Dancing around your apartment in your underwear may seem like an easy way to get some exercise, but to truly challenge and strengthen your whole body, you’ll need to take it up a notch. Check out this 12-minute routine by yogi Tara Stiles that will stretch, strengthen, and balance you from head to toe. It’s also really fun! Tara Stiles Shares a Yoga Routine That Balances Your Whole Body
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The 3-2-1 Sequence
Tara Stiles’s twelve-minute, flow-style sequence is called 3-2-1. It begins with three minutes of sun salutations, followed by two minutes of standing postures and one minute each of seated poses. Start out practicing it at home without props, like a block or strap. Set your timer to twelve minutes so you know how long to practice each pose. Tara Stiles Shares a Yoga Routine That Balances Your Whole Body
Warm Up with Breath
It’s easy to overlook your breath, but when you take time to focus on your breathing, you can reap some incredible benefits. When we practice ujjayi breathing (or victorious breath), our heart rate slows and muscles relax—but it also helps bring awareness to our bodies in a subtle way. When we use deep inhales and exhales, we begin tapping into a whole-body experience that creates balance between mind and body.
The Warrior Pose Sequence
Stand tall with your feet together and arms relaxed at your sides. As you exhale, step or lightly jump to bring your right foot forward between your hands and then follow by stepping or jumping with your left foot. Continue stepping or jumping back and forth between both feet five times, taking three deep breaths in each direction. When you’re finished, stand still for one minute with palms facing forward, feeling long and tall through every part of your body.
The 12-Minute, Knee-Friendly Balance With Ease Yoga Routine, Performed by Tara Stiles, is all about standing poses that balance your entire body. These postures challenge your mind and your muscles in a variety of ways. You don’t even need to know how to do yoga—just watch as Tara takes you through these 12 exercises, one for each chakra.
Yoga is fantastic for helping to balance your body, with lots of poses that engage and strengthen your core, including downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana), cat pose (marjaryasana), plank pose (phalakasana) and cow face pose (gomukhasana). If you have time for just one stretch, try Tara’s balance with ease routine from her online training videos.
Hip Opening Flow
Tara starts her practice off with some hip opening poses to open up tight hips. If your hips are tight, it can affect digestion, posture and joint health, Tara says. Here she does four yoga poses that stretch different parts of your hips. This particular flow focuses on stretches for your lower body, but you can certainly use it as a starting point for building longer sequences that hit all parts of your body. To do Tara’s hip-opening flow at home, follow these steps
Forward Bending Flow
If your spine feels locked, forward bends can be hard to do. But with some basic adjustments and variations, it’s possible to open your chest and hips while still keeping yourself comfortable. Tara Stiles has devised a flow that works like magic for anyone who finds themselves in chronic back pain. Keep your knees bent and your pelvis squared (not tucked under) through all poses; as you move into deeper stretches, stop if you feel any discomfort or lose awareness of where you are in space.
Backward Bending Flow
30 minutes, three times per week. Start with Cobra Pose and move through Standing Forward Bend and Upward Facing Dog to Cow Face Pose. Keep your hips lifted high, and try not to arch too much in any pose—this is more of a flowing workout than it is an intense stretch session.
Inversions & Twists
Inversions and twists are effective stress-relieving poses that have an energizing, refreshing effect on your body. Because they promote blood flow, these moves help to relieve anxiety, fatigue, and depression. They also strengthen your spine and improve posture; because of all these benefits, inversions are great for relieving everyday stress as well as pre-performance jitters.
This routine takes me about 12 minutes, but it can take more or less time depending on your level of flexibility. It involves a lot of walking on your hands and knees, which is challenging for most people. I’ve broken down how to do these poses below so you can practice them at home before moving onto your hands and knees—that way, if it’s too much for you, you can skip over these moves when doing your full routine.