Yogi Alexis Novak takes you through a workout that will have your heart pumping and body sweating, so you end up feeling centered and ready to take on just about anything.
'Tis the season for shopping, partying, and airport jogging, all of which will probably leave you feeling frazzled and tired...or dreading the political #realtalk that's bound to happen around the dinner table. Kick that holiday stress to the curb with a unique yoga flow that uses power gliders (don't worry, a folded towel works, too!). The quick workout will take your mind somewhere else—specifically, a place where sweat reigns supreme and there are no such things as crowded parking lots, insane store check-out lines, or drunk uncles. (It's also the perfect excuse—er, solution—if you secretly hate the holidays and need a reprieve.)
This 20-minute HIIT yoga flow created by LA yogi Alexis Novak is your answer to stress relief whether it's December 26 or any other day of the year. And Novak specializes in high-intensity routines, so you can be sure that this yoga workout is going to strengthen, lengthen, and tone your body from head to toe. Follow her in this video and get step-by-step flow assistance below.
- Start in child's pose with hips back and arms stretched out long. Breathe naturally.
- Press to table top position (kneeling on all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips) and start to draw circles with trunk of the body. Add any extra shifts, or shakes of the tail, neck, and arms that feel good.
- Tuck toes under and press hips back on top of heels with a gentle pulse, for a variation of toe sit.
- Lift the hips up and back to downward facing dog, and start to pedal the right and left heel, taking big bends in the knees. Allow breath to get deeper and head to move side to side.
- Bend knees and walk hands back to feet for rag doll pose. Grab opposite elbows and hang upper body, swaying side to side, allowing crown of head to "drip" toward mat.
- Heel-toe feet together before slowly rolling all the way up to standing position. Tuck chin to chest as you rise, letting the vertebrae stack on top of one another to the top. Stand tall and confident.
- Inhaling deeply, reach fingertips above the head for a sun salute. As you scoop hands back around and down, exhale, sigh audibly, and forward fold the body.
- Playfully crawl hands forward on mat, and push hips back into downward facing dog. Walk it out in this position, alternating right and left heel to the floor.
- Lift right leg up and back into three-legged downward facing dog. Bend right knee and draw the ankle through hands coming into low lunge position.
- Rise for crescent lunge and lean into a slight back bend, looking up toward sky.
- Wrap the right elbow underneath the left for eagle arms to stimulate and expand the shoulder girdle. Tilt upper body toward the sky for a deeper stretch.
- Release arms and come back to crescent lunge, this time finding your gliders or folded towel. Place ball of right foot on one glider (or towel) off of the mat and lift arms above head. Find low lunge and glide right foot forward and back, remaining stable in core and opposite standing leg.
- Repeat steps 1–13 on left side.
- Come to high plank position (hands under shoulders), placing one glider under each foot off and behind your mat. Perform mountain climbers for a quick cardio burst, alternating right and left knee into chest quickly. Keep core stable.
- Bring both feet back behind you again in high plank, gliders under feet. Draw both feet forward toward wrists using core to invert the body to perform Pike Pulls.
- Come down to all fours (Table Top position), and place one glider under each hand directly in front of your mat on the floor.
- Press both hands forward and away from your body, keeping core engaged and shoulders down.
- When hands come back under chest, perform a triceps push-up.
- At top of push-up position, keep left hand and arm stable as you glide right hand out to side and bring it back to center. Perform triceps push-up again, and glide left hand out to side. Repeat this movement pattern (forward-push-up-sides).
- Set gliders aside, flip over, and lie on back, taking gentle meditation, and cool down in Savasana.