Yoga Strength & Stretch Workout: 20 Minute Flow for Long, Lean Muscles

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Hi Everyone,

I am starting out my day with an outdoor yoga flow. When it’s beautiful outside I really enjoy taking my workouts outdoors. A lot of research has shown that even short periods of time outside improve your mood and ability to handle stress.

Yoga flows are wonderful because they work every muscle of the body, while simultaneously stretching and improving flexibility and blood flow. It can help improve your physical and psychological well being.

One of the most important aspects of yoga (which also applies to all other exercise as well) is improving your mind & body awareness. Keep yourself focused on each aspect of the pose/movement. Not only does this improve the physical benefits that you achieve during exercise, but it helps you to free your mind from worrying about the past or the future. Learning the ability to focus on just the present moment helps reduce stress and improve your ability to handle unexpected events.

I have been very tired for the past week. I’m not sure if I am fighting off a bug (there is one going around at work), or if it was just an exceptionally busy week at work. I am a full time Occupational Therapist. I love my job, but sometimes it wears me out mentally, physically, and emotionally. Yoga is a great way for me to re-center myself for a new week.

I hope you enjoy today’s flow. It can be done once, or repeated.

Enjoy,
Melissa

side angle pose

Extended Side Angle Pose

Some additional Benefits of Yoga (from BodyBuilding.com)

  • Improved muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina
  • Reduce stress, tension and blood pressure
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improves concentration and creativity
  • Decreases stored fat
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves digestion
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Improves balance
  • Improves mind/body connection
  • Improves posture
  • Improves agility
  • Yoga helps create a sense of well-being and calm

Extended Side Angle Pose (variation)

Extended Side Angle Pose

Benefits: Can help relieve low back pain, sciatica, osteoporosis, menstrual discomfort and constipation. 


This pose works the ankles, legs, knees, groin, chest, shoulders, spine and abdomen. 
Warrior III/Stick Pose (variation)

Warrior III/Stick Pose: 

 
Benefits: Strengthens the ankles, legs, shoulders and back. Tones the abdomen. Improves balance and posture. 
 
This pose works the thighs, hamstrings, calves, ankles, hips, shoulders, core and spine.  
Bridge Pose/Half Wheel Pose (variation)

Bridge Pose/Half Wheel Pose:

 
Benefits: Extends the thoracic spine, lengthens the hip flexors. Strengthens the legs, opens the shoulders and chest. Tones the upper-back muscles. This pose can help improve pelvic position and muscle imbalances caused from long periods of sitting. 
 
This pose can be used to reduce anxiety and build toward a full back bend. Are the front of your body lengthens and becomes more flexible you will be able to lift the chest more in this pose. This is a great pose for building strength and flexibility in the back. As flexibility grows you will be able to reach your hands closer to your heels. 

6 thoughts on “Yoga Strength & Stretch Workout: 20 Minute Flow for Long, Lean Muscles

  1. Noel

    I needed this today after a hardcore day of Downhill mountain biking yesterday. Sometimes I forget that it is okay to take a rest day and this was refreshing but also i also felt the burn!

  2. benderfitness

    Thank you! Sometimes your body tells you what you need. I am going to the doctor today. I am sure I will be feeling better soon. 🙂

  3. Steph

    I found a love for yoga while pregnant and now 4 months postpartum I don’t have quite the energy level yet to do more intense workouts. I also have to be careful how many calories I burn because I am breastfeeding and easily fall below a healthy weight. So feel free to add more yoga videos. I’m hoping to ease my way back in. I took 4 months off, too long but I couldn’t mentally, emotionally, or physically add anything else to my plate. looking forward to getting back at it!

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