We’re back from our whirlwind trip to Europe and the adrenaline rush of watching the ladies win the World Cup is finally starting to wear off—and the jet lag is setting in. After days filled with excitement, late bedtimes, and zero routines, we’re trying to get back into the swing of things here at home with varying degrees of success. This workout has been a great way to re-center and ease back into our summer routine.
I’ve posted a few workouts from my friend and kick-ass trainer Michelle Kuhnreich (aka @bootybymich) so you already know that I LOVE working out with this woman. Her moves burn and sculpt and leave me feeling amazing for days. Just when I thought her workouts couldn’t get any better, she shared this yoga flow routine on a recent trip to Vancouver.
Why flow? As Michelle puts it: to flow is to feel. It quiets your mind and moves your body in time with your breath. This gives you a chance to check in with yourself, physically and mentally. How do you feel? How does your body want to move? What do you need? Flows are perfect as a warm-up to a workout, or whenever you’re in need of a mental and physical reset.
Here you’ll find three simple routines: A morning yoga flow (my favorite way to wake up), an evening flow (a must after a rough day) and gentle stretches that prevent pain and injury by keeping your muscles healthy and strong. The best part: You can do all three in about 20 minutes – so, no excuses 🙂
Check out the video below and follow along with the step-by-step instructions.
Begin the yoga flow in a downward-facing dog. Lift right leg into a three-legged dog. Place right foot between hands, lift to high lunge, and reach arms to the sky. Place left hand to the ground, slide right arm to the sky, body twisted, legs remain in a lunge. Core engaged, evenly distribute weight across your feet. Place hands back down to ground exhale, kick right leg back to three leg dog, then return foot to the floor for Downward Dog. Repeat flow on left side. From Downward Dog, shift to cobra plank keeping hips in line with shoulders. Repeat 2x. Then, hop feet to top of mat, inhale halfway to lift. Exhale as you fold forward. Repeat 3x. Then, inhale sweeping arms up and exhale sharply as you fall forward. Release tension that you have that day with these sharp exhales! (My mantra: Let go, let go, let go!)
Begin the flow in a downward-facing dog. Lift left leg into three-legged dog. Bring left foot between hands and rise to a low lunge, dropping back knee to ground. Enter a hamstring stretch by shifting hips back and extending right leg. Wrap left hip forward so hips remain even. Lift back knee into a high lunge, reaching arms up. Fold forward, planting hands down on the ground. Step left foot to the top of the mat to meet right foot, forward fold. Inhale, lift halfway, exhale to fold forward. Step back to Downward Dog and enjoy a few breaths here. Repeat yoga flow on the right side.
THE BIG STRETCH
Hold each stretch for 1 minute per side, rest 10-30 seconds between.
Repeat 2-3x a week
Keeping knees wide, soften upper body onto the ground, reaching arms out long. Stay here for a few deep breaths, then slide left arm under the right arm, enjoying a small twist as arm reaches through. Keep right arm extended and keep hips in line with one another. Enjoy this gentle stretch in the lower and middle back for a few breaths. Switch sides, sliding right arm under left.
OUTER THIGH, HIPS STRETCH
This stretch, also known as thread-the-needle helps release tension from the hip flexors. Lie down on your back on the ground. Cross right leg over the left as you pull your left leg towards your chest, interlacing hands behind hamstrings. Keep foot flexed as you hold the stretch. Repeat on the left side.
LOWER BACK STRETCH
Lie down on your back on the ground with legs out straight. Bring right leg up to chest and cross over left leg, twisting your body to the left. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to twist deeper. Add an optional arm stretch by stretching out arms with palms up. Repeat with left leg.
HAMSTRINGS & LOWER BACK STRETCH
This stretch focuses on hamstrings and releasing tension from the lower back. From a seated position, take a deep forward fold holding your toes gently. As you hold the position, exhale to soften into the stretch.
HAMSTRING & LOWER BACK STRETCH
Another variation to lengthen those hammies. From a standing position, fold forward deeply. Interlace hands behind head, tucking chin to chest and lengthening your spine. Lift slowly to stand.
UPPER BACK STRETCH
From a seated position, interlace hands behind legs keeping elbows out to the side. Tuck your chin to your chest and exhale as you round your upper back. As you inhale, sit up tall to lengthen.
SIDE BODY STRETCH
For this oblique stretch, relax shoulders and soften breath as you keep your belly engaged as you reach.
Flowing back into the grind after vacation with this centering routine from the lovely @bootybymich. What helps you ease back into reality after a break?