Why should cardio get all the upbeat fun?
Easy Cross-Legged Seat
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Start by sitting cross-legged on your mat. Begin to deepen your breathing. Walk your hands forward slowly into a forward bend, keeping your sit bones grounded into the mat. Stay folded and walk your hands to the right side of the mat, and then to the left.
Slowly walk your hands back to the center of the mat and come out of the bend. Change crossing of legs (opposite leg in front) and repeat, walking your hands to the left first.
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Cow and Cat
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Come onto your hands and knees. On an inhale, look up and arch your spine, rolling shoulders away from ears (cow). As you exhale, press the floor away with hands and knees, and round your spine (cat) [shown]. Complete 5 cycles of breath. Try closing your eyes during the movement.
Knee to Nose
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Extend your right leg back and up to hip height. Inhale as you draw your right knee in towards your nose, rounding your back. Exhale and extend right leg up and back again. Make sure neck stays long and core is engaged. Complete 5 times. Repeat on the other side.
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Tuck your toes under and press up and back to come into your first downward dog. Start to peddle out the legs by slightly bending the right knee, then the left.
Plank to Baby Cobra
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From downward dog, come forward into plank [shown]. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Press back into downward dog. Repeat 2 times.
Next, hold plank and drop your knees, then chest, and then chin onto the mat for baby cobra [shown]. Press back to downward dog.
This series (from downward dog, to plank, then baby cobra) is called "taking a vinyasa."
High Lunge to Straight-Leg Fold
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From downward dog, lift your right leg back and up high like you're doing the splits in the air. Draw the right knee in towards your nose, moving your shoulders over wrists. Step right foot forward into a low lunge. Anchor left knee onto mat and reach your arms up (palms facing in) for high lunge [shown]. Hold for 5 breaths.
From high lunge, release your fingertips to the floor (use blocks if necessary). Straighten your left knee and fold over your right leg (left heel is lifted). Bring your forehead to your right knee for straight leg fold [shown]. Breathe into the posture. Re-bend right knee, tap left knee to the floor on your inhale, and come back to high lunge.
Complete the series 3 times. Repeat on the other side.
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From high lunge (with right leg in front), place your hands down on the mat in front of your right foot as you lift your left leg up into standing split [shown] at the front of the mat.
Place left foot next to right and fold forward over legs. Tuck chin into chest and extend arms down for a forward bend. Roll all the way up to stand in tadasana (mountain pose).
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Sweep your arms up overhead and inhale into upward salute [shown]. Then exhale as you swan dive to the floor. Take a big step back with your right foot, and lift arms up into high lunge. Hold for 5 breaths. Place hands to the floor, and step left foot back to meet right for another downward dog. From here, take a vinyasa.
Repeat the sequence on your left side, finishing in downward dog. Lift heels and jump or step to the front of the mat. Come into a standing forward bend and rise up into tadasana. Repeat 3 to 5 times total.
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Standing with feet hip-width apart, sit back into chair pose [shown], arms reaching out in front of you. Hold for 5 breaths. Fold forward, bringing hands to the mat, and step or jump back into a plank.
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From plank, come into your downward dog position. Lift your right leg back and up, then bring your right knee to your nose. Repeat 3 times.
From downward dog, lift right leg back and up behind you, then step right foot forward and ground left heel down. Bring your hips to the right as arms sweep up into warrior I. From here, reach right arm forward and left arm back with palms facing the floor and open your hips into warrior II [shown]. Cartwheel hands down to plank position. Take a vinyasa. Repeat on left side.
Do the series 3 times and finish in child's pose.
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From warrior II, reach your left hand down to left leg and your right hand up and back by right ear, tipping back into peaceful warrior [shown].
Extended Side Angle
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From warrior II, take right forearm to right thigh and left arm over left ear, coming into extended side angle [shown].
Advanced option: Extend right arm under ear so that both arms are framing the face for floating side angle. Keep your legs strong and core engaged.
With strong legs come to stand. Feet stay apart.
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Re-bend your right knee to come to warrior II. Straighten your right leg and rotate your arms so that the left arm reaches up to the ceiling and the right arm reaches down for triangle [shown]. Your gaze follows your left arm.
Advanced option: Extend right arm under ear so that both arms are framing the face for floating triangle. Keep your legs strong and core engaged.
With strong legs come to stand. Feet stay apart.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
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Turn right toes parallel to the left and place your hands on your hips. Complete a wide-legged forward bend [shown] by reaching the crown of your head toward the mat. Place your hands back to your hips, and come out of the bend with strong legs.
Re-bend your right knee into warrior II. Cartwheel your hands to the mat and take a vinyasa, ending in downward dog or resting in child's pose.
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From downward dog, lift right leg back and up, bend your knee and open your hip as you do this movement. Bring your right knee forward in between your hands and place it on the floor. Shift your weight forward as you bring your left knee to the floor. Fold your body over your right leg and crawl your hands forward on the mat for pigeon [shown].
Repeat on the left side.
Seated Spinal Twist and Boat Pose
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Swing the right leg forward and wrap your left ankle on the outside of your right knee into a seated spinal twist [shown]. Your right arm hooks around your left knee. As you breathe into the posture, twist further to your left. Release and come into boat pose [shown]. Keep your core engaged and hold for 5 breaths.
Repeat spinal twist on the left side and then come into boat pose once again for another 5 breaths.
Seated Forward Bend
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Release both legs straight onto mat. Fold the right leg in for seated forward bend [shown]. Fold your body over your left leg and reach your hands around your left foot. Interlace fingers. Bring your forehead down to touch the knee. Breathe deeper into the pose. Try to straighten your knee without losing forehead to knee contact. Repeat on left side.
Slowly lower onto your back, engaging your abs and straightening your legs. Draw both knees into chest and take a happy baby.