Burning Balance: Yoga Meets High Intensity Training

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Two sports cannot be more different than Yoga and High Intensity Training (HIT). And this is exactly what fitness trainer Anna-Maria Jansen takes advantage of: The combination of the two activities offers a comprehensive full-body workout for men and women. At she explains exercises and gives training tips.

Anna-Maria Jansen is a fitness trainer and model.
Anna-Maria Jansen is a fitness trainer and model.

Ever since she can think, Anna-Maria Jansen has done a lot of sport, mostly performance-oriented: "My heart beats for running: the burning in my muscles, the sweat, the pulse when it throbs through every single cell of my body. I love leaving my comfort zone. But how my body sometimes reacted to my sport was less pleasant. I always wanted to go faster, higher, further. However, my body often showed me the consequences: My muscles hardened and I became tense."

For this reason, the fitness trainer began yoga. Since this didn't contain enough action for her, she combined high intensity training with yoga - and so the training program Burning Balance was born.


Between Tension and Relaxation

Two sports can't be more different than High Intensity Training and Yoga. The first consists of short but demanding training intervals and is aimed primarily at building muscle and strengthening the cardiovascular system - high speed and intensity are characteristic of this workout. Yoga, on the other hand, trains body awareness and balances body, mind and soul.

"The Burning Balance Concept combines high intensity training with yoga exercises, it combines tension and relaxation", explains fitness trainer and model Anna-Maria Jansen. "It combines elements of tension and power out - i.e. 'burn' - with elements of relaxation and letting go - i.e. 'balance'. This results in a training that is good for both the body and the mind."

Ideal Combination for Everyone

Burning Balance is suitable for beginners as well as advanced athletes - no previous knowledge is required. The training can also be carried out anywhere: Only one mat is recommended. The connection between the strain of high intensity training and the relief of yoga is the ideal combination.

"By the interaction of load and discharge one improves effectively and lastingly the own health and becomes besides altogether more balanced and thus more concentrated , so the Fitness Trainerin. In addition to physical well-being, psychological perception also plays an important role for health, which is why Burning Balance is based on a very flexible training concept: "Every person has his or her individual strengths and weaknesses, and the performance and emotional state also depend strongly on the respective daily form. Sometimes you want to get rid of energy during training, and sometimes you need some rest and meditation." shows one exercise each from warm-up to High Intensity Training and yoga:

Warm-up: "Cat Hump"

  1. Starting position: quadruped position, hands under the shoulders, knees under the hips
  2. As exhaling, begin to roll the chin towards the chest and arch the back over the entire spine until a beautiful arch emerges.
  3. When inhaling, roll up again until the chest opens towards the floor and a slight hollow back emerges. The view is directed to the front. The motion is fluid, like a wave motion.

High Intensity Training: Knee Tap

  1. Starting position: Push-up position, positioning the palms on the floor under the shoulder joints.
  2. Push the buttocks upwards so that the "V" is reversed.
  3. Move one hand to the opposite knee and touch it briefly.
  4. Return to starting position and change pages. The back remains stretched as much as possible.
  5. In this exercise, the gluteal and abdominal muscles should be tight and move at a regular pace.
Important for the knee tap: Perform all movements at an even speed.
Important for the knee tap: Perform all movements at an even speed.
Image credit:
Bettina Theisinger

Yoga: Dolphin (Shishumarasana)

  1. Inhalation: Stand with four feet, hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips.
  2. Exhalation: Put down forearms with fingers crossed, put toes up and lift buttocks high up. Legs and upper body are stretched. The head is in extension of the spine.
  3. Return to the Looming Dog: To do this, detach the forearms from the floor so that only the hands and feet touch the floor and the buttocks form the highest point.
  4. Stay in the looking down dog for eight breaths before returning to the dolphin posture. The dolphin helps with headaches, relaxes the neck and gives energy.
Legs and upper body must be stretched out when exhaling.
Legs and upper body must be stretched out when exhaling.
Image credit:
Bettina Theisinger

Three Personal Training Tips from Anna-Maria Jansen

However, Anna-Maria Jansen recommends to listen to oneself before even starting to perform the exercises: "Find out what you feel, what drives you, what you want to achieve."

Jansen also recommends staying positive despite all the urge for perfectionism: "Sometimes I catch myself thinking about "this works better" or "something still has to be changed here". I overlook the many things for which I can be grateful. That is why I have become accustomed to making myself aware of three things for which I am grateful before I focus my thoughts on changing something".

For Jansen, introducing fixed fitness rituals is the key to beat the own laziness in the long run: "Habits are an important instrument for creating change. So if you want to change something, you should create your very own routine - for example, a small sports unit every morning or evening."