Many women would love to be able to fit in a yoga class on their lunch break or enjoy a leisurely morning practice at the nearest studio, but not all of us can manage to squeeze a full practice into our busy schedules. If this sounds like you, we’ve got you covered!
Whether you’re squeezing this in first thing in the morning before the kids wake up, closing your door for a little movement on your break at work, or fitting it in before crashing into bed at night, this mini yoga sequence is designed to offer you a little bit of everything in a little bit of time. After all, some yoga is always better than no yoga!
From standing, reach your arms over your head and interlace your fingers, then turn your hands inside out so your palms turn upward. With your feet hip distance apart, stretch your arms over to one side, take a breath as you press up through your palms and then switch sides.
Soften your knees until they are slightly bent and fold your torso down over your legs (avoid the tendency to pull yourself down over locked-straight legs). Hold your elbows and allow the head, neck and shoulders to release. Take a few breaths here.
With your feet and knees hip-distance apart, sit your hips down as if you were in a chair, and float your arms up towards your ears, lifting the chest and turning your gaze upwards. Press your feet into the floor and take 10 breaths.
A) Step one foot way back down the mat and lower that knee to the floor, keeping your front knee bent over the ankle. Lift your arms up and work to feel your ribs and hip bones drawing towards one another, engaging your core without overly tucking under your tailbone. Take 10 breaths.
B) Step back to plank pose, your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your legs straight back, feet hip distance apart. If you feel your hips pulling towards the floor, place your knees down and keep your focus on the strength of the shoulders and upper back. Hold for 10 breaths, and then bring your other foot forward to lunge on the second side.
Stand on your left leg and hold your right knee bent in front of your torso. Open your right knee to the side and press down into your left leg for stability. Take the right foot and place it lightly upon the upper/inner left thigh, or down to the calf if that’s more comfortable for you. Fix your gaze on the floor ahead of you to help with balance and lift your arms up like branches. Hold for 10 breaths, then release and switch sides.
Lay on your back with your knees hip distance apart, and your feet beneath your knees, your arms relaxed at your sides. On your inhalation, press down into your feet and float your hips up until the creases at the fronts of your thighs smooth out. If you feel pressure in your low back, lower your hips slightly and find more “rib-to-hip-bone” energy to create a deeper core engagement. Hold for 10 breaths and then hug your knees to your chest.
On your back with bent knees, move your hips over to the right slightly, and then fold your legs to the left. Lay open your arms like wings, out from your shoulders, and turn your gaze to the right. Take 5 breaths here, and then come back to center. Move your hips to the left, turn your knees to the right and take 5 breaths on the other side.
Sit comfortably on your mat, a folded blanket or even a chair. If you are okay sitting cross-legged, set yourself up there. Rest your hands lightly on your thighs, lengthen your spine, and close your eyes. Notice the breath moving in and out of the body without trying to regulate it. Follow the breath in and out for 10 cycles.
Finding even the smallest pocket of time for some self-care and movement can be a great way to keep your body and mind healthy and strong. Tuck this micro practice into your day and feel how even a little yoga can serve you in big ways!