Yoga vs. Cardio Blast

For several years I taught an early morning yoga class on Wednesdays. What a great way to start the day!! Unfortunately, very few people felt the same way–and my class was cancelled. (Death to change!)

But NOW my boss has me teaching a Cardio Blast, high-intensity interval class at 5:45 on Wednesday mornings that involves jumping around until my lungs leak out my nose.

Here are the main differences between a power yoga workout and cardio blast:

Heart Rate: While a good power yoga class gets the ol’ heart pumpin’, a Cardio Blast heartbeat is more like a hummingbird on meth. Get the heart rate up, stop. Get the heart rate up, stop. When you can’t feel your heart beating anymore, take a break.

Absence of Zen: Yoga is all about living in the moment. High-intensity intervals is more about making it THROUGH the moment–without the help of a defibrillator. (Although I keep one close.)

(I’ll be fine. Just let me finish that last interval . . .)

Breathing: Yoga uses breath to support, lift and focus. Cardio Blast uses breath by making short, steady gasping and wheezing noises. And since I’m wearing a microphone, my dying Darth Vader breath is sent through the speakers at high volumes. Plus, when my heart rates spikes, my face turns bright red. I look like a freakin’ thermometer.

Finale: The last minutes of yoga are spent in deep relaxation with a quiet mind and focused breath. The last minutes of Cardio Blast are spent trying not to die. I leave yoga feeling composed and ready to face the day. I leave my interval class–usually in a wheelchair sucking on oxygen through a tube in my nose.

Benefits: Yoga builds strength, increases flexibility and teaches patience. Intervals are supposed to increase oxygen capacity, create strength and melt fat. I haven’t seen evidence of that yet, but I have noticed it causes me to swear a lot more during class.

Music: Yoga tunes are inherently relaxing, zen-like tones, usually Peruvians playing pipes, or sounds of nature–like seagulls or whales. Cardio Blast music is a mash-up between techno, pop, dance and a drummer taking Red Bull shots. If you leave the class with your hearing intact, the music wasn’t loud enough.

Now, get out there and get your heart pumping. Well, I hope it’s already pumping.