A morning workout is a great way to set a healthy tone for your day. But waking up and HIIT-ing hard with an intense training session isn’t always what the body wants or needs. Sometimes you just want to do some stretching and feel good first thing in the morning. That’s why we asked Y7, a popular yoga studio in NYC and LA known for their hip hop yoga classes, for an effective, but gentle, yoga workout.
Give your body some time to wake up by doing a low-intensity routine, explains Sarah Levey, Y7 co-founder and yoga instructor. And this abs-focused sequence does just that. Feel free to play some Drake while you get your flow on—because, coffee, yoga, and Drake are all things that make mornings a little better.
If you’re a yoga regular, check out the quick overview of the morning abs yoga workout so you can get your Down Dog on immediately. If you want a little more instruction, scroll down for images and descriptions of the full yoga flow.
And be sure to check out Y7 Studio at the SELF UpNOut Studio event in October. Learn more about the two-day, ultimate fitness weekend party here—grab a ticket before they sell out!
Here’s a quick overview of the morning yoga workout for your abs.
Each pose should be held for 10-15 breaths.
- Child’s Pose
- Cat/Cow Stretch
- Down Dog
- Down Dog Abs
- Dolphin Pose
- Child’s Pose
And here’s a breakdown of how to do each pose.
Begin in a Child’s pose with your knees wide apart and toes together. Your arms should be out long in front of you parallel to each other with your palms on the flow other. Reach your fingertips toward the top of the mat to feel a stretch along the sides of your body. Stay here for 10-15 breaths.
On an inhale rise up on to your hands and knees into tabletop position. On an exhale round the spine and drop your head towards the ground for Cat pose and on an inhale arch the back and bring your gaze up for Cow pose. Repeat this for 10-15 breaths as you gain movement in the spine and abdominals.
Return to a neutral spine in tabletop position and tuck your toes. Lift your hips high so that you’re in Down Dog. Spread your fingers wide as you press firmly into the ground rotating your biceps in toward your ears. Your pelvis should be lifted and abs engaged as your heels are pressing toward the floor. Hold for a 10-15 breaths.
Down Dog Abs
From here lift your right leg high into the sky behind you keeping your hips square. On exhale, bring your right knee to your right elbow. Inhale lift your leg back behind you. Exhale and bring your right knee to your left elbow. Inhale lift your leg back up. Exhale and bring your knee to your nose. Inhale lift your light leg up and exhale place your right foot on the ground coming back into Down Dog. Take one long breath. On your next inhale, repeat on the opposite side. Do 5 reps on each side alternating sides each time.
Now shift your body forward so that you’re in high plank. Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists, your gaze between your hands, and drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine. Hold here in plank for about a minute, or 10-15 deep breaths.
On an exhale lower down onto your forearms keeping your core muscles engaged. Walk your feet forward slightly as your hips and sit bones lift up toward the ceiling so that you’re in Dolphin pose (as shown). Stay here for 10-15 breaths. Then return to forearm plank and lower down to your stomach. On your next exhale push back into Child’s pose. Relax here until you’re ready to start your day.
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