How To Intensify Your Yoga Routine

This post comes from our Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia!

While I like to think that if I drink a green smoothie for breakfast and do some light yoga before bed I’ll wake up looking like our July catalogue ultimate babe Candice Swanepoel…

…chances are it might take a little more work than that – which is why there are a few exercises I incorporate to step-up my yoga game. Don’t get me wrong, I live for savasana as much as the next person, but there’s a side to me that also enjoys thrashing about and sweating bullets which is why I love HIIT (high intensity interval training).

HIIT describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intensive activity or even complete rest depending on the intensity of the burst – which forms the basis of the workout I love below.

You don’t need any equipment except for your amazing self, so find a place outside on the grass to make that savasana so much sweeter!

mood shot 1

Yoga inspired high intensity interval training:

Do four rounds of each of the below exercises with a 90 second break between each round and a 15 second break between each interval. Remember to cool down with some regular yoga stretches after your workout.

– Round 1: 60 second intervals
– Round 2: 50 second intervals
– Round 3: 40 second intervals
– Round 4: 30 second intervals

1. Lunge jumps
Beginning in a lunge position, spring up off the using the power in your glutes and thighs while switching legs to land in a lunge position this time with the left leg forward. Try to maintain control and balance without letting your knee creep across toward the middle during your lunge. Repeat this until the end of the interval

2. Downward dog split to floating pigeon
Starting in a downward dog split with your right leg in the air, begin to pull your knee into your forehead as you shift your weight forward so your shoulders are over your wrists. Engage your core then push your leg back up to a split. Do ten on each side before swapping legs. Repeat until the end of the interval.

plank jump

3. Plank jumps
Starting in plank with your core engaged, spring forward to land your feet behind your hands. You might catch some air on the way forward, go with it, it’s great hand stand practice! Jump back to a strong plank and repeat until the end of the interval.

plank jump

plank jump

4. Up dog to down dog
Starting in Up Dog, tuck the chin down to the chest and begin to lift your bottom to the sky really engaging the core. Push back to Down Dog, breathe, and repeat until the end of the interval.

5. High Knees
While you had a bit more of a breather in the previous round, time to raise that heart rate again! Make a right angle at the elbow with palms facing the ground, jump on each leg bringing the knee up to the palm until the end of the interval.

childs tricep

6. Child’s pose to tricep pushup
From Child’s Pose, come up onto the knees bringing your weight to your palms. With a flat back begin to dip the arms into a tricep pushup ensuring you keep your elbows tucked in close to your body. Great for Chaturunga strength! Push back to Child’s pose and repeat until the end of the interval.

childs tricep

Enjoy that shavasana – you earned it!

yoga routine

yoga routine

Find Miann at & instagram @miannscanlan and @freepeopleaustralia.

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8 years ago

This is a very good article ! Since I started yoga, I hate regular workouts and going to the gym. But sometimes I miss cardio and the intensity of body attack/combat etc. Those tips are very good to intensify the practice of yoga. Thank you !

8 years ago

Love it, definitely going to start incorporating these!

Hypnotica Vintage
8 years ago

Love this… I usually do a loooong and slow yoga routine and forget about doing things like lunge jumps. I do feel like some of these exersizes are best incorporated into an intermediate to advanced yoga routine- without the supervision of an experienced teacher it can be easy to put too much stress on joints when doing a lot of jumping.

8 years ago

This routine is very similar to my yoga classes I take, and let me say that IT WORKS! I do it 4 times a week and am starting to see strong and sexy arm and core muscles :)

Katie Kat
8 years ago

Sweet! Love this. I’m a vinyasa flow teacher and I definitely like to build heat with active flow. Careful with up dog to down dog, though. It’s really hard on the rotator cuff, especially if you’re not warmed up.

8 years ago

Love this & will definitely try it out. Just so happens that HIIT & yoga are my favorite forms of exercise right now :)