Ah, summer is almost here. You can smell it in the air. You can see it in the ambitious fellow exercisers at the gym, all sans tan like yourself. Visions of the beach dance in your head like sugarplums on Christmas Eve at this time of year. Unfortunately, it’s also Tax Time. And crunch time at work. And your kids’ spring break. And your partner’s so-and-so big project at work so you are left with all of the household chores like spring cleaning.
How can you prepare for your bikini body with no time PLUS get your zen on? You can’t possibly have time for both cardio and Yoga right now. Life is too crazy!
Guess what? You can get the best of both worlds with the below Yoga sequence. Sculpt your bikini body while moving with breath, getting your zen on in a whole new way that torches stubborn calories, make the sweat pour, and leaves you feeling like a whole new person after it.
It’s a one-stop shop, folks. Get ready to get your sweaty stress relief in time for bikini season!
Step 1: Center yourself
Standing at the front of your mat, feet hip distance apart. Close your eyes and envision that beach body. Tune into your breath. Stand tall, smell that ocean and feel that sun while you breathe in & out of your nose to focus for about 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Sun Salutation A (Surya Namaskar A)
The classic Vinyasa Yoga sequence, warm up with 5 (beginner)- 15 (advanced) Sun Salutations to get the sweat pouring and the calories burning. Hold each Downward Dog pose for 5 breaths. For advanced athletes, spend 5 breaths in each Plank Pose as well.
If you’ve never done a Sun Salutation before, tune in here.
Step 3: Dolphin Pose
Move into a Downward Facing Dog. Come down to your knees and set up for Dolphin Pose, the elbows-down version of Down Dog.
Beginners: 3 reps of 5 breaths in Dolphin Pose (Child’s Pose/ rest in between)
Intermediate: 3 reps of 10 breaths in Dolphin Pose (Child’s Pose/ rest in between)
Advanced: Complete 10 Dolphin Push Ups
Step 4: Chair Pose
Make your way to the top of your mat in a standing position. Coming into Chair Pose (Utkatasana), you want to get deep into the belly and thighs.
Beginners: 3 reps of 10 breaths in Chair Pose (stand for rest in between)
Intermediate: 3 reps of 10 breaths in Chair Pose with mini pulses, little lifts 1 inch up and down with each breath (stand for rest in between)
Advanced: 3 reps of 10 breaths in Twisted Chair Pose (3 per side)
Step 5: Sun Salutation B (Surya Namaskar B)
Get that heart rate back up to get your sweat and your cardio back on and torch those calories! Sun Salutation B will also amp up that leg toning with its Warrior 1 poses thrown in there!
Beginners: 5 Sun Salutations from Step 1
Intermediate: 10 Sun Salutations from Step 1 or 5 Sun Salutations BAdvanced: 10 Sun Salutations B See it here.
You’ve reached beyond your halfway point; let’s get on to toning that back side and the long lines of your spine.
Lay on the front side of your body with feet hip distance apart. Caution: if any of these poses bother your lower back, please refrain and consult a physician.
Beginners: 3 reps of Cobra Pose for 5 breaths each
Intermediate: 3 reps of Locust Pose for 5-10 breaths each
Advanced: 3 reps of Bow Pose for 10 breaths each
Step 7: Arm emergency!
Step 8: Bridge Pose
Lay down onto your back, it’s tush toning time! Working with the Basic Bridge Pose, the variations are as follows:
Beginners: 5 rounds Bridge Pose for 5 breaths each
Intermediate: 5 rounds Bridge Pose for 10 breaths each
Advanced: 6 rounds Bridge Pose (alternating 1 leg lifted; 3 rounds per side, 5-10 breaths each)
Step 9: Crunches
Let’s get a little bit more abdominal work in there! Perform as many crunches with breath (exhale up, inhale down) as you can. Variations on legs can include feet up or down or whatever crunch you know best with GOOD form (abs only, no back pain, back to the floor!). Bonus: do 3 rounds of this, resting in between each round with legs hugged in the chest.
Perform any stretches or Yoga poses you see fit to cool down. Some options include hamstring and glute stretches or a nice spinal twist to cool down on your back. Spend 5 minutes in Savasana, Corpse Pose, as you reflect on your best body ever, complete with stress relief. Picture that beach with the relaxing waves of the ocean and the smell of salt in the air. You did it!