Lets face it, many of us run on tight schedules and have long days at work. We prioritize sleep and unwinding in front of the TV instead of heading out to a gym, the track, or yoga studio when we have any spare time.
But on the flip-side, you may also feel incomplete and guilt-ridden without some physical exercise. For those who wish to be high on endorphins (happy hormones), and look fit and feel fabulous, try following this concise yet effective yoga routine for a full-body workout in less than 20 minutes.
Step 1: Stand with your feet together, heels slightly apart.
Step 2: Keep your legs contracted, spine erect, shoulders rolled back, arms relaxed by your sides, palms facing forward.
Step 3: Make sure the weight is evenly distributed on both feet, and they are planted firmly.
Step 4: Now engage your abs and thighs.
Step 5: Close your eyes. Bring your hands in a namaskar position at the center of your chest.
Step 6: Hold for 3 deep breaths, in and out through your nose. Relax.
2. Ardha Chandrasana, Or Half Moon Pose
Step 1: Stand with your feet together, heels and toes touching.
Step 2: Bring your arms up over your head, palms together.
Step 3: Interlock your fingers, release your index fingers, and keep your thumbs crossed.
Step 4: Lengthen your spine, hips slightly pushed forward, upper body back, weight in the heels, and keep your abs, thighs, and butt tight.
Step 5: Slowly bend your body to the right without bending the elbow or knees.
Step 6: Through your nose, keep your breathing even and deep.
Step 7: Now, make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned properly. Your hips and shoulders should be in one line, effectively opening the groin and chest.
Step 8: Hold for 5 breaths. Come back to the center.
Step 9: Repeat on the left side and rest. Do one more set.
3. Virabhadrasana, Or Warrior Two Pose
Step 1: Step the right foot to the right, maintaining 4 feet distance between your feet.
Step 2: Keep your arms up, contracted and parallel to the floor, opening up your chest.
Step 3: Turn your right foot to the right and slightly angle your left foot inward.
Step 4: Bend your right knee to 90 degrees, keeping the knees in line with your toes.
Step 5: Turn your head and gaze at your right middle finger.
Step 6: Hold for 5 breaths, exit, and repeat on the other side.
4. Adho Mukha Svanasana, Or Downward Dog Pose
Step 1: Get on all fours.
Step 2: Place your palms on the ground firmly as you walk your feet back, keeping your hips up in the air.
Step 3: Make sure your feet are 4-6 inches apart.
Step 4: Try to press the heels down to the floor.
Step 5: Keep your eye gaze on your navel.
Step 6: Hold for 5 counts (long deep inhales and exhales through your nose with the focus on the throat), exit, and repeat.
5. Bhujangasana, Or Cobra Pose
Step 1: Lie down on your stomach, keep your chin out and neck flat on the floor.
Step 2: Place your hands underneath your shoulders, very close to your chest.
Step 3: Make sure your fingers are not parted and the tops of your fingers stay in line with the top of your shoulders.
Step 4: Apply equal pressure on both hands.
Step 5: Squeeze your elbows down towards your hips.
Step 6: Make sure you squeeze your legs and hips together, contracting every muscle from your glutes down to your feet.
Step 7: Look up towards the ceiling and lift your upper body using your lower back strength.
Step 8: Come up half way, only until your belly button touches the floor.
Step 9: Be sure to lift your chest, push your shoulders down and constantly keep your gaze up.
Step 10: Hold for 10 counts and slowly relax.
Step 11: Repeat,
Step 1: Lie down on your back, keep your legs and feet together.
Step 2: Keep your arms relaxed at the sides of your body.
Step 3: Now place your hands under your hips, palms facing down.
Step 4: Bring in the elbows as close together as you can.
Step 5: Inhale, lift your head and chest up towards the sky.
Step 6: Keep the chest up as you lower your head and place the crown of the head to the floor.
Step 7: Apply weight on the elbows firmly (no weight on the head) as you lift the chest up higher, pressing the legs firmly against the floor.
Step 8: Breath in and out through your nose deeply. Hold for 10 breaths.
Step 9: Exit the pose gently by first lifting the head, next lower the chest and head to the floor, place your arms by your sides and relax.
7. Pawanmuktasana, Or Wind Removing Pose
Step 1: Lie down on your back.
Step 2: Lift your right leg up, bend the right knee, interlock your fingers and place them 2 inches below your knee.
Step 3: Now press your right knee down towards your right shoulder avoiding your rib cage.
Step 4: Make sure your left leg is relaxed on the floor and that the calf muscle is touching the floor. If the calf muscle is not touching the floor, flex your left foot.
Step 5: Keep your chin down, gluing it to your chest (throat lock/jalandhara bandha) and make sure the neck is flat on the floor.
Step 6: Hold for 5 breaths, release, and repeat on the other side.
8. Shavasana, Or Dead Body Pose
Step 1: Lie down on your back.
Step 2: Keep your heels together and allow your feet to fall flat open.
Step 3: Arms by your sides, palms facing up towards the sky.
Step 4: Close your eyes and relax.
While in the beginning you’ll need this guide as reference, once you remember the sequence and get familiar with the steps, this 20-minute yoga routine, and a mat are enough to supercharge you, tone your body, and help you lose some weight, too.
PS: Here’s your one-stop guide to Yoga Asanas For Weight Loss.
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