The following mini-yoga routine combines three poses to create a full-body program that strengthens the lower body, core muscles and upper body in one shot — preferably immediately after your weight workout.
For each pose, go barefoot for better stability and breath deeply and slowly through your nose, taking a five-second deep inhale and five-second exhale. Perform each pose for the recommended time before moving onto the next pose. As the routine becomes easier, try adjusting the intensity by repeating the routine several times each session.
The Lightning bolt (Works the legs, butt, lower back and shoulders) Start with your feet together and your back straight, straightening your arms overhead, palms pressed together. Bend your knees until your legs are almost parallel to the floor and lean forward slightly, balancing yourself as you go. Your body should now look like a lightning bolt from the side. Hold this pose for 5 breaths then slowly stand back up. Repeat 3-5 times.
The Boat (Works the lower back, abdominals, legs and shoulders) Sit on the floor with your legs slightly bent in front of you, knees together and feet flat. Reach your arms forward so they touch the outside of your knees, palms facing towards each other. Now, keeping your legs fixed in a bent position, slowly lean back, raising your feet up about 12 inches off the ground. Begin to balance yourself on your tailbone, resisting the urge to sway back and forth. Hold this position for 10 breaths then bring your legs back to the floor. Repeat 2-3 times.
The Modified Plank (Works the chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles) Get into a push-up position by placing your hands flat on the floor (shoulder-width apart) arms straight, elbows unlocked. Straighten your legs behind you, feet together. Your body should be one straight line from your feet to your head; eyes facing down at the ground. Hold this pose for three breaths, then slowly raise and extend your left arm in front of you as you simultaneously raise your right foot off the floor. Hold for one breath, then lower them both back to the floor. Hold for another three breaths, then repeat, this time raising your right arm in front of you as you simultaneously raise your left foot off the floor. Hold for one breath then return to a push-up position. Repeat the entire cycle 1-3 times.