Yoga is one of the ancient forms of movement, focusing on a combination of strength, flexibility and breathwork.
Although yoga may be primarily looked at as a form of movement that improves flexibility, many of the postures and positions require a great deal of core strength.
This 24-minute workout revolves around training the core through moves performed in yoga practices. Core training performed with moves taken from yoga are very functional because they will incorporate the entire body to work and stabilize together, with the core being a strong anchor.
- Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides.
- Sweep your arms up to the sky, then sweep your arms down by your sides as you bring your chest toward your knees. Bring your hands down to the floor as you soften your knees.
- Bring your gaze slightly forward for a halfway lift. Forward-fold again, then gaze at the top of your mat as you either hop or step back into a high-plank position.
- Drop your hips down as you lift your chest and eyes toward the ceiling into Upward-Facing Dog, taking an inhale in.
- Then lift your hips up to the sky straightening your legs as you bring your chest toward your feet in Downward-Facing Dog, taking an exhale out.
- Bend your knees and step or hop your feet up toward your hands. Soften your knees as you gaze forward, then extend your legs as you draw your chest in toward your knees.
- From there, swan-dive your arms up to the sky as you bring your hands together in a prayer position standing upright.
- Repeat sequence by sweeping your arms up to the sky. Repeat for two minutes, followed by 30 seconds of rest.
- Begin in a tabletop position, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips, with a flat back.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and round your back, sending your spine toward the ceiling and your head down, much like a cat stretching.
- Keeping your abs engaged, arch your back, pressing your ribs toward the floor and your tailbone to the ceiling, and lift your head while holding in your abdominal muscles.
- Repeat, alternating between Cat and Cow.
- Continue this rounding and arching sequence for 30 total seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest as you set up for exercise 1b.
- Stack your hands on top of your wrists and extend your legs straight back.
- Actively engage the muscles in your legs as you maintain a long spine, driving your heels toward the ground and lengthening through the crown of your head.
- Hold this posture for 30 seconds and then rest 30 seconds as you set up for exercise 1c.
- Come onto your side. Press one hand into the ground directly under your shoulder, lifting your opposite arm up to the sky. Your shoulders should be stacked, and you can either stack or stagger your feet.
- Press your top hip toward the ceiling, and try to gaze toward your top hand as you maintain proper alignment in your spine. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Immediately repeat on other side and then rest 60 seconds, setting yourself back up for exercise 1a.
- Start seated on the ground. Extend your legs straight out and up in the air to about the level of your chest, pointing your toes away for your body.
- Slightly lean back with your torso as you reach your hands either toward your legs (basic) or over your head (advanced). As a regression, you can bend your knees, if needed.
- Try not to rock backward or forward, holding this position for 30 seconds, and then rest 30 seconds.
- Start on your forearms with your hands parallel to one another in front of you, legs straight back into a basic Dolphin Plank Pose.
- You can hold this position if appropriate, maintaining a straight line from the top of your head down through your spine and into your heels. As a progression, you can lift your hips as high to the sky as possible, bringing your chest toward your feet as you actively press your forearms into the ground.
- After an exhalation at this top position, bring your hips back down to a level Plank Pose and continue bringing your hips up and down for 30 total seconds.
- Rest 30 seconds as you set yourself back up for exercise 2a.
- Lie down flat on your back with your legs straight out in front of you and your arms by your sides with your palms facing the ceiling.
- Close your eyes and completely relax your body, letting your feet externally rotate open and feeling a long space between your shoulders and ears.
- Take deep, long breaths, in through your nose and out through your month.
Loved this yoga workout? Find out how a regular yoga practice can up your fitness game.
Photo credit: rishikesh yogpeeth, Unsplash; Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Model: Cassandra Nelson, 24 Hour Fitness