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Beat Stress, Weigh Less: Calorie-Burning Yoga Workout

What do you get when you turn up the sculpting power and calorie burn of yoga classics? A superslimming workout that will transform your mind and body.

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Beat Stress, Weigh Less
Karen Pearson
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How the Workout Works

De-clutter your brain while totally trimming your abs, butt, and thighs -- these moves will slim you down and bliss you out. "You'll feel how much more toned you get with these twists, but all the zen of yoga is still there," says Kristin McGee, an instructor at YogaWorks in New York City who mixed this routine from a trio of new classes exclusively for FITNESS. Complete the circuit twice -- the first move of each pair is done at a fast tempo to rev calorie burn, the second is an allover sculptor. Pause in the starting pose of each sculptor for three deep breaths before your reps to get a steady dose of calm. Do the plan two or three times a week for your total mind-body makeover.

What you'll need: A yoga mat

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Kickstand Tap

Targets: Abs, butt, and legs

  • Start in chair pose: Stand with feet together and arms extended overhead with palms facing each other; sink into a squat. (As you hinge forward slightly from hips, arms reach diagonally upward.)
  • Maintaining squat throughout, lift left foot off mat and quickly extend leg behind you to tap mat, then immediately return to start. MAKE IT EASIER: Place hands on hips before starting taps.
  • Do 20 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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High Heel

  • Start in chair pose: Stand with feet together and arms extended overhead with palms facing each other; sink into a squat.
  • Raise both heels off mat, lowering arms directly in front of you at shoulder level as you rise onto tiptoes. MAKE IT EASIER: Keep heels on mat so feet remain flat throughout.
  • Do 3 pulses, lowering butt 2 inches toward heels and rising again.
  • Lower heels and return to chair pose.
  • Do 10 reps.

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Side Slide

Targets; Chest, abs, hips, butt, and legs

  • Start in tree pose: Stand with palms pressing together in front of chest, and bend right knee out to side, placing sole of right foot on inner thigh of left leg.
  • Bend left knee to lower into a squat as you extend right leg out to side, sliding it out on floor, toes pointing forward. MAKE IT EASIER: Place hands on hips for better balance.
  • Immediately return to tree pose, tapping right sole on left inner thigh before quickly repeating move.
  • Do 20 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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Hip Shaper

  • Start in tree pose: Stand with palms pressing together in front of chest, and bend left knee out to side, placing sole of left foot on inner thigh of right leg.
  • Maintaining contact of left foot on right thigh, bring left knee across body toward right, then extend left leg out to right.
  • Bend left knee again, and bring it out to left side to return to tree pose.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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Warrior Windmill

Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

  • Start in warrior II: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended out to sides, palms down, then lunge with right leg out to right side, toes pointing right, knee over ankle and left leg straight. Turn head toward right hand.
  • Maintaining lunge position throughout, hinge at waist toward left as you bring left hand toward mat by outside of left ankle and bring right arm overhead.
  • With feet planted, quickly reverse direction, hinging toward right as you arc right arm toward mat behind right thigh and bring left arm up toward ceiling to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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Sumo Warrior

Targets: Shoulders, abs, butt, quads, and calves

  • Start in warrior II: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms extended out to sides, palms down, then lunge with left leg out to left side, toes pointing left, knee over ankle and right leg straight. Turn head to left.
  • Pivot on heels so that toes of both feet are turned out slightly, look forward, and sink into a wide squat.
  • Lift both heels off mat and do 3 pulses, lowering butt 2 inches toward heels and rising again. MAKE IT EASIER: Lift only one heel, or keep both heels on mat.
  • Pivot feet to return to warrior II, this time facing right: Point right toes toward right and left toes forward, leaning body weight over bent right leg and straightening left leg as you look right. That's 1 rep.
  • Do 6 reps.

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Cha-Cha-Cha

Target: Abs

  • Start in plank position: Balance on mat on forearms and toes, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.
  • Quickly alternate bringing left knee, then right knee, to touch mat.
  • Continue alternating for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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Pendulum Plank

Targets: Abs and butt

  • Start in plank position: Balance on mat on forearms and toes, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.
  • Lift left foot a few inches off mat and bring it 45 degrees out to left side, hold for 1 count, then return it to start position. MAKE IT EASIER: Step with left foot onto floor briefly when you bring it out to side.
  • Repeat move with right leg to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 10 reps.

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Running Dog

Targets: Arms, abs, butt, and hamstrings

  • Start in downward dog: Get on all fours on mat, then tuck toes under and press hips back and up toward ceiling as you step feet back a few steps to form an inverted V, balancing on palms and feet. (Try to keep heels on floor or as close to touching floor as possible.)
  • Maintaining V position, quickly bring left knee in toward chest, then press left heel back to extend left leg directly in the air behind you. Immediately bring knee in again.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

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Scorpion Press

Targets: Arms, abs, butt, and legs

  • Start in downward dog: Get on all fours on floor, then tuck toes under and press hips back and up toward ceiling as you step feet back a few steps to form an inverted V, balancing on palms and feet. (Try to keep heels on floor or as close to touching floor as possible.)
  • Maintaining V position, lift right foot off mat, bend right knee 90 degrees, and raise leg so that right thigh is in line with back.
  • Keeping bent right leg in air throughout, bend left leg 90 degrees to lower knee toward mat, then straighten it again.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

Fire-it-up tip: To sizzle more fat anytime you hit the mat, try this combo from the YogaWorks Body Slim class: Perform sun salutations at a fast clip for 2 minutes, then do your fave poses for the next 4. Repeat for a workout that burns 300 calories per hour.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2009.

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stelladeignis wrote:

I have a question, "Complete the circuit twice." Does that mean we are supposed to do the whole workout (all 11 moves)at a fast pace first, then do all 11 poses again at a slower rate?

2/11/2014 11:29:45 AM Report Abuse
coreytmitchell wrote:

I agree with illiana. I've been doing a combination of dirty yoga - http://www.dirtyyogaco.com - and running and I'm in the best shape I've ever been in my life. I do Dirty 4 times a week and run twice and it's been working incredibly well. Probably because I'm always soaked through at then end of every dirty yoga session. Take a look. I find it to be the best routine I've ever had and it wont be something that stops as I don't have to do anywhere. Love it.

4/9/2013 05:19:24 PM Report Abuse
sbkar1 wrote:

Are there alternative moves if you have a disability? I can't do push-up motions or raise one arm completely over my head after a car accident. Would really be great if you catered to people like me, and the woman Army vet down the street who doesn't have a leg.

5/30/2012 09:21:20 AM Report Abuse
a3984502 wrote:

A few months ago I started reading Brilliant Yoga: The Complete Guide to Upgrading Your Body and Life by Sarah Sanders. It helped me discover the amazing benefits of yoga: increased flexibility, stress relief, toned muscles, improved sense of health and wellbeing and so many more. It also helped me lose weight! You must check it out: http://goodlifefitness.org/yoga

3/24/2012 03:17:07 AM Report Abuse
a3984502 wrote:

A few months ago I started reading Brilliant Yoga: The Complete Guide to Upgrading Your Body and Life by Sarah Sanders. It helped me discover the amazing benefits of yoga: increased flexibility, stress relief, toned muscles, improved sense of health and wellbeing and so many more. It also helped me lose weight, which is great! If you want to transform your body, mind and spirit and improve your life quality, just visit Sarah's website at: http://tinyurl.com/yogaforyou

2/13/2012 06:59:33 AM Report Abuse
iliana_velinova wrote:

Yoga will help you slim down! I have been doing it in combination with running and exercises to slim down, and the result is here. If you would like to see my regimen of exercises, you can do so by checking out my blog here: http://freakinhealthy.blogspot.com/p/exercises.html#!/p/exercises.html Good luck! Its all up to you ladies! Just be persistent.

1/19/2012 06:14:36 AM Report Abuse
doltgabi wrote:

Good luck ,Great post,y love you! http://www.howmanycaloriesinapoundoffat.org/how-many-calories-does-yoga-burn/

1/11/2012 08:17:03 AM Report Abuse
tricia.2007 wrote:

for a yoga beginner, this is a great workout. even the mat routine is simple, yet you will break a sweat. love it!!

7/24/2011 11:24:33 AM Report Abuse
lmarlin2 wrote:

Can I get this workout on a DVD?

8/16/2010 11:45:33 AM Report Abuse
traveljunkies3 wrote:

does anyone know the approx. caloric burn?

7/2/2010 10:25:22 PM Report Abuse
bpaskiew wrote:

I honestly love this. This will be my morning routine before showering and running off to classes :) Thanks, Fitness Magazine!

4/11/2010 08:39:34 PM Report Abuse
lanastinchcomb wrote:

Love this workout. i am going to incorporate it into my regular routine.

4/9/2010 01:06:46 PM Report Abuse
andreacorcoran wrote:

did you find out where to get her outfit?

1/31/2010 03:48:34 PM Report Abuse
ahner_julie wrote:

Where can I get the tank top that your model has on in this article?

1/4/2010 08:51:05 PM Report Abuse
crystalclark2 wrote:

this is the best workout I have ever done. I am able to workout with my husband making it something we can do together..IT IS GREAT..

1/3/2010 11:08:30 AM Report Abuse
maddy324 wrote:

LOVE IT!

11/17/2009 08:52:55 AM Report Abuse

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