Bite-Sized Yoga in a Song

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Bite-Sized Yoga in a Song

November 20, 2012, 11:50AM

Yoga, yoga everywhere, but not an hour and a half to spare? You don’t need me to tell you how good it would be for you to work some yoga into your routine. Just a few of the research-validated benefits of yoga include greater flexibility, improved strength, and an overall sense of calm and well-being that can emerge even after a few minutes of practice. But how are you supposed to fit it into an already seam-busting schedule? Try these three simple, bite-sized yoga sessions you can complete in less than 5 minutes apiece. Each series fits into the length of a accompanying song and offers its own unique theme and benefits. 

Here Comes the Sun – Phil Keaggy (3:11)

Theme: New Beginnings

Whether you’re starting a new chapter in your life or just starting a new day, move through this flow to energize and awaken your body.

Poses:

  • Stand steady in Mountain pose, quietly for 1 minute, eyes closed, observing your breathing.
  • Start the music and inhale your arms over head, palms come together. Stretch your heart toward the sky, look up.
  • Exhale and fold forward to touch your shins or the floor.
  • Inhale, bend your knees and step one foot back into a low lunge.
    • Deepen this stretch for the front of the hip by placing your back knee down and resting your hand on the front knee.
  • Exhale, step your front foot back, raise your hips, shift the backs of your thighs to the back of the room and settle both heels toward the floor into Downward-facing Dog.
  • Inhale as you hinge forward and straighten your body out into Plank pose, (the top of a push up).
  • Exhale, bend your elbows close to your sides and slowly lower your body to the ground.
  • Inhale and gently press up into Cobra pose, lifting your heart up and forward.
  • Exhale into Downward-facing Dog.
  • Inhale and step the same foot forward into a low lunge.
  • Exhale stepping your back foot to meet your front foot and fold forward with hands on your shins or the floor.
  • Inhale and come to standing, keeping your torso lengthened through the movement. Reach your arms over head and stretch your heart toward the sky. Bring your palms together, look up.
  • Exhale your arms back down to your sides and repeat the sequence using the opposite foot. Continue alternating sides for the length of the song.

People Should Smile More  - Newton Faulkner (3:29)

Theme: Positivity

Celebrate all the ways you are able to move your body. Enjoy breathing, stretching and twisting as you smile through the playful elements of this stimulating sequence.

Poses:

  • Standing tall, inhale to raise your arms above your head. Looking up, exhale your arms back down to your sides. Do this 10 times, moving with energy.
  • Start the music, step feet wide, knees bent, tailbone pointing to the floor and core engaged.
  • Twist torso from right to left letting arms hang naturally. Keep your hips and knees facing forward.
  • Reach one arm up and over in a Side Bend, alternating right and left sides in a fluid motion.
  • Circle your arms in a backstroke motion, alternating right and left sides.
  • Place your hands on your hips and roll your hips in a circle to the right several times, then to the left.
  • Clasp your hands together behind you, keeping the heels of your hands together. Roll shoulders back to open chest and lift heart toward the sky. Hold for a long, deep breath.
  • Inhale your arms up overhead, keeping knees bent, fold forward grabbing your elbows and gently rock side to side.
  • Place your right hand on the floor, lunge to your left twisting your torso to the left and raising your left arm to the sky. Hold for a long deep breath, and repeat on the other side.
  • With knees bent, place hands on thighs and drop right shoulder in toward left inner thigh, repeat on left side.
  • Take a big breath in to come to standing. Open your chest with bent elbows, drawing your shoulder blades down your back.
  • Repeat the sequence for the length of the song.

I Won’t Let You Down – Alex Clare (4:08)

Theme: Balance

Find balance both physically and mentally in this sequence. Focus on keeping your thoughts steady, breathing consistent and keeping your core stable. Trust that your body will not let you down.

  • Stand steady in Mountain pose, quietly for 1 minute, eyes closed, observing your breathing.
  • Start the music. With feet together, bend your knees and sit your hips back while raising your heart and lifting your arms overhead into Chair pose. Come back to standing. Flow in and out of this pose five to 10 times.
  • Holding Chair pose, keep your ankles together and lift your heels off the ground to balance on the balls of your feet. Aim to hold this pose from one to three inhales/exhales.
  • Repeat Chair sequence three times.
  • Release and fold forward. Inhale as you come back to standing.
  • Balance on your right foot, bringing your left foot up against your right calf with your left knee open to the side. Hold your hands, palms together at your heart. Aim to hold this pose from five to eight inhales/exhales. Repeat on your left.
  • Come to the floor into Plank pose, (the top of a push-up.) Place both knees on the floor. Roll over onto your right side, aligning your right shoulder over your right wrist into Side Plank with right knee on the ground, extending your left leg out long. Reach your left arm to the sky. Aim to hold this pose from one to three inhales/exhales. Repeat on your left side.
    • Challenge yourself by keeping your knees off the floor and stacking the edges of your feet on top of each other when in Side Plank.
  • Repeat Side Plank sequence one time.

End seated comfortably. Enjoy three deep breaths to finish.

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