Workout 1-Mixed level
1. Seated breathe awareness: sit comfortably in neutral pelvis with weight centered in both sitz bones. Lengthen spine downward into sitz bones and upward through the crown of head. Feel the subtle effort in both the back extensors and the abdominals to keep torso lifted. Pay extra attention to the low abdominals below the navel bringing support to the lumbar spine. Close the eyes and breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth.
2. Seated cervical nod and spine stretch: Sit with legs stretched out and slightly greater than hip width apart. If hamstrings feel tight bend knees so you are able to sit up on the sitz bone with the lumbar spine in neutral (not rounded). Reach arms out to shoulder height palms facing the floor. Inhale head is up, exhale nod chin towards chest. Repeat for 3 breaths. On fourth exhale round the upper back forward keeping the pelvis in neutral. Inhale back to shoulders over hips. Complete 4 reps of spine stretch.
3. Spine twist: Same start position as # 2 with arms reaching out at shoulder height as if making a "T". 3-part inhale rotating torso towards the right while keeping hips and legs still. Exhale returning to center. Repeat twist towards the left and continue alternating sides to complete 6 reps. Bring knees into chest to release the lower back and move onto hands and knees.
4. Rolling Cat: Beginning with hands under shoulders and knees under hips come into neutral pelvis. Inhale and tilt tailbone up towards ceiling allowing lower back to arch and articulate through th upper back into an extended spinal position. Exhale and tuck tailbone under rounding from the tailbone to the crown of the head. Continue for 6 reps moving with the breath pace.
5. Modified push-up: Return to neutral alignment. Inhale and bend elbows straight back bringing nose past fingers. Exhale and push up to starting position. Complete 5 reps and on 6th end in lowered position with the goal of hovering for 3 breaths. Finish by lowering hips and chest to floor, straighten legs.
6. Swan prep: Keeping elbows bent slide them in touching the ribcage and palms just in front of shoulders. Anchor the hips and pubic bone to keep the lower back/pelvis in neutral. Inhale and extend the sternum upwards articulating through the spine. The bottom rib should remain on the floor and the arms to very little work. Exhale to return to start position. Complete 6 reps.
7. Up dog: Slide hands down towards the middle of the ribcage and elbows point up towards ceiling. Inhale extending sternum upwards while pushing down through the hands. Attempt to straighten arms providing a stretch to both the back and stomach. Exhale and roll back down to start position. Complete 6 reps and finish in child's pose to round out the lower back and rest the shoulders.
8. Plank: From child's pose return to hands and knees with pelvis in neutral. Slide right leg straight back engaging core muscles. Slide left leg straight back coming into plank position. Focus on breathe and on exhalation lift hips up towards ceiling coming into inverted "V" position or down-dog. Return to plank with hips in line with spine on inhalation. Complete 6 reps of plank into down-dog.
****Advanced extra**** From down-dog position bring shoulders over wrists while keeping hips slightly lifted. On inhalation lower nose towards fingers then skim the nose, chest then hips forward coming into up dog. Exhale lifting hips back into inverted "V" position. Complete 6 reps.
Finish in child's pose position breathing deeply through the nose, exhaling through the mouth.
9. Transition to seated position with legs bent, feet in front of knees and legs hip width apart. Inhaling feel the sitz bones directly under the hips. Exhaling tilt the hips back feeling the low abdominals engage. The lumbar spine transitions from neutral position to "C-Curve". Inhale to return to neutral pelvis. On 6th rep hold c-curve and continue to roll down the spine until shoulders and head reach the floor. Straighten legs and relax all muscular effort.
10. In neutral spinal alignment slide right heel in towards right glute and left heel towards left glute. The feet should be flat and hip width apart, slightly in front of knees. Exhale bringing the right knee over the right hip. Inhale to hold position. Exhale and bring left knee over left hip. This is table top position. Hold and breathe feeling the flat pelvis and the effort in both the abdominals and back extensors.
11. Toe taps: Start in table top position with both knees bent at 90 degrees. Inhale lowering the right knee towards the floor until the right toe taps. Exhale bring the right knee back over the right hip. Note that the movement is in the thigh bone and NOT the shin bone. Repeat with the left leg and continue to alternate legs to complete 6 reps. Bring one foot at a time back to the floor while spine remains in neutral.
12. Spinal imprinting into rolling bridge: Begin with knees bent, feet hip width apart and slightly in front of knees and pelvis stabilized in neutral. Inhale to feel the connection of the back of the ribs in the mat. Exhale and tilit the pelvis back imprinting the lumbar spine in the mat. Inhale and tilt the pelvis back into neutral or flat position. Complete 6 reps and then move onto Rolling Bridge: On exhalation imprint the lumbar spine and continue to roll up the spine beginning with the tailbone and ending at the shoulder blades. The legs and glutes will engage as the tailbone leaves the floor. Inhale at the top of the movement and exhale to roll down the spine beginning with the upper back and articulating through the middle back, lumbar spine and finally resting the tailbone down. Complete 4 reps.
13. Chest lift neutral pelvis: Begin with knees bent, feet slightly in front of knees and hip width apart and hands interlaced behind head. Inhale to prepare feeling the connection of the back of the ribs in the mat and the flat pelvic position. Exhale and peel the shoulder blades off the mat coming into chest lift position. Notice that the lower back and pelvis to NOT shift. Inhale to return the shoulder blades to the mat. Complete 6 reps.
14. Chest lift imprinted spine: On next exhalation tilt pelvis back to imprint the lumbar spine. Continue to breathe and feel the connection of the entire length of the spine on the mat. When ready exhale and peel shoulder blades off the mat feeling the scoop of the abdominals towards the spine/floor. Inhale and roll the shoulder blades back to the mat while maintaining the imprinted position. There should be effort in the low abdominals throughout the exercise! Complete 6 reps.
15. Double leg toe tap: Begin in table top position with pelvis in neutral. Interlace hands behind head and exhale to lift chest into "chest lift" position and hold. Inhale to lower both bent knees toward floor only going as far as the neutral back position can be controlled. Exhale to bring knees back over the hips. Complete 6 reps then fold knees into chest to release.
16. Double leg toe tap in imprint: Bring knees back over hips, hands under head and pelvis in neutral. Exhale to lift into "chest lift" position and hold. On next exhale pelvic tilt so lumbar spine is connected with mat and hold- there is quite a bit of effort to hold this position. Inhale to lower knees towards the floor only as far as imprinted spine can be maintained. Exhale and lift knees back into imprinted table top position. Complete 6 reps then hug knees into chest to release.
17. Hundreds: Begin in table top position with the pelvis in neutral and back of the ribs connected to the mat. Arms are by the side reaching towards the feet. Begin to pulse the arms up and down as if splashing water counting for 5 pulses on the inhale and 5 pulses on the exhale. If able to keep the torso stable, on next exhalation lift shoulder blades off the mat and continue to pulse the arms. If able to progress further, reach the legs out at an angle coming into a straight leg position while continuing to pulse the arms. Complete 10 breath cycles. Bring knees into chest to release.
18. Roll-ups: Begin lying with both legs straight and arms straight down by side, palms on the floor. Inhale to reach arms over the shoulders, fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Bring legs hip width apart and press heels into floor while toes point towards the ceiling. On next inhale reach arms back towards ears keeping ribcage down on mat. Exhale and begin to roll spine off mat as arms reach back over the shoulders. Spine is in neutral until the roll-up progresses to the lumbar spine. At that point tilt the pelvis back to imprint the lower back and continue to articulate through the spine as you roll up to the sitz bones with the shoulders over the hips. Inhale at the top in neutral pelvis and exhale to initiate the roll down tilting the pelvis back and leading with the low back, progressing to the middle back and articulating all the way through the upper back until shoulder blades and head return to the floor. Complete 6 reps with CONTROL, not momentum staying in the rolled up position on the 6th rep.
19. Incline plank: Begin seated with legs straight and shoulders over the hips. Reach arms behind the shoulders with palms flat and fingers pointed out. The torso will be leaning back, but maintain a neutral pelvis and straight arms. On inhalation press heel into floor and lift seat off the mat coming into a straight line from shoulders to toes. You will feel the calfs, hamstrings, glutes and back extensors engage. Bring seat back to the mat on exhalation folding from the hips to keep back in a straight position throughout. Complete 6 reps.
20. Single leg pull: Bring elbows to the floor under shoulders, torso continuing to lean back. Exhale to tilt the pelvis back rounding out the lumbar spine into c-curve position. Legs should be straight out with heels pressing into the mat and toes pointing towards the ceiling. Beginning with right leg exhale to pull leg off floor shin coming towards forehead- the hamstring will stretch in this position and is what dictates your range of motion. Inhale to lower heel back to floor and complete 6 reps on right leg before moving on to left leg.
21. Straight leg scissors: Maintaining c-curve position bring knees in towards chest and lift feet off floor (this is similar to table top position). Exhale to straighten legs and keep the pelvis tilted back- you will feel effort in the low abdominals! Inhale to prepare and exhale lowering right leg just off the floor and pulling left shin in to max range of motion. Take a quick inhale and exhale to scissor the legs bringing left leg towards floor and right leg towards forehead. Complete 6 reps then bend both legs and return one foot at a time to the floor. Come off the elbows and sit with legs crossed. Allow shoulders to round forward nose coming towards the feet and release the spine.
22. Plank hold/ Leg pull in plank: Transition to hands and knees and stretch one leg back at a time to come into plank position. Hold plank for 60 seconds coming down to knees if needed. To advance plank add leg pull: Keeping hips level press right heel up to hip level on inhalation. Exhale to return toe to floor and continue for 6 reps before moving on to left leg. Finish in child's pose.
23. Slow push-ups: Come back into plank position or modify with knees on floor. Inhale and bend elbows lowering body towards floor. Hold lowered position to complete the breath (exhale). Continue to hold as you inhale and exhale to press body back up to plank or modified position. Complete 3 reps and rest in child's pose.
24. Single leg lift: Transition to prone position (lying on stomach) with legs straight and elbows bent, hands stacked with forehead resting on hands. Anchor the hips and pubic bone to maintain a neutral pelvic alignment. Inhale to lift through the heel of right leg keeping BOTH hips anchored and leg straight. Exhale to return leg to floor. Repeat on left leg and continue alternating sides to complete 6 reps.
25. Swimming: Reach arms out in front of shoulders slightly greater than shoulder width apart, palms facing the floor. The nose should be pointing down towards the floor while the legs remain straight and hip width apart. Keep the hips down and level and the pubic bone anchored throughout the exercise. Inhale to lift right arm, sternum and left leg off the floor. The bottom rib remains on the mat and the hips stay down and level. Exhale to return the arm and leg back to the mat. Change to left arm, sternum and right leg lifting on the next inhale and returning to the floor on exhale- this is one rep. Complete 6 reps then come into child's pose to release the spine.
26. Push-ups: From child's pose come into plank position. Inhale to bend the elbows straight back, arms hugging the ribcage. Exhale to straighten the arms back into plank position. To modify decrease range of motion and/or bring knees to floor. Complete 8 reps and return to child's pose.
27. 5-Ab Series: Return to seat with knees bent and hip width apart, feet in front of knees. Pelvic tilt to roll down the spine ending with shoulder and head down, legs bent and pelvis in neutral. Come into table top position with pelvis in neutral. For all 5 exercises pelvis should stay in neutral with back of hips level. If you start to feel fatigue, come back to this position to rest.
Single leg stretch: Exhale to lift shoulder blades into chest up position and hold. Inhale to fold right knee in towards chest bringing hands to knee and straighten left leg lowering towards eye level. Exhale to swith legs: left knee folds in while right leg extends. Continue to alternate legs for 8 reps.
Double leg stetch: From table top, chest up positon bring hands to outside of knees. Inhale to stretch legs straight out and reach arms over head in line with ears. Exhale circling arms to side and back towards knees as knees fold back into table top position. Maintain neutral throughout! Complete 6 reps.
Single straight leg stretch: From table top position extend legs straight up with the goal of toes being over the hips. If hamstrings are tight you will have to modify by slightly bending the knees. Reach hands to the back of left thigh as the right heel lowers to just above the ground. Inhale to hold and exhale to scissor the legs lowering the left leg as the right leg comes back over the hip. Complete 8 reps.
Double straight leg stretch: Starting in table top position bring interlaced hands under the head. Extend both legs straight towards the ceiling with the goal of toes over the hips. Modify by bending the knees if hamstrings are tight. Inhale to lower both legs towards eye level and exhale to come back to start position. Only lower as far as you can control the postion of the back! Complete 6 reps.
Criss-cross: Begin in table top, chest lifted and hands interlaced behing the head. Inhale to prepare and exhale to extend left leg to eye level and rotate right shoulder blade towards the extended left leg. The right leg remains bent in table top position and the pelvis does not shift. Inhale back to start position. Exhale extending the right leg to eye level and rotating the left shoulder blade towards the extended right leg. Inhale back to start position for 1 rep. Complete 6 reps and rest back and abs by releasing shoulders and head to floor and hugging knees to chest. Gently roll head side to side to release the neck.
28. Release: Bring feet to floor keeping knees bent and widen feet to beyond hip width. Allow knees to fold in and touch allowing hips, glutes and abs to relax. Bring the arms to the sides with palms facing up. Allow the breath to deepen: lengthen the inhale and the exhale allowing the heart rate to return to normal. After several rounds of breath bring feet together and allow knees to open out to the side releasing the inner thighs and hip flexors. Continue to relax until the breath returns to normal pace. Come back to a comfortable seated position to finish.