Improve muscle tone and flexibility with this fast but efficient feel-good yoga flow
Pressed for time but still want to do something beneficial for your body? This easy to follow, yoga-inspired sequence is the perfect pick-me-up—and you can do it in just 10 minutes, in the comfort of your own home. With a focus on total-body strengthening, balance and flexibility, this time-efficient routine is a great gym workout alternative.
How it works: Perform each pair of poses in order, holding each pose for 3-5 breaths before repeating the entire sequence on the opposite side.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Cat-Cow Pose
Start in a table top position with wrists below shoulders and knees below hips. Inhale, releasing belly towards mat, tilting tailbone and chin upward toward ceiling for cow pose.
Exhale and round back high, guiding chin toward chest for cat pose. Continue alternating between poses, moving with breath.
2. Low Lunge to Gentle Twist
From table top position, step right foot between hands, keeping left knee and shin on mat, allowing weight to shift forward slightly to stretch left hip flexors.
Place left hand on mat directly inside of right foot and extend right arm toward ceiling, rotating with upper back into a gentle twist.
3. Revolved Lunge to Exalted Warrior Variation
From a twisted low lunge position, tuck left toes under and lift left knee and shin off mat, balancing on ball of left foot in a high lunge position.
Rise up, rotating torso to right side of mat, reaching right arm back and left arm forward in opposition.
4. Warrior II to Revolved Triangle
Start in crescent lunge variation with feet 3-4 feet apart. Plant back foot, turning left toes out at slightly less than a 90-degree angle while maintaining a lunge in front right leg. Simultaneously rotate torso open to left side of mat for warrior II, outstretching arms in opposition toward front and back edges of mat with palms facing floor. Keep shoulders stacked over hips while gently turning head to gaze over right fingertips.
Straighten right leg and step left foot in slightly, rotating torso to the right. Release left hand to inside of left foot and reach right arm toward ceiling for reverse triangle pose.
5. Plank to Four-Limbed Staff
Square hips and shoulders to mat, with both hands on the floor. Step right foot back in line with left coming into a plank position.
Keeping core engaged, shift forward slightly and bend elbows, keeping them close to body as you lower halfway down until upper arms are parallel with mat for four-limbed staff pose.
6. Upward Facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog
From a four-limbed staff pose, inhale, press palms and tops of feet into floor while extending arms, and lift thighs off floor. Allow hips to soften slightly toward mat while at the same time lifting through chest.
Exhale, tucking toes under and extending legs, drawing hips and tailbone toward ceiling to create an inverted V shape with the body. Continue to allow head and neck to remain positioned between the upper arms, with feet hip-width apart and spine elongated in downward facing dog.
7. Forward Fold to Garland Pose
From downward facing dog, step feet to hands, hinging at hips as torso draws towards thighs for forward fold.
Step feet out wider than hip-width apart, drawing toes out and heels in. Slowly lower into a low squat position for garland pose with palms at heart-center and chest lifted.
8. Chair Pose to Airplane
From a forward fold with feet together, hinge hips and bent knees, lowering to a narrow stance squat. Simultaneously extend both arms upward for chair pose, maintaining a slight pelvic tilt to keep core engaged.
With control, shift weight into right foot, extending left leg back until parallel with the floor. Simultaneously, reach both arms back with palms facing one another, coming into airplane pose.
9. Crescent Lunge Variation to Lizard Pose
From airplane pose, bend right knee and softly connect left toes to the mat, transitioning into a high crescent lunge variation, while keeping arms outstretched toward back edge of mat.
Release left knee, shin, and top of foot to mat and draw both hands to inside of right foot. Draw right foot up and out toward upper right corner of the mat and release forearms to floor for lizard pose, keeping hips and shoulders squared to mat.