It’s a new year yet again. We all have taken up a resolution to hit the gym and burn our fat. We go for a week. And then we get tired of doing our regular age old formula of running on the treadmill for cardio. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, cardiovascular exercise or more commonly known as cardio, is any activity that increases heart rate and respiration while challenging the most vital internal life support network by improving the performance of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.

This year, try the latest kind of cardio that is creating a buzz across the globe. The definition of cardio exercise is “continuous and rhythmic”, which is what yoga is about. Here are a few simple yogic postures that will benefit you a great deal:

 1. SUN SAUTATIONS: 20 minutes of vigorous flowing practice

Stand in a mountain pose with your back straight, legs and feet together, and arms to your sides. Inhale as you raise your arms straight up overhead and bring your palms together. Exhale as you extend from your hips to fold your torso forward and move your hands down to the floor.

Inhale, keep your hands down, but raise your head and chest slightly and gaze forward. Exhale, and step back into Plank pose with your arms and legs straight, your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders, your core engaged, and your back straight. Bend your elbows and lower toward the floor into a pushup position, keeping your elbows tucked close to your body. Inhale as you roll over your toes and, using your arms, press away from the floor and lift your chest into Upward-Facing Dog.

Yoga at the sea

Exhale as you roll your toes back over and lift and press your hips back into Downward-Facing Dog. Take five breaths in Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale and gaze forward as you lengthen back into your legs and bend your knees. Exhale as you step or jump your feet forward to meet your hands. Inhale as you extend your gaze and chest.

Exhale as you fold forward over your legs. Inhale as you extend your arms wide to the sides, lift your chest, come all the way up to standing, and press your palms overhead. Exhale as you release your arms and return to Mountain pose.

2. WARRIOR POSE VARIATION: 15 minutes of rigorous flow practice

 I.  Start with your feet one leg-length apart, feet parallel. Rotate your right foot outward 90 degrees and your left foot inward slightly so your right heel is lined up with the arch of the left foot. Bend your front knee, bringing your thigh parallel to the floor with your knee over your heel.

Keep your torso directly over your neutral pelvis. Keeping your inner elbows straight, reach your arms to raise them parallel to the floor. Gaze over your front fingertips. Hold for five to 10 breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

II. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight up over your ears. Press your left heel to the floor with your toes pointing out slightly. Orient your hips and shoulders directly forward by pulling your right hip back and pressing your left hip forward.

III.   Bend at the hips and lengthen your torso forward so it’s parallel to the floor, reaching your arms straight forward past your ears. Shift your weight onto your right leg and lift your hips, raising your left leg until its parallel to the floor. Flex your left foot. Like this there are many yoga flow exercises can be performed with proper guidance as cardio exercises.

Pump up your routine with this refreshing change. Get a healthy lifestyle, the yoga way.

Edited by: Aishwarya Vijaykumar

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