Yoga might not be as strenuous or high-intensity as other workouts, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as beneficial. In fact, a full-body yoga routine like the one we have designed here can burn up to 450 calories! Even better, though, full-body yoga is excellent for helping to build and maintain greater strength and stamina, contributing to an improvement in your fitness levels overall.
It’s also great for becoming a little more flexible, whatever your age or level of experience in yoga, and you can do it right where you are in your bedroom or living room. What we’re saying is, yoga is a great workout all round!
How do you know that you are getting the most out of your sessions, though? Especially if you are pressed for time.
Well, you don’t need to give hours and hours a day to your yoga practice in order to see and feel some great results, you just need to know what moves you should be doing in order for it to be effective throughout your body.
Here’s a full-body yoga routine that works to tone and stretch all the relevant muscles – all in around a twenty minute session!
Start With The Easy Pose
It’s always a good idea to start your routine with The Easy Pose, which has you sat with you legs crossed in the center of your mat, back straight and head held high, with your arms resting on your knees. Take a second to take a few deep breaths and settle into your workout, perhaps closing your eyes as you do.
Hold this position for around forty seconds, paying close attention to your breath. To get the most out of this pose, we also recommend including a twist. Place on hand on the floor behind you, and use your other hand to grasp the opposite knee – you should feel a comfortable stretch in your lower back as you twist further into this position.
Hold the position for another forty seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
Forward Bend Pose
Time to warm up the calves and hamstrings! Stand tall with your feet together and let yourself drop forward, bending from the hips. Your arms should be down by your sides – take your hands and use them to grasp your calves, attempting to move them down towards your ankles. Don’t worry if you can’t reach that far just yet, it will come with time. Just try to get your hands as far down the back of your legs as possible.
When you do this, you should feel a deep stretch throughout your legs. If you can, try to hold this position for forty seconds – it might not feel nice right now, but it will do wonders for warming up the muscles in your legs!
When you’re ready to release the stretch, roll back up slowly, so that you are standing tall.
Downward Facing Dog Pose
A classic pose, as it stretches and strengthens a lot of parts of the body at once. Begin by getting down onto all fours and walking your hands out in front of you, before curling your toes under and pushing through your feet and palms so that you can straighten out your arms and legs. When you do this, your butt should be pointing towards the ceiling. Be sure to keep your core engaged!
Try to hold this position for forty seconds – when performing this pose effectively, you should feel a burn in your arms and abdominal area, and a stretch at the back of your legs.
From Downward Facing Dog, bend your elbows one at a time so that you come to rest on your forearms. You should still feel a deep stretch in your legs and a burn in your abdominal area, but should now feel a more intense burn in your upper arms – this is a sign that you’re doing the pose properly, and that you are toning your arms as you do!
Hold this pose for forty seconds, then move back into Downwards Facing Dog. Walk your hands back towards your feet, then push through your palms so that you can stand up tall again.
From standing tall, kneel on both knees, but keep your thighs and upper body upright. Place the palms of your hands at the lower part of your back, on either side. Begin to bend your upper body backwards, moving slowly in order to keep your balance. Once you have moved over far enough, release your arms from your back and use your hands to grasp at your ankles. Allow your head to move back so that you are facing towards the ceiling.
You should feel a deep stretch across your abdominal area as you do this. Hold the pose for forty seconds, paying close attention to your breath as you do this. Once you are ready to come out of the pose, move your hands back towards your thighs as you roll up, supporting the lower back with them if you need to as you come to kneel upright again.
From kneeling upright, get into a position so that you are lying down on your front, legs outstretched and toes pointed. Bring your arms in front of you and push through your palms, raising your upper body. Flex your head back as you do this, breathing in and out deeply as you hold this position for forty seconds.
This position is great for stretching both the abdominal area and your back, so be sure to work it into your daily routine!
From The Cobra Pose, bring your arms down so that you are resting on your forearms (similar to The Dolphin Pose), then push through your toes so that your whole body is away from the ground, with your neck, spine and legs in-line.
This is, of course, a more difficult pose and requires a little more stamina to hold for the forty seconds necessary to get the most out of it. However, there’s a reason why the plank has found it’s way into the warm-ups of so many high-intensity workouts! Keep your arms strong and your core engaged, attempting not to let the neck or knees drop, and you’ll be working to tone several areas at once – and building your strength and stamina, too!
This may not feel great at first, but you should be able to do this with ease after enough practice – breath through the pain!
Forearm Side Plank
We’re not quite done with your arms just yet! Release your Forearm Plank and take twenty seconds to rest, before getting back into a Forearm Plank for a second time.
Once you are in a steady Forearm Plank, raise one arm to the side of you and twist to face the side of that arm, rolling backwards so that your weight is now on the other arm. Outstretch your raised arm and, keeping your core tight (as difficult as it is!), hold the position for thirty seconds.
Come back down into a regular forearm plank before switching sides and repeating the move so that your weight is resting on your other arm – hold again for forty seconds.
This move is certainly a little more strenuous than others on this list, but that’s because it works so many different muscles with such intensity. If its an effective full-body yoga workout that you’re looking for, there really is nothing better.
Turn over so that you are lying on your back, out straight and with your arms by your side. Bring your legs in a little so that they are bent, with the inside of your leg in a triangle shape, then use your core strength to raise your pelvis. Hold this for around a minute, paying careful attention to taking deep, controlled breaths.
This may be a little tricky for some, but that’s no problem. You can use your arms to support your lower back if that makes it easier for you.
The Corpse Pose
A relaxing end to your routine! Come down from The Bridge Pose and lie flat on your back again. Keep your eyes closed and your palms facing upwards, and take a moment to feel out each area of the body. Breathe deeply in and out as you do this, checking in with your toes, then your feet, then your calves… move your attention upwards throughout your body and simply take a minute to recover from the stretches and poses you have performed.
This concludes your session! If you can practice this daily and reach a point where you are able to hold each pose for forty seconds, making sure to engage the muscles and limbs that you are attempting to work with each different movement, then this routine could be incredibly beneficial to you. If you can’t do each move perfectly or hold them for as long right away, then don’t worry! Yoga is an exercise for the body, but is also an exercise for the mind – always do what feels most natural to you.