Are you looking for a bit more of a workout on your mat? Short on time but want to build heat and feel a bit of a burn? Feeling a slump and needing to get that energy up quick?
Try these 7 poses for a practice that’s equal parts strength and stretch. No props required.
1. Balasana – Start kneeling, bringing the big toes together and the knees wide. Sink the hips back to the heels. Walk the hands forward and melt down. Pressing the shoulders away from the ears. Hold here breathing in and out through the nose for a moment.
2. Kneeling Plank Push Up – Come up to table top, with the hands out ahead of the shoulders. Melt the hips forward finding a kneeling plank, where shoulders are now roughly over the wrists on an inhale. Exhale to lower down. Inhale to press up. Hold for an inhale. Then press hips back to heels on exhale. Inhale back up and forward. Repeating through 5 or so rounds with the breath.
3. Knee to Nose Plank – Find your way into downward dog. Kick the right leg up behind you. As you exhale, ripple forward to plank, drawing the knee towards the nose. Inhale rocking back to three legged dog. Repeat this for 5 or so rounds.
4. High Lunge Work – The last time you shift forward for the previous exercise, step the foot through between the hands. Push into the feet and lift up. Keeping the back toes tucked. Inhale the arms up overhead. As you exhale, sweep the hands back and tap the knee down. Repeat this 5 or so times. Then bring the hands together at the heart. Inhale, to lift the back foot and tap the left knee to the right one. Exhale to step it back. Do another 5 or so of these.
Work through a vinyasa if you like, and then repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.
5. Forearm Plank Rocks – Bring the forearms down to the mat, and step the feet back. Finding one long line from the crown of the head to the heels. Keeping the hips low. Rock forward, thinking of tapping the nose down between the thumbs. Do 10 or so of these. Then lower the hips and take a sphinx stretch.
6. Pigeon Pose – Press back to table top. Bring the right knee behind the right wrist. Extend the left leg back behind you. Even out the pelvis. Not leaning on the right hip. Melt down to the forearms or forehead.
7. Deer Pose – From pigeon, roll onto the right hips. Bend the left knee, creating two right angles with the legs. Push the left hip back, getting a nice stretch in the left inner thigh.
Repeat 6 and 7 on the other side.
These 7 poses come from a 20 minute morning yoga practice I shared recently on YouTube and my mobile/desktop app.