Written by Sandy Braz, Certified Yoga Instructor  | Photography by Paul Buceta

Here’s something you may not know: A little bit of yoga can benefit your efforts in the weight room. Surprised? Don’t be. Yoga boosts your awareness of your body and helps strengthen that all-important mind-muscle connection, which can make a significant difference when you pick up the weights. Think of it this way: a bicep curl is more likely to be effective if all of your focus is on the working muscle, than if your mind is wandering to the last episode of Game of Thrones. Get it?

Even if you’re new to yoga, a few minutes in some simple postures and the practice of being ‘present’ can result in a positive effect on your workouts. This classic yoga flow—an extension of the Sun Salutation series—is a favorite amongst yogis, but is basic enough for beginners.

Try doing five rounds of this sequence, flowing from one pose to the next—and remember not to rush. If your thoughts stray from your practice, bring your focus back to your breath, drawing your awareness inward.

Sun Salutation B:

You’ll be repeating the sequence equally on both sides of your body; what you do on the right side you will be repeating on the left.
Tip: Exhale when exerting force (like holding the Downward Dog pose) and inhale while transitioning from one pose to the next.

1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Bend your knees as you inhale and lower your hips, like you’re sitting back in a chair. Simultaneously extend your arms straight overhead and reach your fingertips towards the sky.

2. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Bend at the hips and fold forward, keeping your knees straight, without locking them. Rest your hands beside your feet and bring your nose to your knees.

3. Flat back/half-standing forward fold (Ardha Uttanasana)

Inhale and lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine until your back is flat. Bring your fingertips to your shins. Your torso should be parallel, or almost parallel, to the floor.

4. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Exhale and release from flat back into forward fold; jump back into plank pose (high push-up). Continue to exhale as you lower your body to the floor into a low push-up or plank pose; your elbows should be tucked into your ribs.

Yoga-Four-Limbed Staff Pose

5. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

From low push-up, inhale and lift your chest, drawing it forward. Pull your shoulders back and lift your head slightly. The tops of your feet should be pressed down to the floor.

6. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Roll over your toes and exhale as you bring the soles of your feet to the floor for downward dog pose. Press your hands into the floor and lengthen your spine, keeping your hips pulled back. Hold for five breaths.

7. Warrior I, Right Foot (Virabhadrasana I)

From downward dog, inhale and step your right foot between your hands; bend your front knee while keeping your back leg straight; raise your arms straight overhead and gaze to the sky. Hold for a breath.

Yoga-Four-Limbed Staff Pose

8. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Repeat four-limbed staff pose then repeat steps 5 through 7.

9. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

10. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

11. Warrior I, Left Foot (Virabhadrasana I)

Yoga-Four-Limbed Staff Pose

12. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

13. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

14. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

15. Half Standing Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)

16. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Yoga-Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

17. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Yoga-Four-Limbed Staff Pose

18. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Exhale and come to a standing position with your arms by your side and feet shoulder-width apart.

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