Burn Calories and Blast Fat With This Challenging Flow
Some yoga classes are all about relaxation| but if you’re ready to turn up the heat and challenge yourself| this is the sequence for you. This powerful flow sequence is full of vinyasas that get your heart rate up| burn tons of calories| and keep things feeling fresh and challenging. With this sequence on your side| you’ll be working at your top fat-burning potential! Make sure to take a lengthy Savasana at the end of this flowu00a0u2014u00a0you’ll need it.
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| Downward Facing Dog
- Begin on your hands and knees. Your wrists should be underneath your shoulders| and your knees should be underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips| coming into an upside-down V shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide| and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground.
- Relax your head between your arms| and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.
| Three-Legged Dog
- From Downward Dog| step the feet together so your big toes are touching. Keep the left heel on the mat and inhale to raise your right leg in the air| coming into Three-Legged Dog.
- Hold here for five breaths with the shoulders parallel to the floor| keeping the belly still and breathing into the chest.
| Arching Three-Legged Dog
- From Three-Legged Dog| bend the right knee. Actively squeeze your right heel in toward your hip| lifting the knee high.
- Lift your head up and turn to look over your left shoulder| arching the spine. Think about drawing your head and foot toward each other (if your spine is extremely flexible| your foot and head will touch).
- Stay here for five breaths| keeping the core strong.
- Then repeat Three-Legged Dog and Arching Three-Legged Dog with your left leg. Step back to Downward Facing Dog.
| Warrior 1
- From Down Dog| inhale to step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in| press into your feet| and lift your torso up.
- Raise your arms up| and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips| and gaze up toward your hands.
- Stay here for five breaths. Then move through a vinyasa (Four-Limbed Staff to Up Dog to Down Dog) and perform Warrior 1 on the other side.
- Then move through another vinyasa and hold Downward Dog for five breaths.
| Warrior 3
- From Downward Facing Dog| step your right foot forward for a brief Warrior 1.
- With your right knee forward| lower your torso and lift your left leg| bringing your body parallel with the ground.
- Extend your hands out in front of you| pressing your palms together firmly. If it bothers your shoulders to press your hands together| separate your arms so they’re shoulder-width apart. If extending your arms creates pain or pressure in your lower back| rest your hands on your hips.
- Engage your abs| holding this position for five deep breaths. Then lower your left leg and release your hands to the mat| coming into Downward Dog.
- Move through a vinyasa (Four-Limbed Staff to Up Dog to Down Dog) before repeating Warrior 3 on the left side.
| Extended Side Angle
- From Down Dog| step your right foot forward between your hands| and rise up into Warrior 1. Open your hips| arms| and chest into Warrior 2.
- Place your right hand on the ground behind your right foot (on the little toe side). Extend your left arm straight up| turning your palm down so your thumb is pointing behind you.
- Stay here for five breaths. Then move through a vinyasa (Four-Limbed Staff to Up Dog to Down Dog) before repeating this pose on the other side followed by another vinyasa.
- From Downward Dog| hop or step to the top of your mat| and come to a standing position.
- Once you’re ready| bend your knees and lower your hips as you raise your arms overhead.
- Focus on sitting back onto your heels. Tuck your tailbone in and engage your abs| keeping your spine straight. Relax the shoulders as you gaze up toward the ceiling. Stay like this for five breaths.
| Side Fierce
- From Chair Pose| take a deep inhale in. Then on your exhale| cross your left elbow over to your outer right knee. Press your palms together| and actively push your bottom elbow against your thigh to lift and rotate your chest up| increasing the twist. Pull your right leg back slightly| making sure both knees are parallel.
- Stay for five breaths. Then inhale as you press into your feet and lift your torso| rising back into Fierce pose. If you can| refrain from straightening your legs to keep your quads and glutes engaged.
- Exhale to cross your right elbow over your left outer knee| holding for another five breaths on this side.
- Then move through a vinyasa (Four-Limbed Staff to Up Dog to Down Dog). Stay in Downward Dog for five breaths.
- From Downward Dog| drop your knees and come down to all fours| then lay flat on your belly.
- On an exhale| bend the knees and reach your hands back to hold the inside of your ankles. If this is too difficult| hold the outside of the ankles instead.
- Actively press the feet up and away from your torso to feel a deep opening in the chest and shoulders.
- Gaze forward in Bow for five breaths| then release back down to rest on your belly.
| Intense East
- Roll on to your back| and place your hands six to eight inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing toward your hips. Your big toes should touch.
- As you inhale| press into your hands and feet| lifting your hips as high as you can so your spine is in a long line. Lower your head behind you| pressing into the outside edges of your feet to engage your inner thighs.
- Hold Intense East for five deep breaths| before releasing your bottom to the mat.
- Lie on your back| and close your eyes. In order to relax and open your body fully| extend your arms a few inches away from the body| with the palms facing up. Put about 15 to 20 inches between your heels| allowing your feet to fall open with the toes pointing out. Actively shrug your shoulder blades down toward your hips. Lengthen through the spine as much as possible| relaxing your lower back toward the floor.
- After you’ve found a comfortable position| stay here for as long as you want| around 10 minutes or more| if your schedule allows for it. If you’re short on time| remain in Savasana at least until your heart rate slows down and your breath returns to its natural soothing rhythm.