With three children life can be a bit hectic from time to time. It’s hard enough to find time to relax, let alone time to work on a fitness routine. I’ve been looking for a way to get fit without sacrificing “me time.” Sure, hopping on the elliptical machine seemed like a mental break – considering I spend the majority of my day chasing around little people, breaking up fights, and meeting the needs of those around me. But it wasn’t quite the mental break I needed.

When using workout equipment or a traditional fitness routine, it’s easy to let the worries of your day, to-do lists, and busy thoughts overcome you. That doesn’t happen with yoga.¬†Yoga is great for relaxation and listening to the body. You learn to release the daily stresses using proper breathing techniques.

Unfortunately most yoga classes I tried seemed to be lacking in the cardio department.

I wanted a mix of the breathing, relaxation techniques, and fitness all in one. Then I discovered vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga is also sometimes referred to as flow yoga. Vinyasa is the Sanskrit term for flow and refers to alignment of breath and movement to create a dynamic, flowing form of yoga. Poses are held for a specific number of breaths before moving on to the next pose. Vinyasa also refers to the movements or series of movements done between each pose in the series.

In Vinyasa yoga the instructor walks the class through the flow and then everyone can follow at their own pace. A fast flow can really get the heart pumping and sweat flowing. Anyone who has told you that yoga is not for cardio has not participated in a fast paced flow yoga class.

If you want to take it to the next level you can participate in a hot vinyasa yoga class. Hot vinyasa yoga is the same style class only the room is heated to approximately 90 degrees. This heats up the body, makes you sweat, and helps increase circulation.

Even if you choose a fast paced or hot vinyasa class, the focus always remains on breathing. You can free your mind from the stresses of the day while getting in your cardio. As a bonus you will get fantastic stretching and at the completion of yoga class you will always have a wind down and relaxation time.

Have you tried a flow yoga or hot vinyasa class?