The best way to burn calories and morph your body is to move quickly and with intention. I like to combine powerful yoga poses with strength moves for my personal training clients.
Here's an example of a routine- you can do these exercises at home or at the gym, combining yoga and strength, with or without added weight!
*this is a great strength and toning work out... If you haven't gotten cardio yet, I would suggest this as a starting point before a jog or right after wards to cool down.
1. Push Ups with Core Work: Stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Bend over (it's okay for knees to be slightly bent) and place your hands or fingertips on the floor in front of you. Walk your hands forward into plank position and do 3-5 push ups. Crawl your hands back to your feet, using your core every inch of the way. That's one rep. Continue moving until you've done 6 to 8 reps.
2. Walking Lunges: find a long hallway or big room. begin doing walking lunges lengthwise across the floor. Go slowly at first, paying careful attention to your front leg. Make sure it is around 90 degrees, with your knee over your ankle. then again, slowly, step the back leg up to meet the front. If you have weights you can do a bicep curl while lunging and step up with your arms by your sides. Continue for 50 on each side, back and forth across the floor until your legs are burning. (*you may not feel this burn today but you certainly will tomorrow!!)
3. Downward Facing Dog: Come into a plank pose (upward push up position). push your butt up in the air until you form downward dog position. Arms are long, strong and straight. Hands are parallel in front of you, arms shoulder with apart. Focus on the L shape of your thumb and pointer finger, pressing into the floor. Now bring your attention to your legs and feet. Try and ground your feet, focusing on all 4 corners of each foot. Try and get your heels as close to the floor as possible. (this is a great stretch for your back and legs. hold this for 1-2 minutes)
4. Mountain Climbers: From downward dog, get into plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your feet together. Bend your left knee and draw it toward your nose. Extend back to plank. Repeat with your right leg. That's one rep. Do 20 to 30, moving quickly. *Be sure to keep your back flat and tuck the belly!
Drop down, flat on your belly and rest your head to one side for 30 seconds. then switch to the other cheek for another 30 seconds, taking deep and long breaths in and out.
5. Airplane: From the laying down position, put your arms out to the sides as if you are an airplane or making a T with your body. take a deep inhale through the nose, and lift everything up-your arms, legs, feet, chest and head. Hold for 10 seconds, then come down and rest for 10 seconds, closing your eyes.
6. Swimming: Stay on your belly, this time kicking your legs behind you vigorously and move your arms in front of you, moving them up and down, opposite leg to opposite arm. Do this for 30 seconds-1 minute.
7. Child's Pose. Stretch the lower back by resting in child's pose.
Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your lower back across the bottom of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, to release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.
*If you have the time, do the entire routine one more time!! You'll find each exercise is easier since you've already been there before and your muscles are prepared for the positions.
If you don't have the time or feel ready to end, take a few minutes on your back to close your eyes and bring your knees into your chest, releasing the tension in your lower back. Slowly release the legs onto the floor, and take a few minutes to just be quiet, letting go, sinking into nothingness. Savasana.