Stretch, Strengthen and Soothe With This Simple Yogalates Workout

1
Pelvic Tilt

Pelvic Tilt
Paige Waehner

This is the perfect exercise to start with, allowing you to work through your abs and back and bring some movement to your torso.  You can also do this exercise on an exercise ball.

Pelvic Tilt

Lie face up on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your lower belly and inhale, concentrating on expanding through the ribcage and feeling your fingers separate. Exhale and press the bellybutton towards the spine and 'closing' the ribs. Keep the breath flowing and relax the tension in your shoulders and face. Repeat for 10 breaths.

2
Cat Stretch

Cat Stretch
Paige Waehner

Moving into the cat stretch will help you deepen the stretch in the lower back as well as the abs, chest and shoulders.

Cat Stretch

Kneel on all fours with knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Spread the fingers out on the floor with palms flat and contract the abs to bring the head, neck and back in alignment. Inhale and tip the hip bones towards the ceiling while drawing the shoulders back and down away from your ears; look up. Exhale and tuck the chin while pulling your belly towards your spine. Round the back and feel a stretch down your spine. Repeat for 10 breaths, moving smoothly between each move.

3
Thread the Needle

Thread the Needle
Paige Waehner

This move is a great yoga pose that is perfect for stretching through the shoulders and rotators.

Thread the Needle

From the previous Cat Stretch exercise, sit back on your heels with arms stretched out on the floor, palms down and forehead touching the floor. Reach one arm under the torso at chest height, palm up. Inhale and on the exhale gently rotate from the upper back to bring the arm even further underneath you. Hold for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

4
Plank

The Plank
The Plank. Paige Waehner

Now we get into a bit of ab work with a plank exercise to work the core muscles.  If this bothers you, try the move on your knees instead.

Plank

From the previous Thread the Needle exercise, stretch out facedown on mat with elbows resting on floor next to chest. Push your body off the floor in a pushup position with body resting on hands. Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for a 10 breaths.

5
Side Plank

Side Plank
Paige Waehner

Now we ramp up the intensity even more with the side plank.  You can do it with the legs straight, as shown, or you can put one knee down as a modification.

Side Plank

From previous Plank exercise, roll the body over so you're supported by your right hand and drop the right knee to the floor. Make sure the right arm is in line with the shoulder. Extend the left arm in the air and look up at your hand. Hold this for 3-5 breaths and repeat on the other side.  For more intensity, don't drop the knee to the floor--instead, balance on the outside of the foot.

6
Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations
Paige Waehner

Sun Salutations are a staple of almost any yoga practice, taking you through a flowing series of movements matched with the breath.  You'll feel relaxed and energized.

Sun Salutations

  • Begin in mountain pose-standing with big toes touching, heels slightly apart, chest lifted and legs strong and active (not pictured).
  • Exhale and tip from the hips and lower into a Forward Bend, with hands on the floor or feet--bend the knees if you need to.
  • Inhale and look up as you come up on your fingertips until your back is flat. (
  • Exhale into Forward Bend.
  • Inhale, sweep arms overhead until palms touch.
  • Exhale and bring the hands back to the sides in Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat the series 4 to 8 times.

7
Side Child's Pose

Side Child's Pose
Paige Waehner

Going back down to the floor, it's time to enjoy a stretch with this side child's pose.

Side Child's Pose

Begin on your hands and knees and sit back onto the heels, walking the hands forward and stretching the arms out. If you need to, spread your knees wide for a more comfortable position. Relax the head onto the floor and focus on releasing any tension in the body. Keeping the arms straight, walk the hands to the right, feeling a stretch down the left side. Hold for a few breaths. Walk the hands to the left, feeling a stretch in the right side. Hold for a few breaths. Repeat as often as you like for a relaxing back stretch.

8
Knees to Chest

Knees to Chest
Paige Waehner

Now turn over onto your back and you'll get a great back stretch by pulling your knees into your chest.

Knees to Chest

Lying on your back, pull the knees into the chest and gently wrap your arms around your shins.  As you exhale try to relax through the back.  Hold this pose for 8-10 breaths.

9
Bridge

Bridge
Paige Waehner

From the previous Knees to Chest exercise, you'll move into a bridge, which is kind of a counterpose from the previous exercise.

Bridge

With the knees bent and arms resting on the floor, gently press the hips up until they are level with the knees.  Keep the neck relaxed and briefly hold that position.  Lower back down slowly and repeat for 10 reps.

10
Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose
Paige Waehner

Finish off your relaxing yogalates workout with the best pose ever, the Corpse Pose.

Corpse Pose

Lie on your back with legs and arms out from the body.  Let your feet flop out and relax your fingers.  Close your eyes and relax the muscles round each eye as you breath deeply.  Starting at your feet, consciously relax each part of your body, letting all your tension go as you breath.  Stay here as long as you can.

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