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Between work, parenting, and life, even the most committed yogis can find it difficult to make time for their practice. We, at Two Fit Moms, often find it challenging, if not overwhelming, to juggle yoga with the daily demands of motherhood. But a little goes a long way. The following sequence requires just 10–20 minutes and offers many of the benefits of a full practice.
If you are having a particularly busy day, practice this sequence just once on each side of your body for a quick 10-minute flow that will leave you feeling calm, centered, and refreshed. If you can fit in a 20-minute routine, practice this sequence twice. Make the most of your abbreviated practice by being mindful and present as you hold each posture for 3–5 breaths.
Begin your practice in tabletop position with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Gently warm up your chest and back with 3 rounds of Cat-Cow. Inhale, as you arch your back and look up (Cow Pose). Exhale, as you round your back like a cat and gaze at your belly button (Cat Pose).
See also: Two Fit Moms’ Backbending Practice
Low Lunge, Variation
After warming up your spine with Cat-Cow, step your right foot forward between your hands for one of two Low Lunge variations. Either keep your hands on your front thigh for greater stability or interlace all 10 fingers behind your back for a chest-opener.
Revolved High Lunge, Variation
From Low Lunge, align your right knee so that it stacks directly above the right ankle. Bring your hands together in front of your heart, and twist to the right, hooking the left elbow on the outside of the right thigh. For a greater challenge, tuck your back toes, and lift your back knee.
See also: Two Fit Moms’ Good Morning Flow
Revolved Chair Pose
From Revolved High Lunge, shift your weight into your right foot, and step your left foot forward for Revolved Chair Pose. Press into your hands to twist deeply to the right. If your left knee pushes forward more than your right knee, pull the left hip back.
Standing Forward Bend
From Revolved Chair, untwist your upper body and straighten your legs for a deep Standing Forward Bend. Breathe deeply, relax the neck, and allow the weight of your upper body to stretch the hamstrings and release any tension in the lower back.
Bend your knees, sweep your arms overhead, and rock your weight back into your heels. This strengthening pose energizes the legs. Make sure your weight is distributed properly by confirming that you can lift all 10 toes from the mat.
Also see the video Watch + Learn: Chair Pose
High Lunge, Crescent Variation
From Chair Pose, shift your weight into your right foot, and take a large step back onto the ball of your left foot for High Lunge. Feel free to keep your torso perpendicular to the floor or lift your chest toward the sky for a backbend. If you choose to take a backbend, keep your biceps alongside your ears.
See also: How to Build a Home Practice
From High Lunge, spin your back heel down for Warrior II. Challenge yourself by maintaining a 90-degree angle in your front leg as you stand strong.
Explore more: Standing Poses
From Warrior II, windmill your hands to the ground and step back into Plank Pose. Create a straight line from head to heel. Engage your core to keep your hips from sagging.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
From Plank Pose, simply lift your hips up and back to create a shape that looks like the upside-down letter V. Remember to spread your fingers, grip the mat, engage the core and keep the leg muscles active in this pose.
Intense Side Stretch Pose
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot about halfway up the mat for Parsvottanasana and breathe into the intense hamstring stretch. For the most effective stretch, keep length in your spine as you fold forward.
Explore more: Forward Bends