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20-Minute Commercial Break Yoga Workout

20-Minute Commercial Break Yoga Workout

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couch potato yoga workout. Quick 2-minute yoga sequences to get you in shape while you watch your favorite shows and sports on tv.

Last month, my husband decided that he wanted to quit the gym. He hadn’t been using for a long time so it was a big waste of money. 

Because I am a fitness instructor, I had to try to see if I could convince him to invest the time in himself to go instead of cancelling. But he told me that the only time he really had was in the evenings (when I wasn’t working) after our son went to sleep, and at that time, there is usually a game he wanted to watch on TV.

However, he knows the importance of fitness, so he came up with an idea. He asked me if I could write him an “NCAA Basketball Workout.”  At first I was confused, because I have no idea what kind of workout those players do, not to mention, we have no gym equipment in our house, so what was he asking me?

When he explained it to me, it made a little more sense. He wanted something that he could do at commercial breaks and halftime during NCAA Basketball games. And since my major area of expertise is yoga, the Couch Potato Commerial Break Yoga Workout was born.

Bite-sized Yoga

According to my husband there are usually 4 commercial breaks per half plus the halftime break. I realize that not all sports and TV shows have the same set-up, but the whole things takes less than 20 minutes start to finish, so you can do most (if not all) of it during the breaks of a typical hour-long program.

I knew that I wanted to base this sequence on yoga sculpt (which is the format of the majority of the classes I teach) because, while my husband enjoys vinyasa, the flowing nature of vinyasa doesn’t work well when chopped up. 

While Vinyasa is a workout, that’s generally because of the constant movement, which builds up intensity by virtue of a lack of lengthy resting periods. Unless you were going to try to multi-task and workout while the actual game or show was on, that’s not going to work.

Because sculpt sequences usually focus on strength-building, there are repetitions of poses and flows similar to non-yoga body-weight workouts.

It consists of a warm-up section, several should “work” sections, and a cool down. Of course, no yoga session is complete without savasana, so I included that as well. Each of the sections can be done in under 2 minutes, but are designed to get your heart rate up and your muscles burning. 

Commercial Break Yoga Workout

Make sure to read all cues before you being each section. Many of the poses flow from one into the next one, so pay attention to the breathing that I’ve indicated.

As you go through the sequence, take care to keep the breathing slow.  You may be tempted to speed up your breathing when it gets difficult, but try not to. 

If you feel the need to increase your breathing pace, take a child’s pose for a couple of deep breaths, then return to the sequence.

You’ll find variations and modifications in this burnt orange color. 

Commercial Break #1: Warm-Up

Seated Cat Cow Pose

  1. Inhale, pressing the chest forward, arching the upper back, looking up.
  2. Exhale, rounding the back, drawing the belly button to the spine, looking up.
  3. Repeat 4 times for a  total of 5 repetitions.
 

Balancing Table Pose With Knee To Nose Flow

  1. From tabletop:
    Inhale reaching one leg back.
  2. Exhale, bring the weight to the same side hand, reaching out with the opposite one.
  3. Inhale, reaching outward.
  4. Exhale, drawing the elbow to the knee.
  5. Repeat 4 times for a  total of 5 repetitions.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Commercial Break #2- Core and Arms

Side Plank Pose Flow

  1. Begin in Plank.
  2. Inhale, rolling onto the outside edge of one foot.
  3. Exhale, reaching up and over the head.
  4. Inhale, reach the arm up to the ceiling.
  5. Exhale, return to plank.
  6. Complete 5 repetitions.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

Commercial Break #3- Core and Glutes

One Legged Plank Flow

  1. Begin in Plank.
  2. Inhale,lifting the foot off the floor bringing the leg to hip height
  3. Exhale, returning the foot to the floor
  4. Complete 5 repetitions
plank to same side elbow crunch

Side Plank Crunches

  1. Begin in Plank.
  2. Inhale, rolling onto the outside edge of one foot
  3. Exhale, bringing the elbow to the knee

    *If needed, you can bring the knee of the lower leg to the floor*

  4. Complete 5 repetitions
Repeat the entire set on the other side.

Commerical Break #4- Obliques

Plank- Knee to Same Side Elbow

  1. Start in plank, Inhale.
  2. Exhale, drawing one knee to the same-side elbow, keeping the foot off the floor.

    *Try not to rock forward or bend the elbows during this motion.*

  3. Inhale, return the foot to its starting position.
  4. Complete 10 repetitions on each side.

    If this movement is difficult, try doing the same thing from tabletop instead.

Revolved Plank Pose Flow

  1. Right from the previous movement, exhale, dipping the hips to one side.
  2. Inhale, bring your hips back to center.
  3. Exhale, dip the hips to the opposite side.
  4. Inhale, bring your hips back to center.
  5. Complete 5 repetitions.

    If this movement is difficult, try doing the same thing from your knees, with hips extended (not bent like in tabletop).

Halftime Yoga Workout- Full Body

Plank Pose Four Limbed Staff Pose Flow

  1. Begin in Plank, Inhale.
  2. Exhaling, tip forward on your tippy-toes, bringing the shoulders beyond the wrists.
    (If need be, bring the knees to the floor, keeping the hips from bending.)
  3. Pinning the elbows to the sides of the body, lower down until the upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Inhale, press back up to plank.
  5. Complete 5 repetitions.
  6. On the last inhalation, hold plank to move into the next flow.

    If you cannot keep your elbows over your wrists, bring the knees to the floor first.

    Avoid letting the hips lift or the face lowering below the elbows. If you still are unable to keep the elbows of the wrists, do not lower all the way.

Crocodile-Baby Cobra Flow

  1. On an exhale, lower yourself all the way to the floor.
  2. Inhaling, lift just the chest off the floor.

  3. Exhale, lift the hands off the floor, keeping the chest as high off the floor as you can.
  4. Inhale, holding the pose.
  5. Complete 5 repetitions.

Crocodile-Locust Flow

  1. On an exhale, lower yourself all the way to the floor.
  2. Inhaling, lift the chest off the floor, reaching the arms out and upward.

  3. Exhaling, bring the arms alongside the body while lifting the feet off the floor.
  4. Inhale, holding the pose
  5. Complete 5 repetitions.

 Three-legged Downward Dog- Tiger Curl Flow

  1. On an exhale, tuck the toes, pressing the hands into the floor right in front of the shoulders, lifting the hips upward and pressing back.
  2. Inhaling, reach one leg straight back as high as you can without tilting the hips.
  3. Exhale, bending the knee bringing it into the chest, rolling forward to plank, keeping the foot off the floor.

  4. Inhale, return to three-legged downward dog.

  5. Complete 10 repetitions on each side.

High Lunge-Crescent Lunge Bent Knee Flow

  1. Exhale, bending the knee, bringing the foot forward between the hands
    walk the foot up if needed, using a hand to assist.

  2. Inhale, drag the hip of the back leg forward while dragging the opposite hip backward, squaring the hips to the front, pressing the thighs toward one another.

  3. Exhale, press the big toe of the front foot into the mat, then lift the fingers off the mat, hovering the chest over the thigh.

  4. Inhaling, slowly lift the arms up overhead, bringing the shoulders over the hips, keeping the hips squared to the front.
  5. Exhale, bending the back knee down almost to the floor, maintaining the squared hips, pressing the big toe of the front foot into the floor.
  6. Complete 10 repetitions on each side.  

Commercial Break #5- Legs, Back, and Shoulders

Warrior II Pose

  1. From lunge:
    Pivot the back foot until the outer edge of the foot is about parallel (or a little less) to the back edge of the mat.

  2. Open the arms out in a “T” in line with the legs, looking out over the front middle finger, shoulders relaxed away from the ears.

  3. Check that the knee of the front leg is directly over the ankle and not falling inward.

  4.  Hold for 3 Breaths.

    Make it harder: lift the heel of the front foot off the mat. 

Warrior II- Arms Up Triangle Flow

  1. Inhale, reaching arms up overhead, straightening the font knee.
  2. Exhale, returning to Warrior II.

    *Take care that your knee is in good alignment when you return to warrior 2, the tendency is for the knee to lean inward.*

  3. Complete 5 repetitions on each side.
Toes pointed out
Toes pointed to corners
Heels up

Goddess Pose

  1. From Warrior II, inhale, straighten out the front leg, opening the arms out into a “T,” pointing the toes out as far as your can.
  2. Exhaling, bending the knees into a deep squat and bringing the arms to cactus position.
  3. Hold for 5 breaths.

    Make it easier: modify goddess pose- instead of turning the toes as far outward as you can, turn them only out to the corners of the room. 

    Make it harder: come up on your toes. Bring the heels back done on the last exhale.

Half Wide Legged Forward Bend with Airplane Hands

  1. Inhale, straighten the legs, turning the toes to the corners of the room (if they were turned out).
  2. Exhaling, draw the navel to the spine, folding forward until the torso is parallel to the floor.
  3. Pulse the arms up and down in a small movement for the duration of 3 breaths. 

Chest Opening Wide-Leg Forward Fold

  1. Inhale, keep drawing the belly button to the spine as you rise up, shoulders over hips, keeping the back straight.
  2. Interlace the fingers, behind you.
  3. Exhale, folding forward from the hips. Maintain a flat back as you fold forward. Allow the arms to extend as far outward as your shoulders will allow.
  4. Hold for 3 breaths.

Commercial Break #6- Core

boat pose

Boat Pose

  1. Begin seated on with knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  2. Inhale, bringing the arms parallel to the floor palms facing one another on either side of your legs.
  3. Exhale, draw the belly button to the spine as you lean back, lifting the feet off the floor until the lower leg is parallel to the floor.
  4. Hold for 3 breaths.
     

    Make it a little easier: Alternate lifting the feet off the floor.
    Make it a lot easier: Keep your feet on the floor.
    Make it harder: Straighten the legs out, trying to keep a flat back and the same angle at the hips.

Boat-Canoe Flow

From Boat

  1. Inhale, leaning back more, reaching the feet out so that the shoulders and feet are just above the floor.
  2. Exhale, return to boat.
  3. Complete 5 repetitions.

Staff- Upward Plank Flow

  1. Inhale:
    1. Sitting straight with your legs straight in front of you, feet flexed.
    2. Place the hands slightly behind the hips, fingers pointed forward.
    3. Elongate through the spine, reaching out through the crown of the head and grounding into the sit bones.
    4. Roll shoulder back and down, drawing the shoulder blades together.
    5. Engage your abdominal muscles by drawing the belly button to the spine.
  2. Exhale:
    1. Ground down into the hands, lifting the hips off the floor, point the feet.
    2. Reach the chest upward, arching the back, engaging through the shoulders.
  3. Inhale, return to staff pose.
  4. Complete 5 repetitions.

Commercial Break #7- Stretching

Bound Angle Hip Opening Flow

  1. Sit on the mat, bringing the legs into a diamond shape with the soles of the feet touching.
  2. Bring one hand to the same-side knee.
  3. Inhaling, sitting up tall.
  4. Exhale, press the hand into the knee as you lean away.
  5. Inhaling, return to center.
  6. Exhale, press the opposite hand into the same-side knee as you lean away.
  7. Inhale, return to center, interlacing the fingers under the toes.
  8. Exhale, folding forward.
  9. Inhale, rise back to center.
  10. Repeat for a total of 3 times.

 Balancing Bound Angle Pose

  1. Inhale, sitting back up tall.
  2. Exhale, using the hands to lift the feet off the floor, balancing on the sitting bones.
  3. Draw the navel to the spine, keeping the back as straight as you can.
  4. Hold for 5 breaths.

Make it harder: Reach the arms through the legs, locking the elbows in the knees. 

Fire Log Shoulder and Hip Stretch

  1. Inhale, setting your feet back on the mat.
  2. Exhale, bringing one lower leg under the other lower leg.
    (The ankle of the lower leg should be under the knee of the upper leg and the ankle of the upper leg should over the knee of the lower leg).

    *If this is uncomfortable, it may feel better to bring the knees closer together and the ankles farther apart*

  3. Inhale, reaching the same-side hand of the upper leg behind the back, placing the back of the hand on the side of the body.
  4. Bring the opposite hand palm to palm.
  5. If possible, exhale, bending sideways to the side the hands are on, rooting down through the opposite hip.
  6. Hold for 3 breaths.
  7. Repeat on the other side

Seated Forward Bend (with strap)

  1. Inhale, return to center, straightening out the legs and releasing the arms.
  2. Exhaling, reach forward to bring the strap around the feet.
  3. Inhale, sitting up as tall and straight as you can, elongating the spine, reaching out through the crown of the head and the tailbone.
  4. Exhale, use the straps to pull yourself closer.
  5. Inhale, elongating the spine.
  6. Exhale, folding, maybe a little deeper.
  7. Repeat 2 more times.
  8. Inhale, release the strap and sit back up.

Commercial Break #8- Cool Down

Bridge Flow

Lying on your back:

  1. Inhale, walking the feet as close to the hips as possible, pointed straight forward.

    *Take care not to allow them to point outward or it will compromise the alignment of your knees and ankles.*

  2. Exhale, press into the heels of the feet as you lift your hips toward the ceiling.
  3. Inhale, bring the back down to the floor.
  4. Exhale, return to the floor.
  5. Complete 5 repetitions.
More intense option
Even more intense

Bridge Pose

  1. Exhale, return to bridge.
  2. Hold for 3 breaths.

    Make it more intense: Interlace the fingers underneath your back, reaching them away from the shoulders.
    Make it even more intense: Walk the shoulders underneath to increase the back bend.

    *If you have trouble breathing in this position, lift the chin away from the chest.*

Fish Pose

  1. Inhale, bring the back down to the floor, reaching the legs out long on the mat, pointing the toes.

  2. Exhale, press into the hands and forearms to lift the chest off the mat, arching the upper back.
    Lift the chin, rolling the head somewhat back.

  3. Hold for 3 breaths.

    *It may be helpful to place the hands under the hips to get enough leverage to lift the chest.*

Supine Spine Twist Pose

  1. Inhale, press into the forearms to take pressure off the head as you bring the back down to the floor and roll the head back to neutral.

  2. Exhale, bring the knees into the chest.

  3. Inhale, reaching the arms out into a “T” palms facing upward.

  4. Exhale, allow the legs to fall over to the right, bringing the feet down to the floor, even if the knees don’t touch.

  5. Hold for 3 breaths.

  6. Inhale, bring the knees back to center.

  7. Exhale, allow them to fall over to the left, bringing the feet down to the floor, even if the knees don’t touch.

  8. Hold for 3 breaths.

    *It may be more comfortable for you to have the knees more in line with the hips or maybe even farther down if your hips and back are particularly tight.*

Savasana

  1. Inhale, return the knees to center

  2. Exhale, reach the legs out long on the mat, bringing the arms  alongside the body- a comfortable angle away from the body.

  3. Stay here for a minute or so.

20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!
20-Minute Yoga Workout you can do during commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows or sports!

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