Burning-Thighs Yoga Sequence: Your Shorts Will Say, "More Please!"
Your legs and tush don't ask for much, but if you listen closely, all they want is one small thing: you, on your mat, and five minutes of your time. This isn't called "Burning Thighs Yoga Sequence" for nothing! Hold each of these poses for the full five breaths, and your lower body will be on fire.
- Come onto the hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into the classic 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.
- Breathe deeply for five breaths.
- 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.
Rotated Side Angle Prayer
- Hold your legs in Warrior 1 position, and on an exhale, cross your left elbow over your right thigh.
- Press your palms together firmly, and push into your bottom arm to lengthen the spine and increase the twist.
- Gaze over the right shoulder, breathing for five full breaths.
- Hold Rotated Side Angle Prayer arms, and inhale to step your left foot forward to meet your right.
- Stay for five breaths, keeping weight in the heels.
Open Side Fierce
- From Side Fierce, exhale to plant your left palm on the floor beside your right foot. If you can't reach all the way, just allow your fingers to hover in the air, as close to the floor as possible.
- Extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling, stacking your shoulders, and gaze at your lifted palm. Make sure both knees are parallel.
- Hold for five deep breaths.
- From Open Side Fierce, plant both hands to the right side of your mat so they're parallel with your thighs. They should be shoulder-width distance apart with fingers spread wide.
- Lean into the palms, and rest your right hip on your right elbow and your outer right knee on your left elbow.
- Try to keep your knees together as you shift all your weight into your hands and slowly lift your feet off the floor.
- It's OK if you lose your balance and fall over. Just keep trying until eventually you can hold this pose for five even breaths.
Bound Revolved Side Angle
- Bring the lower body back into Warrior position by stepping the left foot back.
- Stay twisted to the right, and cross the left elbow over the right thigh. Bring your right arm behind your lower back, and try to hold hands. If it's easy, your left hand holds the right wrist. If this is too hard, repeat Rotated Warrior with hands in prayer position.
- Gaze over the right shoulder for five deep breaths.
- From Bound Revolved Side Angle, release your arms and inhale to lift the torso up.
- Gently arch back and lower your left hand down, resting it on the back of your left leg. Raise your right arm overhead, feeling the stretch through the right side of the body. Continue to lower your hips, pressing your front knee forward so it's directly over your right ankle.
- Remain here for five complete breaths.
- From Reverse Warrior, inhale to straighten your front leg, continuing to arch back.
- Enjoy this pose for five breaths.
Bound Extended Side Angle
- From Reverse Triangle, bend your front knee. Lower your right shoulder as low as you can beside your right inner thigh, and reach your right arm underneath your hamstring. Reach your left arm around your lower back, and bind, holding your left wrist with your right hand. If this is difficult, hold onto a strap or towel.
- Draw your upper shoulder back as far as you can, and gaze into the left corners of your eyes. Try to stack your shoulders, and lengthen through your spine as you draw your belly in.
- Stay here for five breaths.
- From Bound Extended Side Angle, release your hands. Plant your right palm about a foot in front of your right toes. Straighten your right leg, and lift your left leg in the air.
- Distribute your weight evenly between your right hand and foot. Lift your left arm up, and gaze toward your left hand.
- Hold for five breaths.
- From Half Moon, lower your left foot to the ground so you're in a Wide Squat position.
- Release your hands to the floor, and walk them out in front of you, allowing your belly to fall between your knees.
- Stay here for five deep breaths.
- Step or hop the feet back, and find your way into Downward Facing Dog. Repeat this sequence on the left side.