Tabata Yoga

For those of you that have never heard of Tabata, it’s not a bread that goes great with hummus, but it just might be your new favorite exercise. In Japan Dr. Izumi Tabata started a study showing that short bursts of high intensity training had superior aerobic and anaerobic training affects compared to longer moderate intensity training. These benefits were shown in already well conditioned elite athletes. This study was published in 1996 and has become known as “Tabata Training”. Tabata is a great method of exercising because it allows you to achieve better results in a shorter amount of time. Research has also shown that the metabolic effect of exercising at high intensity can continue long after training, which results in more calories being burned. Who wouldn’t love a work-out that keeps killing calories even after you’ve physically stopped? It’s a very simple formula, where your work out only takes four minutes to complete: You go hard for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds in a total of eight cycles. This might sound fairly easy when you are looking at it on the page, however, if you actually do it for the full four minutes you will be pleasantly surprised how challenging it is to finish.

Tabata lends itself well to Yoga, but remember it is still Yoga. It’s important to use proper form, follow your breath and as you start to get fatigued avoid the temptation to muscle through. Honor and listen to your body and use modifications. In this case, feel free to drop to the knees if your arms are getting to the point of failure. I have put together a easy workout you can do just about anywhere. If you come through each flow twice that should take you roughly 20 seconds and then you can hold in Down dog or Child Pose for 3 breaths and that’s about 10 seconds of rest. If you prefer to keep time, you can use a timer on your cell phone or other device.

The flow is easy to follow, but don’t let that fool you. Remember one breath one movement. Starting from Down dog – Inhale- High Plank – Exhale – Chaturanga – Inhale – Up dog – Exhale – Low Plank – Inhale – High Plank – Exhale – Down dog. For 20 Seconds. Then hold and rest in either Down dog or Child Pose for 10 seconds. Do this for for eight rounds and it will take you a total of four minutes. Maintain your mind-body connection and if you feel the need to drop to your knees to finish the Tabata, always honor where you are at.

As the holidays are approaching I hope you utilize this fun and effective work-out to keep you fit in this busy season and burning lots of calories as we come together to celebrate.