What is Heart-Pumping Yoga?

Heart-pumping yoga encompasses a series of yoga poses whose purpose is to keep your heart rate up. The poses include highly demanding inversions, twists and poses that ought to be held for a long period of time (roughly 90 minutes). As a result, you are bound to lose up to 400 calories per session. To get the best results, yoga instructors recommend that you adopt a regular heart-pumping yoga routine for about six times in a week.

The five basic heart-pumping yoga poses to adopt include Sun Saturation, Warrior II, Warrior III, Boat and Revolved chair.

Sun Saturation

Sun saturation helps in stretching and strengthening the core, shoulders, quadriceps and hamstrings. To get started, take a mountain pose; legs and feet together, arms on the side and back straight. Inhale as you raise your arms over your head and bring the palms together.

Exhale as you fold your torso and bring your arms to the floor. Then, inhale as you gently raise your chest and head so as to gaze forward. Exhale as you take a Plank pose – legs and arms straight with the arms on the floor below the shoulders. Your back should remain straight and the core fully engaged. Slightly bend and lower your elbows so as to assume a push-up position.

Ensure that your elbows remain tucked close to your body. Inhale as you roll over your toes and use your arms to press away from the floor. Lift your chest in order to assume an Upward Facing Dog pose. Exhale as you lift and press your hips back to assume a Downward facing Fog pose.

While at this position, take five breaths. Inhale once again and gaze forward, lengthen your legs and slightly bend your knees. Let your arms meet your feet and once again, extend your gaze forward and exhale as you fold over your legs. Lastly, inhale as you lift your chest, come all the way up and extend your arms to the side to over your head. Finish by returning to the Mountain pose.

Repeat the Sun Saturation for another 2-5 times.

Warrior II

Warrior II helps work your shoulders and quadriceps.

To assume this pose, you need to keep your feet apart but parallel to each other. The left foot should be rotated outward at 90 degrees and the right slightly inward. Bend the left leg knee over the heel and have the thigh parallel to the floor. Ensure that the inner elbows remain straight and that both arms are parallel to the floor. Hold this pose as you take 5-10 breaths while gazing at your fingertips.

When done, switch to the other side.

Warrior III

Warrior III is intended to help you work the core, upper back, lower back, shoulders, hamstrings and quadriceps.

Start with your legs in a lunge position and hands over your head (Crescent pose). Join your
palms in front of you, lean over your front thigh and lift your other leg. Gaze forward as you extend your upper chest and, take 5-10 breaths.

Repeat Warrior III but on the opposite side.

Boat

Boat works your core and abs.

First, seat with your feet flat on the floor and knees slightly bent. Lean back a little so that your feet floats freely above the floor, gradually straighten your body till it forms a V shape and have the arms remain parallel to the ground. You should only gain balance from your sit
bones and tailbone. Gaze forward and hold on for 5-10 breaths.

Repeat the pose for another 2-5 times.

Revolved Chair

Assume a chair pose with your hands in a prayer position. Slightly rotate your torso towards the right and have your left triceps sitting on your right thigh while the right elbow points upwards. Pull back the right shoulder so as to open the chest area and keep your hips even. Take 5-10 breaths while in this position before repeating the revolved chair on the opposite side.

Image Credit:  istockphoto.com

 

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