If you’ve ever heard somebody say, ‘Yoga isn’t a workout,’ and felt totally infuriated, we’re with you. Although there are more restorative forms of the ancient practice, yoga can be as hard—or harder—as other types of exercise, and offers major physical and emotional benefits as well.
Not only does yoga have the potential to reduce migraines and diminish chronic lower back pain, it’s also been linked to more orgasms (thanks to ab- and pelvic-focused poses like Triangle and Cobra) and improved sleep. Fewer headaches, better sex, and more restful nights? Sign us up.
Yoga’s physical payoffs are just as promising. Classic postures like downward facing dog work to tone the upper body, while exercises such as chair pose fire up the legs and strengthen the muscles in the thighs.
An even better way to amp up the activity level in yoga is to add elements of high intensity interval training, or HIIT, to your flow. Unlike yoga, HIIT is known for its high-energy approach. The workout typically combines short intervals of fast-paced activity (consisting of exercises like jump squats and burpees) with periods of active recovery.
You may think the two forms of exercise are totally different, but it turns out HIIT and yoga can be combined—and the result is a fat-burning, sweat-inducing workout you’ll actually want to do.
In this video, expert yoga instructor Lauren Taus shows you how to add HIIT to your yoga routine by integrating calorie-blasting plyometric moves, like jump lunges, into your sun salutations and beyond.