While yoga can be great for soothing and slowing down, it can also be a great way to get the heart rate up. And it doesn’t take long.
Use these 7 poses in the morning to strengthen and tone your muscles and get a boost of energy right off the jump.
- Butterfly Abs – Lay down on the floor, bring the soles of the feet together and drop the knees out to the sides. Extend your arms up overhead. Hold here for a moment to enjoy the stretch. Then create a bit of space between the feet, and interlace the hands behind the head. Engage your core. Inhale to hold. Then exhale to curl the head and shoulders off the mat. Inhale to bring the knees together, exhale to open the knees and lower down. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
2. Curl Up with Leg Extension – Float both feet up, bringing the shins parallel to the mat. Align the knees directly over the hips. Feel the abdominals engage here. Inhale to lift your head and shoulders off of the mat. Hold. Inhale to extend right leg to hover a few inches off of the mat. Exhale to bring the right knee in. Inhale to extend the left leg out. Repeat twice on each side, then lower down.
3. Bridge – Lower the arms down to your sides. Bring your feet in. Push into the heels and lift up the hips. Hug the inner thighs. Push into the big toes. Keep hips levels while you hold. Lower down inch by inch. Take a figure four variation, crossing the right ankle over the left thigh. Push the right knee away. Then lift back up, still keeping hips level. Lower down slowly.
4. Half Happy Baby – For a mid session stretch, grab hold of the right foot with the right hand. Bring the elbow inside of the right leg. Stack the right heel over the right knee. Push the right thigh out, while simultaneously dragging the right knee down. Your left knee can flop out as a counter weight.
Repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.
5. Side Plank – Come to downward dog, then shift weight forward into plank with shoulders over wrists. Roll to the outer edge of the right foot. Maybe stacking the feet or leaving them slightly staggered for balance. Push strong into the right hand and reach the left one up to the sky. Hug in through the inner thighs. Everything should be facing the side, hips and shoulders stacked. Repeat to the second side.
6. Chair Pose – Come to a standing forward fold at the front of the mat. Bring the big toes together and take the heels slightly apart. Bend the knees. Have the fingertips down at the sides of the feet. Keep the hips at this height as you lift the chest and arms up. Hold for several rounds of breath, feeling the fire build.
7. Boat Pose – Lower the hips down to come to a seat. Then lift the legs up. You can hold the back of the thighs, you can keep legs bent or extended. Eliminate the rounding in your back, rooting through sit bones and opening the chest. Hold for a few breaths. Try a wide legged variation, grabbing the big toes and extending the legs out to the sides.
These 7 poses comes from a 20 minute power yoga class over on my YouTube channel. Check it out below.