Yoga is a beautiful practice for slowing down and learning how to relax the body when needed. It has done wonders for teaching me how to manage my personal anxiety and stress. Plus, it has taught me how to breathe – deep, glorious, delicious breaths. However, I also love that yoga has taught me a lot about working up a sweat, tightening my body, and building strength. This yoga sequence is all about working it all with a full body workout.
Through the variation of lunges, we strengthen the legs. The back is strengthened and stretched in deep bends. The arms build up some heat with crow pose, balancing the body weight on the hands. Through it all, we are breathing deeply, holding each posture for three to five long breaths, and focusing on how truly badass we are. Our bodies are capable of so much! Let’s do it.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill
This sequence is going to be an awesome full body yoga workshop.
Extended Child’s Pose
From hands and knees, bring the big toes together and take the knees out as wide as the mat. Sit back onto the heels and walk the hands forward, bringing the forehead down onto the mat. Allow the belly to drop between the thighs and sink into the hips. Reach through the fingertips, but allow the shoulder blades to stay in place.
From tabletop (hands and knees), make sure the shoulders are stacked above the hands and the hips are stacked on top of the knees. On the inhale, move into Cow Pose by arching the tailbone towards the ceiling, lifting the chest forward, and gazing upward with the head. On the exhale, move into Cat Pose by tucking the pelvis underneath, rounding through the spine by drawing the bellybutton upward, and roll the head downward. Repeat back and forth 8-10 times.
Start from standing on your knees, with the knees directly underneath the hips. Bring both hands to the lower back, with the fingertips wrapped forward towards the hips. Pull the shoulder blades together and open the chest towards the ceiling while pressing the front of the thighs and hips forward. Remain in this position if it is enough of a stretch for you, allowing the head to drop back if it feels okay on the neck. Option: Bring one or both hands down to the ankles, continuing to press the front of the legs forward. If you cannot easily breathe in this pose, you are going too far.
From tabletop, bring the knees together and the heels to touch. Sit back onto the heels and rest the hands on the thighs. Keep the back tall by reaching the top of the head up towards the ceiling. If this is uncomfortable, try sitting on a block between the heels.
Stand at the front of the mat with the feet about hip distance apart. Spread the toes wide and press all four corners of the feet into the mat. Activate the legs, tuck the pelvis slightly under, and pull the bellybutton in towards the spine. Arms should be by your sides, palms facing forwards, allowing the shoulder blades to pull down and back, expanding the chest. The top of the head presses up towards the ceiling as the feet press into the floor, lengthening the spine.
From mountain pose, reach the hands up over hand while bending the knees, as if sitting back into a chair. The pelvis should be tucked under, belly drawn in, and the shoulders rolled back. Try to get the thighs parallel with the ground if possible.
Standing Forward Fold
Start standing in tadasana. On an exhale, hinge forward at the waist with a straight back and bring your hand towards the ground. Depending on flexibility, bring your hands to the shins, floor, or yoga block. You can also keep a slight bend in the knee. Allow the hand and shoulder to relax downwards.
Downward Facing Dog
From hand and knees, place the knees directly underneath the hips and the feet hip distance apart. Hands should reach out in front of the shoulder with the fingers spread wide and the palms fully pressing into the floor. Lifting the knees off of the floor, reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling and straighten into the legs. Press the heels towards the floor and look up at the belly button, relaxing the tops of the shoulders.
One Legged Downward Facing Dog
Starting in downward facing dog, reach the right foot off the ground behind you. Energize the leg by pressing through the heel and making sure that weight is evenly distributed between both hands.
From downward facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Staying on your left toes, press into the left heel to straighten and strengthen the back leg. Center your hips forward by pressing your left hip towards the front of the mat. Lift the chest forward and pull the shoulder blades back.
From downward facing dog, step the right foot up in between the hands, making sure that the knee is stacked right over the foot. Step the left foot slightly out to the side and angle the foot at a 45 degree angle to the front of the mat. Center your hips forward by pressing your left hip towards the front of the mat. Reach the hands over head, keeping the shoulders drawn back and the belly pulled in.
Start in mountain pose and step your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down. Turn the right foot towards the front of the mat and turn the left foot out to a ninety degree angle, heels in line. Reach forward into the right hand, extending the torso, and drop the right hand onto the right shin or ankle. Extend the left hand up towards the ceiling. Keep the body in the same plane, as if pressed into an imaginary wall behind you and do not let the chest fall forward.
Start from standing in mountain pose. Step the feet wider than hip distance, turning the toes out and the heels in. Squat down and reach your tailbone as close to the floor as possible. Aim to keep your heels on the floor if possible, walking the feet further out or closer together to accomplish this. For balance, keep hands on the floor in front of you or on block. If balance, bring the hands to prayer at heart center and press the elbows into the knees to open the hips.
From yogi’s squat, bring your palms to the earth, spreading the fingers wide and bring weight into the hands. Lean forward, bringing more of the weight of the body into the palms. Set the knees onto the backs of the arms, tucked up above the elbows. Round your back and pull in your abs, keeping the tailbone tucked under. Look at the ground just in front of your palms. Start to lean your weight completely onto the hands, attempting to lift one foot off the floor, if possible. If you can keep balance, bring both feet off the ground. As you begin to find balance and strength in the pose, simply lift and lower the toes from the ground, experiencing how the pose shoulder feel. Eventually, the toes can lift off and touch together. Continue to spread the fingers and firmly press the hands into the earth, engaging the core to stay balanced.
From a seated position, bring both legs straight out in front of the body, pressed together. The hands should press into the mat down by the side of the hips. The entire body is active in the posture. The crown of the head lifts towards the sky, lengthening the spine. The chest opens as the shoulders pull back and the hands firmly press into the ground. The legs are engaged as you press through the heels, pulling the toes back towards the face. Gaze is directly out in front of you.
Start laying flat on the floor. Bend the knees and bring the feet onto the floor, as close to the tailbone as possible, keeping the knees hip distance apart. Bring the hands onto the mat just about the shoulders, fingertips pointed towards the shoulder tops. On an exhale, push the hips off the floor, actively pushing the tailbone towards the pubis, but keeping the buttock relaxed. Press firmly into the hands, lifting the the back and shoulder blades off the mat. Allow the head to drop and relax. Continue to actively press the feet and hands into the mat at the hips reach up and the chest lifts forward. To come down, lift the head out of the way and bend the arms, bringing the shoulders and back onto the mat. Bring the tailbone back on the mat and gently bring the knees into the chest.
Laying on your back, pull both knees in towards the chest. Use your hand to wrap around or hug the knees to draw them closer towards the chest. Allow the shoulders to remain relaxed onto the floor and the head neutral.
Lying on your back, place your hands on both sides of the hips with the palms down and bend the knees, placing the heels on the mat close to the tailbone. On an exhale, lift the feet off of the floor and bring the knees up towards the chest. Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then the back torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face. Bending your elbows, bring your hands the the lower back to support the body. Raise the pelvis above the shoulders, lifting the feet up towards the ceiling, and continue using the arms and shoulders for support, walking the hands higher up the back as needed. Begin to lower the feet towards the floor behind the head. Option: bind the hands to pull the shoulder blade closer together and increase the stretch in the neck and shoulders.
Don’t skip this one! This may not seem like it, but it is the most difficult yoga pose that you can accomplish. Laying flat on your back, bring the arms to your side with the palms up, allowing the shoulders to roll back. Allow the toes to fall out to the side and tuck the chin in slightly to make sure the back of the neck is straight. Relax the body as much as you can and rest here for 3-5 minutes.
Ready to work up a sweat with this full body workout? Keep this routine nearby you by printing out this one page PDF.
Questions about the routine or how to get a workout with yoga? Comment below and let’s keep the conversation going!