Confession time. I work out with a trainer. I hope you are doing some other physical activity besides yoga asana as well. Yes, yogis, you need something outside of your physical asana practice to stay in shape. This isn’t about body vanity or staying “young”. Think about aging well so you can grow, spiritually.
In order for our physical body to age well we need more than the calisthenic aspect of our yoga practice. One option is to incorporate a short cardiovacular routine into your daily sadhana. Research continues to prove the health benefits of 20-30-minute High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T). HIIT is especially helpful if you’re short on time and long on excuses for not exercising.
I like to build my own routine. I know what space I have to work in, and what weights, blocks and straps I have available to work with. If you have a gym and lots of space available, you can also try the Nike+ Training Club App.
Here’s a quick way to bring a little cardio and well-rounded activity to your morning routine:
First, download the Tabata App. It is free, and easy to use. (If you’re not sure which one, I use the one with the red stopwatch logo found in the Apple AppStore.)
The night before, decide what exercises to do the next day. Pick 8 “movements”. Bi-lateral movement (left side then right) counts for two “activities”. Jumping jacks, jump-up-squats or other all-over movement are best for the first activity. These get your heart beating, and warm up your joints and muscles. I keep a list of exercises in the “notes” section on my phone. You can also get ideas at MindBodyGreen.
When you wake up, meditate, review your activity list, and then HIIT it! Start your Tabata timer, and get on with your list- you go through three rounds of each of the 8 movements. When you’ve finished your high intensity interval training, transition into your asana practice.
Sometimes movement & sweat need to come before meditation. Like the mornings you wake up energized or distracted. But no matter what you do, always meditate. Need help with learning to meditate? Subscribe to my YouTube livestream. Twice a week, 6:30AM ET we sit down, hang out and meditate. If this isn’t a great time for your schedule, tune in to the recordings. See you soon!