Fitness / Health

Find the Perfect Yoga/Cardio Balance


Find the Perfect Yoga/Cardio Balance. Yoga or cardio? Well, there is no need to choose as both yoga and cardio deliver you different physical benefits. 

Nevertheless, you need to make sure the cardio and yoga styles complement each other and plan your weekly workouts to find the perfect yoga/cardio balance.

If yoga is your thing and you do it daily, there is no need to do less yoga; you just need to choose a light steady-state cardio exercise to perform a couple of times a week

In contrast, if you are a cardio junkie, jumping from HIIT sessions to steady-state runs, find a less demanding yoga style and add a session or two per week.

Do I Do Cardio Or Yoga First?


So even though it makes more sense to do cardio before yoga, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it after.

A long run post-yoga may be the best time for you to gather thoughts after a relaxing yoga session, or you may feel your muscles are freer to exercise after a good yoga stretch. 

Essentially, any cardio is good; just be sure your body is up to it and that you finish with a cool down and stretch.

Cardio/Yoga Combinations for Optimum Results

Find the Perfect Yoga/Cardio Balance

With many yoga styles and countless cardio options, it is hard to know the right cardio/yoga combination for optimum results. Whether you are a cardio lover looking to add yoga to your weekly routine, or a yogi thinking about some extra cardio work, it is crucial to find the perfect mix for you.

Recommended Yoga Styles to Mix With Cardio:


Vinyasa aims to strengthen muscles through challenging poses, perfect post-cardio to add a strengthening routine to your workout. It also incorporated many stretches to help with cardio, recovery and finishes with a welcoming cool-down

It must be said that Vinyasa is a heavy workout itself, so don’t overdo the cardio and leave some energy for your Vinyasa session.

Yin and Hatha

Running before a restorative yoga such as Yin and Hatha is perfect as your body gets the aerobic challenge during cardio followed by thorough stretching, calmful breathing, and a cool-down routine. It ticks all the physical and mental health boxes with exercise, conditioning and mindfulness coming together in a beneficial cardio/yoga combination.

Remember, Not All Yoga and Cardio Mix Well.

Cardio before Bikram yoga can do more harm to your body, muscles and mind than good. Bikram yoga is practiced in a hot room to elevate your heart rate and make you sweat hard. If you have been doing cardio beforehand, Bikram can lead to muscle fatigue, dehydration, dizziness and nausea.

Is Yoga Considered Cardio?

Find the Perfect Yoga/Cardio Balance

Yoga is best known as a calming practice that does wonders for the mind and soul while relieving stress and tension. However, any yogi will tell you it also gets the blood circulating, muscles pumping, and heart racing, depending on the yoga you practice.

If done right, yoga can provide cardio, strengthening and consciousness improvements. So to answer the question, yes, some yoga can be considered a form of cardio and will improve your overall fitness level if you practice a more rigorous style like Vinyasa.

Like any cardio, Vinyasa or another type of energetic yoga should be practiced 3-5 times weekly for a minimum of 45 minutes to notice cardio benefits.

Choosing the Right Cardio to Reach Personal Goals

Still trying to Find the Perfect Yoga/Cardio Balance? There are two different types of cardio, steady-state and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Both cardio methods differ significantly; however, they can both be included in a weekly cardio routine.

Cardio lovers aim for an 80-90% solid-state 10-20% HIIT mix to reach the optimum cardio level; however, choosing a cardio routine to suit your fitness level, weekly schedule, and personal goals is best. 

HIIT Training

HIIT training seems to be the new cardio trend; however, the training format has long been used. The workout is shorter than steady-state training and is intense, requiring maximizing effort. 

After a HIIT session, you will feel the burn in your muscles and be short of breath, leading to fantastic benefits, including a boosted metabolism. HIIT sessions are high-octane and stressful on the body; therefore, they are recommended to be done only a couple of times a week.

Steady-State Training

Steady-state training is a more continuous type of cardio that is the most common cardio method. It allows you to exercise longer as your work rate can be managed better than a HIIT session.

Steady-state cardio is easier to add to routines and results in fewer injuries due to the self-paced approach. Whether running, cycling, swimming, walking or any other steady-state training you choose, be sure to give yourself ample time to rest, stretch and recover between sessions.

Yoga and Cardio Working in Tandem

Find the Perfect Yoga/Cardio Balance, Both yoga and cardio offer excellent physical and mental health benefits and, when worked in tandem, can improve your overall well being and performance.

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Avatar of Melissa Hall About Author

Hey there and Welcome! I'm Melissa and I'm the author of My Free Yoga. We started back in 2009 as a resource for people needing advice on yoga and yoga products. Today we are working hard to cover everything product related to yoga.