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Yoga Sequences

The 20-Minute Yoga Sequence to Help You Recharge

Helping others can be energizing and exhausting all at once. It’s important to practice techniques that help you refuel and take care of yourself.

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Whether you serve as a volunteer, teacher, parent, or yoga instructor, helping others can be energizing and exhausting all at once. It’s important to practice techniques that help you refuel and take care of yourself—as well as those you serve. This balancing, restorative sequence encourages you to “drink” as you “pour.” Seated meditative poses support you as you drink in and recharge, and Warrior Poses, inversions, and backbends help you find strength as you pour out offerings to the world.

Prep work
From seated, close your eyes and fold the sides of your tongue inward for Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath). Inhale through your curled tongue like a straw. Close your mouth and exhale through your nose, creating a “ha” sound in the back of your throat. If your tongue doesn’t curl, practice with a flat tongue. Repeat this cycle for several minutes.

Do the first pose, then practice poses two through five on the left side, then the right, before moving on to the sixth.

Seated Cat-Cow Pose

1 minute, 8–10 breaths

Come to Sukhasana (Easy Pose), close your eyes, and ground through your sitting bones. Place your hands on your knees. Deeply inhale to lean forward, rolling your shoulders back and bringing your heart forward. Then exhale to softly press your chin into your throat and roll your spine into gentle flexion, engaging your abdominal muscles. Drink in through an open heart on the inhalation, and pour out by engaging muscular energy as you exhale.

See also Add Cat Pose and Cow Pose to a Gentle Vinyasa Flow

Seated Half Moon Pose

1 minute, 8–10 breaths, each side

Open your eyes and place your right fingertips beside your right hip. Walk the fingers out, pressing the right shoulder blade into your back by externally rotating the shoulder. Inhale to extend your left arm up and exhale to reach it to the right, rotating your left shoulder back and expanding your left rib cage. Inhale, shift your gaze skyward; exhale, rotate your head and gaze at the ground. Exhale to release and switch sides, including the cross of your legs.

See alsoWhich Yoga Pose Is Most Overlooked, and Why Is It Beneficial?

Seated Spinal Twist

Spine Twist

1 minute, 8–10 breaths, each side

With a long spine and grounded hips, bring your hands to Anjali Mudra at the center of your chest. On an inhalation, extend both arms up. On an exhalation, place your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on the ground behind you. Inhale to imagine your breath traveling up your spine and extending through the crown of your head. Exhale to press your navel toward your spine, externally rotate your right shoulder, and lift through the heart. Inhale back to center and switch sides.

See also Spinal Tap: Incorporate Yoga Twists for Increased Energy

Seated Forward Fold 
with Mudra

1 minute, 8–10 breaths

From Anjali Mudra, inhale to again extend both arms skyward, staying grounded through your hips. Exhale to reach both arms behind your lower back. Interlace your fingers. Gently press your shoulder blades into your back. Drinking in the breath, lift the chest upward. As you pour the breath out, bow forward and stretch your arms toward your head, releasing your forehead to the ground.

See also What’s the Right Chin Position in Forward Folds?

Cat-Cow Pose

2 minutes, 16–20 breaths

Come to all fours, placing your wrists beneath your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Curl your toes under and spread your fingers wide, with the index and middle fingers pointing forward. Inhale deeply to lift the heart and hips. Exhale to round the spine, engaging your abdominal muscles and curling your chin to your throat.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana

1 minute, 8–10 breaths

From Table Top, curl your toes under and press through all four corners of both palms to lift your hips, coming into Down Dog. Press through your heels, internally rotate your thighs, and press your heart toward your legs. Practice expanding your chest with every inhalation, drinking in, and with every exhalation, pouring out as the body stretches.

See also 3 Ways to Make Downward-Facing Dog Feel Better for You

Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose

30 seconds, 4–5 breaths, each side

From Down Dog, inhale to extend your right leg back, keeping the quadriceps engaged and pressing through the heel of your right foot. Ground through your left foot, pressing into the big-toe mound. Allow the shoulders and hips to remain level, without opening the body to the right.

See also Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog: The Ultimate Hip Opener

Low Lunge

Anjaneyasana

1 minute, 8–10 breaths, each side

Step your right foot forward between your hands, stacking your right knee over your right ankle. Engage your inner thighs, curl the left toes under, press into the big-toe mound of your left foot, and lift onto your fingertips. As you inhale and drink in, roll your shoulders back and open your heart. As you exhale and pour out, surrender deeply into the hip stretch.

End here with Savasana OR, HAVE 10 MORE MINUTES? EXTEND YOUR SEQUENCE WITH THE NEXT 6 POSES.

About Chelsea Jackson

Chelsea Jackson

Chelsea Jackson, PhD, has a 200-hour hatha yoga training from Kashi Atlanta Urban Yoga Ashram. Jackson is also certified by Yoga Ed to teach yoga to children, and earned her PhD from the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University in Atlanta. She founded chelsealovesyoga.com, a platform for discussion on yoga, race, and diversity; is a member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition; and created the Yoga, Literature & Art Camp for teen girls.

Practice more sequences with Chelsea and learn more about her work.

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