In an ideal world, we would all always have an hour or 90 minutes to hit the mat hard and get our practice on. But unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world.
If you find that time commitment is getting in the way of your practice, fret not. You can still get a sweaty, juicy, full-body practice in much less time than you might think. If you're having one of those days that feels like you'll never have to time to practice, pull this 15-minute yoga sequence that'll get your body moving and sweat dripping!
Work each of the following short sequencing for about three-four minutes each. Follow your breath as you move and flow with mindfulness and intention. You will be surprised how intensely you can actually work out in such a short period of time.
Sun Salutation A
Begin your practice with some simple warm ups to get your body moving and your energy flowing.
Start standing in Mountain Pose at the top of your mat. Inhale, sweep both arms up over your head and gaze toward your fingers. Exhale, lead with your chest and hinge from your hips to swan dive your torso forward toward the floor. Inhale, lift up halfway, lengthening your spine and, exhale, step back into a high plank (or high push-up position).
You have the option to release your knees to the floor here. If your knees are lowered, exhale to release your whole torso flat against the mat. If your knees are lifted, exhale to lower into Chaturanga Dandasana (or a low push-up position). If you're on the floor, inhale up into Cobra. Or if you're in Chaturanga, inhale up into Upward Facing Dog.
From wherever you are, exhale to lift your hips back and up into Downward Facing Dog. Inhale, look forward between your hands and either step or float your feet forward to the top of your mat. Exhale, forward fold over your legs.
Inhale, lead with your chest (maintaining a “flat” back position) as you reverse your swan dive to rise all the way up to stand reaching your arms up over your head. Exhale to release your hands back down by your side in Mountain Pose. Continue this flow for four minutes, allowing your breath to guide each movement.
Sun Salutation B
Once you’ve finished your first round of Sun Salutes, keep the body moving flowing through Sun Salutation B. Start in Mountain Pose. Inhale sweep your arms up over your head and, exhale, lead forward with your chest to dive over your legs. Inhale, lift up halfway toward a “flat” back position and, exhale, step or float back into Chaturanga Dandasana.
Inhale, peel your heart open into Upward Facing Dog and, exhale, lift your hips up and back into Downward Facing Dog. Inhale, step your right foot forward between your hands and ground your back heel to the floor.
Square your hips forward and press the floor away from you as you lift your torso up, extending your arms over your head into Warrior I (pictured). Exhale, release your hands to frame out your front foot, step back into a high plank and lower halfway toward the floor into Chaturanga. Inhale, peel your heart open into Upward Dog and, exhale, lift your hips to Downward Dog.
Inhale – step your left foot forward between your hands and ground your back heel to the floor. Square your hips forward and press the floor away from you as you lift your torso up, extending your arms over your head into Warrior I. Exhale – release your hands to frame out your front foot, step back into a high plank and lower halfway toward the floor into Chaturanga.
Inhale, peel your heart open into Upward Dog and, exhale, lift your hips to Downward Dog. Hold Down Dog for five long, full, deep breaths and then inhale to look forward and either step or float your feet to the top of your mat. Exhale, fold forward into Uttanasana.
Inhale, lead with your chest reversing your swan dive to reach your arms up and overhead. Exhale, release your arms down by your side returning to Mountain Pose. Continue flowing following your breath for about four minutes.
Dancing Warrior Flow
Once you’ve finished your Sun Salutations, move into an open-hip Warrior flow.
Start in Mountain Pose. Inhale, sweep your arms overhead lifting your gaze. Exhale, hinge from your hips to dive your torso forward. Inhale, lengthen your spine reaching your heart forward into a halfway lift. Exhale, step or float back into Chaturanga.
Inhale, open your heart drawing the shoulder blades together in Up Dog and, exhale, lift your hips to Down Dog. Inhale sweep your right leg up to the sky. Exhale, externally rotate your hip, opening the joint to stack your right hip over your left as much as possible.
Inhale, expand out through the ball of your right foot and exhale, draw the knee toward your nose, shifting your weight forward into a Plank with your shoulders aligned over your wrists. Hold for a full, deep breath and then step that foot forward between your hands.
Release your back heel to the floor and turn your foot out about 90 degrees so that your toes point to the left side of your mat and your hips face the same direction. Bend your front knee deeply and press the floor away from you as you windmill your arms open into a T-shape in a classic Warrior II.
Inhale, flip your right palm to face toward the ceiling and, exhale, hinge from your hips leaning your torso toward the back of your mat creating a lateral, side-body stretch in Reverse Warrior. Inhale, return back to Warrior II and, exhale, hinge from the hips this time leaning your weight forward in front of you to rest your right elbow on your right knee in a classic Side Angle Pose.
Inhale, rise back up to Warrior II and, exhale, release your hands to frame out your front foot, step back into a Plank and flow through a Vinyasa to return back to Down Dog. Repeat the whole sequence with the left leg lifted and then forward in your Warrior stance.
Boat Pose Flow
You’re likely now starting to seriously heat up your body. You may have already started to break a sweat. So what better time than to throw in some deep core work?
Once you’ve completed the left leg of your Dancing Warrior Flow, return back to Down Dog and step, hop, or float your feet forward into a seated position. Bend your knees and place your feet flat against the mat, hugging into the midline.
Take hold behind your knees and flex your ankles. Press your sit bones down against the floor to lengthen your spine toward the ceiling. As you inhale, lift your feet up off the floor and draw your shins parallel to the mat. Expand your chest toward your thighs and your thighs toward your chest. Avoid slumping into your lower back as you find your Boat Pose.
If you feel sturdy here, release your hands and expand your fingertips forward with your palms framing out your knees. On your next inhale, extend your knees straight forward in front of you lowering your torso and your legs to hover just above the floor.
As you exhale, engage deeply through the core to draw yourself back up into Boat Pose. Inhale to lower and hover your body just above the mat. Exhale to reach back up into Boat. Continue flowing back and forth between Ardha Navasana (Half Boat Pose) and full Navasana (Boat Pose) for about two minutes (or as long as your body will allow while maintaining proper and safe alignment).
After you've sweat enough with this quick 15-minute yoga sequence, be sure to cool down with a few relaxing stretches, specifically targeting the areas of your body that you felt worked the hardest in this practice.
After your cool down, if you have the time, spend about five minutes in Savasana, releasing your practice and allowing yourself some time to surrender after all of your sweaty hard work.