to your fast heart rate and watching it slow down on the long exhale. Refresh yourself by doing the carrier pigeon pose on both sides and curling up in the prone position. You can end with the happy child pose or simple apanasana.
Enjoy this HIIT yoga sequence, practice it daily and notice how your stamina and endurance improve over time!
* Studies have shown that high-intensity cardio boosts your metabolism so much that you continue to burn calories even after your workout. The key, of course, is high intensity, working almost to the max when you’re out of breath.
Photo credit: Bruce Chung
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