Motion Is Lotion: Full-Body Yoga Routine For Flexibility & Mobility

Laura Finch
written by
part of Yoga Routines
created on September 30, 2019
updated on October 22, 2019

I’m working at a desk most of the time, which explains why I am a big fan of dynamic mobility drills and quick yoga flows that get me moving all over the mat. Besides, I think they’re much more fun than static holds so common in yoga.

That said, I recognize the fact that both dynamic and static stretches serve a different purpose.

Longer holds help increase range of motion and build strength (it doesn’t take long to feel the burn in your legs and arms in Warrior II).

Short and dynamic moves help retain the flexibility you’ve gained as well as help relieve muscle tension and everyday aches and pains. And it’s also a great way to get your body warm with the arrival of the cold season.

If static stretching is not your cup of tea, no problem. If, on the other hand, you cringe at mobility drills and love long Yin-like yoga holds, great. Because this yoga routine for flexibility has both!

So let’s get moving because as a good old saying goes, “Motion is lotion.”

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This yoga sequence for flexibility and mobility is created by using all the moves listed in the post: 27 Easy Beginner-Friendly Yoga Poses And Stretches For Increased Flexibility. Check it out for breakdown of the poses, step-by-step instructions, and modifications.

27 Easy Beginner-Friendly Yoga Poses And Stretches For Increased Flexibility

How To Do This Yoga Routine For Flexibility

I encourage you to experiment with this yoga sequence. Just listen to what your body needs at a given moment and choose how you want to move – faster, slower, omit some yoga poses or add your own variations.

I personally suggest three ways of flowing through this yoga flexibility sequence.

They depend on your overall goals and how much time you have.

1. Short & Sweet Mobility Session

Great for:

  • limbering the body
  • getting some movement

When:

  • first thing in the morning
  • as a warm-up before any workout
  • as a short break from sitting

How-To:

Flow through all the suggested dynamic versions of the yoga poses. Connect your inhales and exhales to your movements.

Don’t hold any of the poses. Repeat each set of dynamic poses about 5-6 times.


2. Relaxing Yoga Stretch Routine

Great for:

  • Increasing range of motion
  • Releasing stress

When:

  • As a cool-down after a workout
  • In the evening before going to sleep

How-To:

Hold each pose in the given order for as long as you’re comfortable.

I suggest that you start holding each pose for 2-3 full and slow breaths and steadily increase the number of breaths over time.


3. Full-body Stretch Flow

Great for:

  • Increasing the range of motion
  • Reducing tension & common aches and pains
  • Relieve stress & chill out

When:

  • Any time you have 30-40 minutes.

How-To:

  • Alternate between dynamic drills and static holds for each yoga pose. Let the breath match your movements. For example, move through Cat (exhale) – Cow (inhale) five times. Then hold Cat for 2-3 full breaths and hold Cat for 2-3 full breaths.
  • Flow breath to movement through this whole sequence below. This will warm up your muscles and joints for static holds. After finishing the entire routine with Half Lord Of The Fishes/Ardha Matsyendrasana, start from the very beginning and hold each pose for at least 2-3 full breaths.

Motion Is Lotion: Step-By-Step Instructions

My favorite way to do this routine is to alternate between dynamic movement and static stretching. This way, I can target the areas I want to loosen with longer holds, but I still limber the whole body.

A few tips before we begin:

  • You should never-never feel pain in any of the yoga poses. If you do, stop immediately.
  • If any of the poses feel weird, uncomfortable, or worse painful, back off. You know your body better than I do. So omit what you think is necessary.
  • Modify at all times. It’s better to ‘under-do’ the pose than overdo it, trust me.
  • Move slowly and mindfully. Even if it is a dynamic stretch. Keep in mind that the GIFs below, where I illustrate the poses, are faster than they should be in reality.
  • Breathe. If you can’t breathe in the pose, it’s a good sign that you’ve gone too far.

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 in Sukhasana/Easy Pose. Rest your hands with palms facing up or down wherever is comfortable for you.

Bring awareness to your inhales and exhales. Scan your body and notice how it feels.

Maybe some areas feel tighter than the others or require more attention and love during this yoga practice.

2. Open your eyes. Raise your arms overhead and come into Easy Pose With Side-Body Stretch/Sukhasana Variation.

Inhale as you lift and lengthen. Exhale as you stretch to your right.

After, hold a static stretch on each side for at least 2-3 full breaths. Move from side to side about 6 times in total.

3. Come back to the center and come in Seated Eagle Pose/Garudasana Variation.

Inhale as you open the heart and extend the arms to the sides. Exhale as you bind the arms and wrists.

Alternate between the bind for at least 6 times in total. Then, hold a static stretch on each side for at least 2-3 full breaths.

4. Transition into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Stack your hips over the knees and your shoulders over the wrists.

Move into five rounds of Cat/Marjaryasana-Cow/Bitilasana.

Inhale as you drop the belly and exhale as you curve the spine up.

Next time you come into Cow, hold a static stretch for at least 2-3 full breaths. Repeat the static stretch for Cat Pose.

5. Move into Thread The Needle/Parsva Balasana.

Inhale as you raise your right arm to the sky, exhale as you reach the arm across and under the left arm. Twist your core as you reach your arm across the body.

Repeat the drill for about 6 times in total. Then, hold a static stretch for at least 2-3 full breaths on each side.

6. Return to a neutral tabletop position.

Widen your knees and bring your toes to touch. Send your hips down and back as you move into Child’s Pose/Balasana.

Exhale as you move your arms to the right for a gentle side stretch. Inhale as you return to the center.

Alternate between moving your fingertips to the right and left. Hold a traditional Child’s Pose facing the center for at least 2-3 full breaths.

7. From Child’s Pose, come to a neutral tabletop position.

Lift your knees so that they hover slightly over the ground (this is also called as Hover Plank). Exhale as you send your hips up and back to Downward-Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Inhale and move back into Hover Plank. Repeat for about 5-6 times.

Then, hold a static Downward-Facing Dog for at least 2-3 full breaths.

8. Inhale and extend your right leg behind you, coming into Three Legged Dog/Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Exhale as you shift your body into Plank and bring the right knee to the center as if you’re trying to touch the knee to the nose.

Repeat for about 5 times.

9-10. Exhale as you bring your right foot to the front of your mat and between your hands.

Come into Low Lunge/Anjaneyasana.

Keep your fingertips on the floor. Inhale. Exhale and lift your hips up and back into Pyramid/Parsvottanasana.

Move between Low Lunge and Pyramid for about 5 times. Then, hold each pose for about 2-3 full breaths.

11. From Pyramid pose, lift your torso up. Bend your front knee and come into Crescent Lunge Or High Lunge/Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana.

Exhale as you open your arms and twist your torso to the front right leg. Repeat for about 5 times.

Hold Crescent Lunge for at least 2-3 full breaths.

12. Open up into Warrior II.

Exhale.

Inhale and transition into Reverse Warrior. Exhale and tilt forward as if coming into Extended Side Angle.

Flow between the poses breath-to-movement for about 5 times. Hold static Warrior II for at least 2-3 full breaths.

13. From Warrior II, inhale and open into Five Pointed Star Pose with your arms stretched to the sides and feet wider than hip-distance apart.

Exhale and transition into Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend/Prasarita Padottanasana.

Come halfway to the ground. Place your fingertips to the center.

Inhale as you reach one arm to the sky and rotate your torso. Exhale as you bring the hand to the center. Alternate between reaching your arms up for about 6 times in total.

Afterward, come into a static Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend for at least 2-3 full breaths.

14. Inhale and lift your torso halfway.

Move into Side Lunge Or Half Squat Pose/Skandasana.

Alternate between squatting on your right and left leg. Exhale as you sit down and inhale as you move to the center and to the other side.

Then, hold a static stretch on each side for at least 2-3 full breaths.

15. Come to the front side of your mat and shift into Half Pigeon Pose/Ardha Kapotasana.

Breathe in as you puff up through your chest for a slight backbend and breathe out as you hinge forward.

Hold a static Half Pigeon Pose for at least 2-3 full-breaths.

I prefer to hold Half Pigeon Pose while staying upright or while leaning on my forearms instead of coming all the way to the ground. This way, I’m not dumping my whole body weight on my leg.

Return to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat the whole sequence on the left side.

The order is: Three Legged Dog – Low Lunge – Pyramid – Crescent Lunge – Warrior II – Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend – Side Lunge – Half Pigeon Pose.

Move back to Downward-Facing Dog.

16. From Downward-Facing Dog, inhale and come all the way forward through Plank and into Upward-Facing Dog/Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana.

Keep your toes tucked. Exhale and crawl back to Mountain pose.

Move through the sequence for about 5 times. Next time you’re in Upward-Facing Dog, untuck your toes and hold a static posture for at least 2-3 full breaths.

Release and crawl back to Mountain Pose.

17. From Mountain Pose, inhale, raise your arms overhead and lean forward into Standing Forward Bend/Uttanasana.

Inhale as you lift your torso into Halfway Lift and exhale as you fold down. There should be a slight backbend in your upper back as you lift halfway.

Repeat for about 5 times. Then, hold a static Standing Forward Bend for at least 2-3 breaths.

From Standing Forward Bend, inhale as you lift up into Mountain.

You can also come all the way up to Upward Salute with arms overhead instead of raising the torso into Halfway Lift.

18. In Mountain Pose, widen your feet and point your toes to the front corners of your mat at about 45-degree ankle. Bring the hands at your heart.

Exhale as you squat down into Garland Pose Or Deep Yogi Squat/Malasana.

Grab your brig toes with your fingers, inhale as you lift your hips up and straighten your legs. Exhale and come back to a squat.

Repeat for about 5 times. Then, hold a static Garland Pose for at least 2-3 full breaths.

19. From Garland Pose, slowly sit on your yoga mat and bring the soles of your feet close to the pelvis into Cobbler’s Pose Or Butterfly Stretch/Baddha Konasana.

Grab your feet with your hands or place them behind you. Slowly lift and lower legs like butterfly wings.

Then, hold the stretch for at least 2-3 full breaths.

20. From Cobbler’s Pose, transition into Cow Face Stretch/Gomukhasana.

Alternate between raising left and right arm overhead for about 6 times in total. Afterward, hold a static clasp for about 2-3 full breaths.

Change the position of your legs and repeat the static stretch on the other side.

21. Move into Hero Pose/Virasana.

Exhale as you sit between your heels and inhale as you lift your pelvis up.

Repeat the movement for about 5 times. Sit between your heels and hold a static pose for at least 2-3 full breaths.

22. From Hero Pose, inhale and come into Reverse Table Pose/Ardha Purvottanasana.

Exhale as you bring the hips between your hands to hover.

Repeat for about 5 times. Then, hold a static Reverse Table Pose for at least 2-3 full breaths.

23. Lie on your back into Bridge Pose/Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.

Inhale. Press into your feet and arms and lift your hips as you breathe out.

Lift and lower your hips for about 5-6 times to activate your glutes. Then, hold a static Bridge for at least 2-3 full breaths.

24. From Bridge Pose, lift yourself up and kneel on the floor. Come into Camel/Ustrasana.

Exhale as you lean back and place your right hand onto the right foot (or block) and raise your left arm overhead. Inhale as you come to the center and exhale to the left.

Change sides in Dancing Camel about 6 times in total. When you’re ready, hold a static Camel for at least 2-3 full breaths.

Release and sit on your heels for a few breaths.

25. Extend your legs in front of you and move into Seated Forward Bend/Paschimottanasana.

Inhale as you raise your arms overhead and exhale as you fold forward.

Repeat the dynamic movement for about 5 times. Hold a static Seated Forward Bend for at least 2-3 full breaths.

26. Bring one foot close to the pelvis and cross it over. Inhale as you lengthen, exhale and twist toward your bent leg, coming into Half Lord Of The Fishes/Ardha Matsyendrasana.

Alternate between twisting to the left and right. Hold a static stretch for at least 2-3 full breaths on each side.

27. Finish in Corpse Pose/Savasana or Seated Meditation.

Do you have any questions or suggestions about this yoga routine? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Motion Is Lotion: Full-Body Yoga Routine For Flexibility & Mobility”

  1. This hit all my tight spots, really. Thanks for the flow.
    Every move and transition feels just great. And I love the dancing warrior and camel.

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