A yoga session is a great way to unwind after a stressful day. But personal trainer Tanya Colucci of Synergy Training Solutions knows it can be harder to motivate yourself to get to the yoga studio as the weather cools, so she created a quick and simple at-home routine perfect for after a long day of work or even in the morning. So drag out your yoga mat, clear a space in the living room, and let the tension melt away. Namaste.
How to Perform the Workout
2 x 12 to 15 reps of hip bridges: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Draw in your navel, squeeze your glutes, and push through your heels to bring your pelvis up toward the ceiling.
10 reps of high plank to down dog: Move from a high plank to down dog, focusing on inhaling
to high plank and exhaling to down dog.
3 to 5 reps each side of warrior two pose: Begin in down dog and bring your right foot forward between your palms (this is warrior one pose). Extend your arms out to a T position and rotate your torso to the left for warrior two pose. Your right thigh should be parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for ten breaths. Move from plank position to pushup position to down dog and back to warrior two on the opposite leg. Switch sides.
2 x 12 reps of lunge and twists: Extend arms out with fingers interlaced. Lunge your left leg forward and twist your torso and arms to the left side. Switch legs and repeat.
2 x 12 reps of shoulder blade squeezes: Lie on your stomach, arms by your side, with palms facing down. Squeeze your shoulders blades together and lift your shoulders while keeping your core engaged and glutes and thighs activated. Hold the position for three seconds and repeat.
Cool down: Colucci recommends a series of cool-down stretches such as the butterfly stretch and hamstring stretch with a yoga strap (a belt works, too). End with the relaxation pose by lying on your back with legs lifted directly against a wall for 10 to 20 seconds.
How to Cater the Workout to You
For each exercise, Colucci has modifications for those looking either for a greater challenge or to scale it back a notch. For example, to make the planks more difficult, you can perform single-leg planks; to make them easier, you can do them on your knees. Try doing lunges with dumbbells, or complete a short walk-run interval before the workout for some added calorie burn. You can always alter the number of sets or reps you complete with each exercise to meet your fitness level.
Colucci calls this workout a total-body “postural strength activation” that increases flexibility, lower-body strength, and mind-to-body connection. After several weeks of burpee-, pushup-, and plyometrics-based workouts, this yoga routine was a much-welcomed reprieve. You’ll still feel a good burn in your core and lower body muscles, but the emphasis on breathing will make for a relaxing 15-minute workout.