This Short And Gentle Yoga Routine Will Make You Feel Good

Laura Finch
written by
part of Yoga Routines
created on September 2, 2019
updated on September 23, 2019

When we’re tired, sore, or just lazy, yoga is often the last thing we tend to consider doing at that moment.

And how wrong we are!

Movement can be an excellent therapy for the aching body and mind. If this movement is yoga, the benefits double.

I’ve created this short and gentle yoga routine for precisely those days when you think you’re just too exhausted to step on the yoga mat. It includes some juicy lateral, lower body and upper body stretches that will make you feel ‘oh so good.’

My suggestion is to hold each pose from 10 to 30 seconds. However, you can flow breath to movement to make the practice shorter and more dynamic – that works best if you prefer to get on your mat first thing in the morning.

Let’s begin!

Download A Free Printable PDF Of This Feel Good Yoga Flow!


I WANT THE PRINTABLE!

Feel Good Flow: Step-By-Step Instructions

Please pay attention to the contradictions and precautions for every pose. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

1. Begin lying on your back in Reclined Butterfly. With the soles of your feet together, place your hands on your belly or beside your body. You can also bring the arms above your head in a goalpost position if that’s comfortable for your shoulders.

 

Start noticing your breath. This is the time to set an intention for your practice.

Stay for about 1 minute.

 

2. Stretch your left leg long on the mat.

Inhale, interlace your fingers and gently draw the right Knee To the Chest. Keep your elbows close to the sides.

Stay for about 30 seconds.

 

3. Loosen the grip on your right leg. Stretch your right arm to the side with the palm faced down.

As you exhale, start slowly drawing your right knee to the left to get into Spinal Twist. Softly gaze to the right. Keep your shoulders glued to the mat.

Stay for about 30 seconds.

Switch sides for the poses 2 & 3!

 

4. Slowly unroll from the twist and place the soles of the feet flat to the ground.

To get into Wind-Relieving Pose, clasp your hands around your knees. Inhale and draw them to the chest. On an exhale, start using the strength of your hands to bring the thighs closer to the core.

Stay for about 30 seconds.

 

 

5-6. Come into a tabletop position on your hands and knees.

Inhale and get into Cow Pose. Drop your belly to the ground, making a U shape with your spine. Softly gaze up.

Exhale and transition into Cat. Curve your back to the sky, gently bringing your chin to the chest and tucking your tailbone.

Alternate between Cow and Cat 5 times. Let your movements match your breath.

 

7. Come back to a neutral spine and take a Side Bend. Walk your hands to the right while bumping your hips to the left. Look to the right and back at your toes. You should feel a slight stretch in your left side.

Stay for about 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

 

8. From a tabletop position, take a Calf Stretch. Extend your right leg out behind, tuck your toes under and slightly rock back until you feel a pleasant sensation in the calf muscles.

Stay for about 10 seconds. Switch sides.

 

9-10. From a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the ground, come into Thread The Needle.

Inhale as you reach your right arm up to the sky and look at your thumbs. As you exhale, thread the top right arm under the left arm with your palm facing up. Bring your right shoulder and ear to the ground. You can gently press into your left palm for a more intense stretch in the shoulder.

Stay for about 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

 

11. Continue with a Puppy Stretch.

Walk your hands forward, but let your hips stay above the knees. As you exhale, start lowering your forehead to the ground as you keep sliding your palms forward. You will feel a deep stretch in your arms, shoulders, armpits and along the spine.

Stay for about 30 seconds.

 

12. From Puppy Pose, return to a tabletop position. Make sure your hands and knees are shoulder- and hip-length apart. Come into Downward-Facing Dog.

Tuck your toes and lift your knees off the ground. On an exhale, send your hips up and back, lengthening through your spine. Press firmly into your palms and broaden through your shoulders.

Hold the pose for about 30 seconds.

 

13. From Downward-Facing Dog, step forward into Standing Forward Bend.

Stand firmly on your feet without leaning too far back or too far ahead. Bend your knees and focus on bringing your belly towards your thighs, instead of straightening through your legs. Grab your elbows with the opposite hands and gently sway from side to side.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

14. If you were holding onto your elbows, release your hands back to the mat. On an inhale, come into Halfway Lift with your back straight. Alternatively, you can slide your hands up your shins and thighs if this helps you keep a good form.

As you exhale, lower down into Standing Forward Bend. Let your movements match your breath.

Repeat the sequence of Standing Forward Bend-Halfway Lift for 5 rounds.

 

15. From Standing Forward Bend, inhale, bend your knees slightly and rise into Mountain with Raised Arms. Relax the shoulders away from the ears.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

16. On an exhale, transition into Mountain With Open Arm Twist. Twist to the right as you reach your right arm back and left arm forward. Gaze towards the back of your mat.

Hold for about 30 seconds. Switch sides.

 

17. From Open Arm Twist, reach your arms overhead and interlace your hands (except for the index fingers), moving into Upward Salute With Side Bend. Slowly arch to the right until you feel a stretch in your left side.

Hold for about 30 seconds. Switch sides.

 

18. Roll your shoulder blades back, puff up through the chest and bend your arms, drawing your elbows down into a goalpost position (a.k.a. Cactus Arms). This is a backbend, so you’ll have a slight arch in your back.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

19. Inhale as you come back to Mountain.

 

20. Bend forward into Standing Forward Bend as you exhale.

Hold for about 10 seconds.

 

21. Inhale into Halfway Lift and transition into the next posture on an exhale.

 

22. Breathe out and step your left foot back into Low Lunge. Raise your arms overhead, but keep rolling your shoulders away from the ears and down the spine. Keep your legs engaged as if you’re trying to scissor the thighs together. Keep your hips squared to the front of the mat.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

23. Transition into Half Splits. Lower the fingertips to the ground. Exhale and start shifting your weight back as you straighten your front leg. Flex the toes of the front foot towards you. Keep your hips level. This often means you have to slightly bump the hip of your front leg back and bring the hip of the back leg forward. Slowly start folding over your front foot. Focus on lengthening the spine rather than rounding it in attempt to fold.

Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds.

 

24. Shift forward into Low Lunge and transition into Plank Pose. Tighten up through your legs, butt, core, and arms. Keep your spine straight all the way from the toes to the top of the head.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

25. Exhale and lower all the way down to the ground and move into Cobra. Press into your hands and lift your upper body off the mat as you breathe in. Keep the elbows close to the ribcage. Engage the muscles along the spine – the hands are only there to support you, not to help you bend deeper.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

26. From Cobra, breathe out and send your hips up and back into Downward-Facing Dog.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

Repeat the sequence one more time as you switch sides for poses 22 (Low Lunge) and 23 (Half Splits).

 

27. From Downward-Facing Dog, settle into Child’s Pose. Extend your arms long and notice how the breath is massaging your spine.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

28. Come into Bridge. Turn over on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the mat. Place your arms beside your body. Breathe out, firm up your buttocks, and lift them up until the hips are parallel to the floor. Lift your away from the chest to take the tension off your neck.

Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds.

 

29. On an exhale, slowly roll your spine back onto the mat. Transition into Shoulderstand. Breathe in, lift your legs and hips, and curl your back toward your face. Place your hands on the lower back, fingertips pointing up to the sky, elbows on the ground. Start reaching your legs up to the ceiling, trying to bring shoulders, hips, and feet in one line.

Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds.

 

30. Exhale and slowly move into Plough Pose. As you breathe out, bend from your hips and gently lower your toes beyond your head. Avoid moving your head and draw your chin slightly away from the chest.

Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds.

 

31. Move into Fish Pose. Place the arms alongside the body. Firmly press your arms and elbows into the floor and lift the upper back off the mat to create an arch. Bring the top of your head to the mat, but avoid dumping lots of weight on it. Stay active through your legs and feet.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

32. Move into Wind-Relieving Pose, bringing your feet close to the chest.

Hold for about 30 seconds.

 

33. Get into Happy Baby. Open the knees and grab whatever if accessible to you: the outside of your feet, shins, thighs. Bend your knees, flex your feet and gently pull your legs down to the mat. Keep your lower back glued to the ground.

Stay in the pose for about 30 seconds.

 

34. Finish in Corpse Pose. Lie on your back, arms alongside your body and feet hip-distance apart. Come back to your natural breathing pattern and completely relax.

Stay here for at least 3 minutes.

Have any question or suggestion about this yoga flow? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “This Short And Gentle Yoga Routine Will Make You Feel Good”

    • Hello Erika! And welcome to the brand new (and awesome) world of yoga 😀

      I’ve created this “feel good” flow for days when I’m feeling a bit lazy to work out but my body craves for movement. For sure, you can use it to improve your flexibility! The poses in this flow will target both your lower and upper body.

      Since the flow is made for sort of a lazy day, there aren’t many powerful poses for strength. Though it depends on your fitness level at the moment. You can add a bit of “fire” to this flow by:

      1) holding Plank Pose longer for building heat in your upper body and core;
      2) moving from Plank into Chaturanga push-up (rather than coming all the way down to the ground) for upper body and core strength – check here the instructions for Chaturanga;
      3) lifting your palms off the ground in Cobra pose for spine strength;
      4) moving your hips up and down in Bridge pose for lower body strength;
      5) alternating between lifting one leg up in Downward-Facing Dog for building heat in your arms and legs.

      One word of advice. If you’re just starting out, please be extra careful with Shoulderstand (try Legs-up-the-Wall Pose as an alternative) and Plough Pose (try Rabbit pose instead). Especially if you have previous injuries or any other issues with your neck.

      P.S. I’m preparing a new PDF Printable of yoga poses for flexibility. Subscribe to YogaKali newsletter, and I’ll notify you when it’s up!

Leave a Comment