Try This At Home Yoga Routine
Ever tried at home yoga? Ready to change your fitness routine and try something new? Try this at home yoga routine to help increase your flexibility, balance, strength, and improve your overall health! It doesn’t get much better than that, right?
An at home yoga routine at its finest
We live in a fast-paced, over-stimulated world. And by nature, human beings are creatures of habit. Waking up and going into autopilot – just to fit it all in, get it done, and move to the next – is the norm. This applies to our work, our relationships, and unfortunately, our bodies.
This is a huge miss! Missing or not listening to our bodies is a recipe for disaster.
The body is incredibly intelligent, and it’s full of data. When we strengthen the connection between body and mind we become more aware of and receptive to the body’s feedback. This is what yoga does.
Through movement, the practice requires us to slow down and pay attention. Drawing awareness to our thoughts and the physical sensations in our bodies counters the “autopilot cycle,” and opens us up to greater wellbeing.
So how do you get started? Simple! Here are 3 mini-sequences you can begin practicing today which make for a great at home yoga routine. The poses are broken down into 3 categories: Strength, Balance and Flexibility.
The sequences are meant to be done together and in that order. However some yoga is better than no yoga, so if you’re short on time work on 1 or 2 sequences and finish the rest later, at least do a few of these at home yoga poses when you can!
Be sure to do both sides and take 6-8 full deep breaths in each pose.
1. High Lunge
Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens quadriceps and glutes; stretches hip flexors.
Getting into the Pose:
- Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips.
- Take a giant step back with your left leg and deeply bend into the right knee.
- Drawing your thigh parallel to the floor, scissor hug your legs and stack your left heel over your left big toe.
- Extend your arms skyward.
2. Warrior 2
Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens quadriceps and glutes; stretches inner thigh.
Getting into the Pose from High Lunge:
- Rotate your back foot 90 degrees and bring your heel to the floor so that the outside edge of your back foot is parallel to the short side of your yoga mat
- Open your arms to the horizon and gaze at your right hand.
Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens upper body and core muscles.
Getting into the Pose from Warrior 2:
- Cartwheel your hands to the floor.
- Hands frame right foot.
- Step the right foot back to meet the left (option to release your knees to the floor for support).
Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens shoulders, back and core muscles; opens shoulders and hamstrings.
Getting into the pose from Plank:
- Release your forearms to the floor. Press your palms into the ground and keep your forearms parallel.
- Gaze between your thumbs and use core strength to you walk your toes toward your elbows.
5. Locust Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens the posterior chain; opens chest and shoulder muscles.
Getting into the pose from Dolphin:
- Walk your feet back out to forearm plank and release onto your belly.
- Bring your neck into a neutral position, chin on floor, and extend your arms long by your sides, palms face down.
- Lift your legs, chest and arms off the ground.
Balancing postures require a tremendous amount of focus while continuing to challenge and build strength in the lower body. They also highlight any areas of weakness in the smaller, stabilizing muscle groups.
This standing at home yoga sequence builds on the strength sequence, challenging balance while continuing to stretch and strengthen the quadriceps, hip flexor, inner thigh and glute muscles. All balancing poses begin in Mountain pose.
1. Mountain Pose
Target Muscle Groups: Your entire body!
Getting into Mountain:
- Stand firm with your feet hip width apart. Press the balls of your feet and heels into the ground, and draw you knee caps up by engaging your thigh muscles.
- Lengthen your tailbone toward the ground, draw the belly button and roll your shoulders down and back.
- Draw your hands to heart center and fix your gaze on a non-moving spot in front of you.
Target Muscles Group: Inner Thigh
Getting into Tree:
- Rock your weight into the left leg and externally rotate your right leg, bending the knee slightly and resting the ball of your foot on the floor.
- Lift your right leg and place the sole of your right foot on your calf or inner thigh (anywhere on the standing leg except the knee joint).
3. Figure 4
Target Muscle Group: Deep 6 Rotators
Getting into Figure 4:
- Rock your weight into the left leg and lift your right knee, thigh parallel to the floor.
- Externally rotate your right leg and place the outer right ankle just above the left knee.
- Deeply bend the left leg.
4. Standing Quad Stretch / Dancer
Target Muscle Groups: Quadriceps, hip flexors, chest and abdomen.
Getting into Standing Quad Stretch:
- Rock your weight into the left leg and bend your right knee, heel to glute.
- Catch your right foot with your right hand.
- Stay here or progress to Dancer by kicking your right foot into your right hand.
The best time to work on flexibility is at the end of your workout, this is when muscles are warm and supple. The 4 at home yoga postures below align the spine and passively open and lengthen hamstring, shoulder, and inner thigh muscles.
1. Standing Forward Fold:
Target Muscle Groups: Releases the spine and stretches your hamstrings.
Getting into Standing Forward Fold:
- From Mountain pose, hinge from the hips and bend forward.
- Find a soft bend in your knees, allow the head to hang heavy and reach for opposite elbows.
- Interlace your fingers behind your back to add a shoulder and chest stretch.
2. Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold
Target Muscle Groups: Stretches the inner thighs and groin.
Getting into Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold:
- Find a comfortable seat on the floor.
- Extend and straddle your legs. Feel free to sit on a block or towel for support.
- Lengthen your spine and walk your hands forward, drawing your chest toward the ground.
3. Revolve Head to Knee Pose
Target Muscle Groups: Stretches the hips, hamstrings, inner thigh and side body.
Getting into Revolve Head to Knee from Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold:
- Sitting tall, bend the left leg and connect the sole of your left foot to your right inner thigh.
- Reach your left arm up and place your right hand or forearm to the inside of your right leg.
- Find length in your waste and side bend to the right. Be sure to keep your left sitz bone grounded.
4. Seated Spinal Twist
Target Muscle Groups: Stretches the spine, chest and outer hips.
Getting into Seated Spinal Twist from Revolve Head to Knee:
- Rise back to a seated position and step your left leg over the right.
- Place your left hand at the base of your spine like a kickstand.
- Twist from the base of your spine toward your left knee, hooking your right elbow around or in front of the left knee.
- Leave the right leg long, or bend the knee to deepen the outer hip stretch.
The benefits of an at home yoga routine are many: increased strength, flexibility and balance, reduced stress, elevated mood, and sharpened focus. Do the above sequences 3 times per week for 1 month and notice how your body feels. You may also notice subtle shifts in other areas of life. Perhaps you sleep better, or are more patience at work.
People who consistently practice at home yoga or yoga anywhere have a greater appreciation for their physical well-being and tend to make healthier decisions, including food choices.
Whatever you love to do – running, golf, weight training, or team sports – will benefit from the increased endurance, balance, and flexibility of an at home yoga routine.
Mentally challenging as it is physical, yoga is a key component to any fitness regimen.
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