It’s been one of those days–you missed your morning workout, and you had every intention of making it up with a long walk at lunchtime, but by the time you got done with your late-morning conference call, lunchtime was long gone. Now you’re hungry and cranky, and a fog has settled into that space where your brain used to be. You need an energy boost.
But before you find yourself following that sweet siren song of the second floor soda machine…stop, and take a look at your watch.
Got 15 minutes? Then you’re in luck because 15 minutes is all you need to complete the following yoga sequence, which will raise your heart rate, work your muscles and tap into that vast reservoir of power that lies in your core – just waiting to be awakened for a quick energy boost. The sequence is divided into three “modules”, which can be practiced individually or together (so really, even if you’ve got only five minutes, you can do something good for yourself):
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The first module consists of five breath-synchronized actions, performed rapidly and repetitively for one minute each:
1. Seated Cat-Cow: Sit cross-legged on the floor, hands on shins or knees. With each inhale, flex your chest forward. With each exhale, pull your abdominal muscles back toward your spine.
2. Seated Belly Dancer: Move hands to kneecaps. Roll the waist around in a circle for one minute, inhaling as the chest moves forward, exhaling as the abdomen draws back. Repeat in other direction.
3. Kneeling Cat-Cow: Same as (1), but on hands and knees.
4. Frog Squats: From hands and knees, slide into a squat with the hands about a foot in front of the feet, the heels together and the buttocks close by the heels. With each exhale, straighten the legs. With each inhale return to the original position.
The second module consists of Sun Salutations repeated for a period of five minutes. Begin and end each one standing, arms at sides.
1. Inhale – sweep arms overhead.
2. Exhale – hands come over head down towards the floor floor.
3. Inhale – raise chin and chest.
4. Exhale – jump the feet back for Chaturanga Dandasana.
5. Inhale – into Upward Dog.
6. Exhale – into Downward Dog.
7. Inhale – jump feet to hands.
8. Exhale – hands still on floor, straighten the legs.
9. Inhale – sweep arms overhead.
The third module consists of four sequences, each starting with the first six steps of the Sun Salutation. From Downward Dog:
1. Lunge Sequence: Lunge the right foot forward and raise your arms up as you inhale. Immediately exhale back to Downward Dog. Repeat on left. Continue with Steps 7-9.
2. Locust Sequence: Lower belly to floor. Extend arms behind you on floor, palms up. On an inhale, lift everything except for hands. Hold for five breaths, then return to Downward Dog and continue with Steps 7-9.
3. Bow Sequence: Lower belly to floor, bend knees, grab the outsides of the ankles with hands. Inhale into Bow Pose and hold for five breaths.
4. Twisting Sequence: Jump the feet to the hands, and sit down in a cross-legged position. Gently twist spine first in one direction, then the other. Sit quietly as you take 10 breaths, then fold over the legs to complete your practice.
Now go forth with the rest of your day!
Photo Credit: Tom Mooring