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A High-Intensity Interval Yoga Circuit

high intensity interval yoga

These days, fusion is all the rage in fitness. Gone are the days when you had to choose just one way to get fit and stick to it — and thank goodness for that! This movement has resulted in runners and weightlifters no longer having to worry about being treated like traitors if they go to a barre class or practice yoga and vice versa.

Variety in fitness has become the norm and so much goodness has come out of it.

The runner/lifter/yogi in me thinks it’s nothing short of magical to have so many options. The coach/trainer/teacher in me is thrilled to see significant improvements in mobility, strength, power and overall well-being in conjunction with a significant decrease in injuries for those I work with who take part in multiple activities.

But probably the best thing to come out of this fusion movement is the boom of fitness creativity. Who knew there were so many different — and awesome — ways to get your sweat on? And while enjoying every minute of it? Seriously, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

I’ve been playing with fusing some of my fitness loves as well. One combo that I’m totally digging right now is high-intensity interval yoga (HIIY), a fun but challenging lower-impact hybrid of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and yoga. Not only will it get you super-strong and highly-functional muscles, but it’ll also get your heart rate soaring. This energizing combo is truly an all-in-one sweat fest.

High-Intensity Interval Yoga Circuit Workout

Wanna check it out? Well, you’re in luck! Here’s a HIIY circuit you can take for a test drive. Do each move below for 30 seconds, resting for 30 seconds between moves. After you’ve completed all the moves once, rest for 60 seconds and repeat the circuit two more times for an awesome 20-minute workout.

Reverse Plank Knee Ups

1. Reverse Plank Knee-Ups. Come into a reverse plank with your palms on the floor, fingers pointing toward your hips, legs extended long and feet flat on the floor. Widen across your chest, spread your collarbones and keep the back of your neck long and relaxed. Lift your right knee up toward your chest, keeping your hips lifted high, then switch legs.

Plank to Chaturanga

2. Plank to Chaturanga Press-Ups.  Come into a high plank position on your hands and toes with your wrists directly below your shoulders (not out wide). Shift your weight forward so your shoulders come past your wrists and you’re on the very tips of your toes. Bend your elbows and squeeze them into your ribs as you lower down halfway with a flat back. Hold for a second then press yourself back up to plank.

Eagle Arm Chair Crunches

3. Eagle Arm Chair Crunches.  Bring your feet together so that your big toes touch but your heels are separated and lined up directly behind your second and third toes. Press your legs together as you lower your hips like you’re trying to sit back into a chair. Look down and make sure that you can see your toes sticking out beyond your knees — if not, press your hips back a bit more. Cross your arms in front of you, right arm under left, just above the elbows. Wrap your right fingers around your left wrist or just grab your left forearm with your right hand. Pull your bellybutton in toward your spine and reach your tailbone away from your head to prevent low-back discomfort. As you exhale, bring your elbows down toward your thighs. Inhale and lift your elbows up.

Warrior3 Tap to Kick

4. Warrior III Ankle Taps to Kick Thru.  Start in Warrior III, standing on your left leg, right leg extended behind you. Extend your arms beside your ears and keep your hips level — drop your right hip more than you think you need to. Reach out through your fingers and back through your heel with your back foot flexed. From this starting position, bend your standing leg to bring your right knee down to tap the back of your left ankle. Then, swing your right leg forward and through to extend it in front of you. Return to the Warrior III position slowly and with control.

Lunge Switch Kicks

5. Lunge Switch Jumps.  Begin in a high runner’s lunge with yoga blocks under your hands. Press into the blocks as you hop to lift your hips up and switch your legs, using your abs to land softly in a lunge with the opposite leg forward.

Dolphin Push-ups

6. Dolphin Push-Ups.  Make L shapes with both your index fingers and thumbs and place them against the bottom corners of a yoga block as you bring your forearms to the floor and come into a forearm plank. Walk your legs in toward your elbows, keeping them as straight as possible. Feel your abs pull in as your hips go higher. Then, slowly walk your feet back out to a plank.

Could HIIY be one of your new fitness BFFs? —Alison

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