The best interval training for busy yogi
I agree that the article title is rather provocative... Of course, personally for me Tabata is the best highly intensive training which within the shortest period solves a number of the tasks set. But, as long as I am sharing here, among other things, my personal practical experience, I'd like to point out that joint-tendon gymnastics in yogi sukshma-vyayama tradition, I wrote about before, and training under Tabata protocol were the two keys which considerably helped and are still helping me in development and promotion in the basic yoga practice. Yet again I hope that practical application of such kind of training will help you in achievement of the goals set
Why additional training is needed for those practicing yoga?
As I am referring in what follows not to a traditional yoga practice, I'll briefly settle upon why the yoga practice, especially at the beginning, is to be supplemented with other kinds of training. Indeed, there are, basically, yoga methods for development of physical body at all the levels: static strength and endurance, flexibility, coordination and reaction. Cardiovascular and respiratory systems are trained and developed in a course of yoga practice, especially when dynamic styles are used, for example, Himalayan Vinyasa. Static strength and endurance are trained by asanas practice, also there is a significant influence on endocrine, lymphatic and other systems of organism. Respiratory function improves and develops also in prāṇāyāmas practice. Coordination and reaction may be improved by Shiva's dance practice. Then why doing something else? Reasonable question arises. The answer is simple. In order to work through and develop physical body effectively within the frameworks of yogi methods only, one should devote a considerable time to it. To be honest, such practice will take almost all the time. But except physical practices there are also the internal ones, which are the same important, if not more, as those external. For the citified yogi, with work, family and other different activities, the issue of balance in application of time, physical and energy resources under conditions of a modern pace of living is burning. That is why the application of maximally effective, to a certain purpose, kinds of trainings is of a great importance.

According to the mentioned above, the additional training for the beginners is especially actual, as there is, depending on individual peculiarities of an organism, a vivid misbalance in development of any physical quality. Often it's about shortage of strength, endurance and failure to control breath under stress. Which trainings will be useful for overcoming of the restrictions mentioned? Of course, running, swimming, rock climbing, skiing, cycling or gym, for example. All activities enumerated are good, but it may be impossible to apply them regularly, due to, still, time shortage, as well as seasonality, restrictions on the part of knee joints etc. As for me, I started to train under Tabata protocol in order to overcome breath difficulties in yogi practice, the result was vivid and very quick, and all the additional effects in terms of strength increase, endurance and dry muscles were the pleasant bonus. As of today Tabata for me is a great alternative to long cardio workouts.

Now we proceed to a practical side on the issue...

What is Tabata?
Tabata is a system of short interval workouts with highly intensive load. It was developed by Japanese researcher in sport medicine Doctor Izumi Tabata in 1996 for the purposes of Olympic sportsmen training, but it quickly became popular and widely spread among amateurs as well. The training structure consists of one circle, lasting for 4 minutes, within which cycles are interchanged, 20 seconds – load, 10 seconds – rest. Within one circle only 8 working load cycles are repeated. The very proportion 20 /10 seconds demonstrated maximal effectiveness of as aerobic so anaerobic load. Training key is maximally quick achievement of VO2max level (index of maximum oxygen consumption by organism under maximal physical activity), allowing to train endurance, strength to the uttermost, increases metabolism and triggers fat burning.
Main effects of training under Tabata protocol:
muscles strengthening
endurance promotion

fat burning and increase of metabolism
development of respiratory function under maximal stress
training of cardiovascular system
I'd like to emphasize separately one more advantage of the training which is very important – short timing. It should be noted that ideally the training lasts for 4 minutes, one circle, and only 1 exercise is performed in all 8 working cycles. However such high efficiency is possible for professional sportsmen who can within the shortest time step in the sprinter mode and force out the maximum. For an average person, as a rule, 1 circle per training is not enough (in average 2 or even 3 circles are required), also there may be several different exercises in one circle, as it's beyond one's strength to do only one.
Practical tips as to training under Tabata protocol
Pay attention, please, that this training implies high load on your organism, also it influences intensively on cardiovascular system. If you have any problems with heart or hypertension, be sure to consult with a doctor as to a possibility to be involved into training of such type and intensity. Be careful!
Exercises selection criteria
v large muscles should be involved;
v taking into account high complexity and load, index of the right choice here is tiredness and burning in working muscles after the circle completion;
v technique should be rather simple and clear, in order not to lose control over quality till the end of a circle
Exercises examples: press-ups, squats, planks, abdominal crunches
Crucial points!
Warm up before the training your joints and tendons and after the workout stretch and relax your muscles;
Use Tabata-timer for timing, or, even better, Tabata music with countdown of work and rest cycles; timer may be downloaded as telephone application, a great selection of Tabata music you can find at YouTube
Follow the maximal speed of workouts without loss of quality and technique; be sure to consider the current state of an organism and general level of physical preparation at a choice of the speed
Rhythmic breath in due course

In case of several circles within one training be sure to restore normal breath and heartbeats and only after this start a new circle!
In the video proposed above I alternate for the purposes of demonstration different exercises in one Tabata circle, taking squats as a structure, and adding push-ups and abdominal crunches between. You can choose and combine exercises depending on your aims and individual capabilities. As a particular example I perform only two circles per one training, in the first one I alternate push-ups and squats and in the second one – two different crunches. I have rest for couple of minutes between the circles, i.e. my training takes up to 10 minutes.

At the beginning, most probably, you'll need to include in one circle up to four or even more exercises, as it'll be difficult to repeat the same. It's nothing at all serious. Exclude exercises gradually from one circle, leaving two, ideally, one exercise for the whole circle. Pay attention, that if you are not tired, it means that you chose too easy exercises or your technique is wrong, or the intensity is low, and you should work out at the limit. As for me, the bare fact that the training will finish quickly and the effect will appear soon and last for long helps me to work out regularly at full!

Wish you stability and high efficiency in your practice!
Victoria Pekarchuk
Article author

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