Tone Up with These Ten Yoga Poses
BY JESSICA HETHERINGTON
Hi friends! I’ve put together 10 poses in this yoga routine for all levels and it will only take you 5 minutes. This routine is a full body strengthening and toning routine that will leave you feeling energized but more calm and collected when finished. All you need is a comfortable place on the ground, clothes you can move in and your breath. What I would like you to focus on, is how you breath. Take deep breaths in through your nose then out through your mouth. Each time you breath like this, your body will fill with oxygen letting your body loosen up. Don’t worry so much about how the pose looks, concentrate on your breath then everything else will flow. Each pose, take at least three big breaths before you move into the next. Move how it feels good to you, do not worry about doing it perfect or looking perfect. Move into your body, what feels nice. Each time you practice, you will get better. Let’s get started!
1. Plank Pose
Start out in your plank pose. Try to engage your core, slightly drawing your navel to your spine. Buns level, not too high or too low from the ground, hands shoulder width apart and shoulders over hands. I want you to hold this for one minute or ten deep breaths. If it feels nice to sway a little from side to side, do that.
2. Side Plank
From your plank pose, slowly start to shift your weight into your right hand, lifting your left arm up towards the sky, square off your hips so they are parallel with your legs, engage your core. Now, take three deep breaths. You can keep your arm straight up or for a bit more of a stretch through your side reach that arm over your head (photo below). Once you are done with your breaths on this side, slowly come back to center plank. Repeat on the other side, start shifting over to your left side.
3. Up Dog / Mermaid Pose
Once you have finished both sides of your side planks, come back to your plank. Start to lower your hips towards the ground, bending your elbows straight back. Once your hips touch the ground, press your palms into the ground and press your upper body up, like a mermaid would look. Take three deep breaths here.
4. Childs Pose
Once you’re done with your up dog, come onto all fours then lower yourself to sit back on your heels. Open your knees up and shoulders to relax and settle into the ground. If you feel uncomfortable you can always rest on your elbows as well. Take three deep breaths, each time, relaxing closer into your stretch.
5. Meditation Pose
From child’s pose, slowly start sitting up by walking your hands towards your hips till you are sitting up on your heels. Take a big breath, sit up off your heels so you’re just on your knees, reaching arms up towards the sky, big inhale here. Once your hands reach the top, place your palms together coming to sit back into your heels. Place your hands in front of your chest, like in prayer. Now take three deep breaths. In through nose out through your mouth.
6. Down Dog
From prayer pose, go onto all fours. Lift your hips, straighten your arms and press back to your down dog. Three deep breaths here. If it feels nice to keep a bend in your knees then that’s okay, your hamstrings can tend to feel tight in this pose. Then, slowly walk your feet up towards your hands until you are in your forward fold.
7. Forward Fold
Once you are in your forward fold, hang like a rag doll. If it feels better to put a slight bend in your knees do that. Hang here and take your three breaths. If it feels nice to sway from side to side or clasp both elbows, do it. Do what feels good to you. Then slowly start to roll up to stand, one vertebrate at a time. Once your head gets to the top, slowly start to reach your arms out to the side taking a deep breath, reaching your arms out towards the sky.
8. Sun Salutations
From standing, make sure your feet are should width apart, slowly start to fall forward, bend forward into your forward fold. Then take a big inhale while unrolling back up to stand, reach arms out and up towards the sky. Once you get to the top fall forward into your fold again. This is your sun salutation. Do 5 to 10 of these taking nice easy deep breaths each time.
9. Chair Pose
Once you’re done with your sun salutations, while standing, settle into a chair pose making sure your feet are still shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and sit back, reaching your arms up and chest drawing forward. Try not to let knees jut out past feet, try to keep knees over feet, keeping your weight back. Stay here for ten breaths or if you want you can lower and lift. Come up to stand then settle back into chair, each time sinking lower. When done, come up to stand.
10. Stansing Meditation Pose
Reach arms up towards the sky, once your palms get to the top, place them together in prayer then slowly lower them down to the center of your chest. Close your eyes, take three deep breaths and really take your time here. Slowly float your eyes open, you’re done!!!
I hope you enjoy and feel better afterwards. The goal is to feel good, energized but calm. Let me know how you feel and if you have any questions. This routine is for all levels but I will be sharing more routines that work on more advanced poses like dancer, shown below. It’s such a fun, empowering pose and I want to teach you how to do it!