This Hip-Hop Yoga Routine Works Your Hips, Hamstrings, and Core in Less Than 20 Minutes
Hip hop and yoga fans, rejoice. In this video, certified yoga instructor Jaimee Ratliff shows us a flow that will get you ready for the weekend or workday. With your favorite music in the background, this routine takes less than 20 minutes to complete. And while it motivates you, this practice also guides you through a stretching, relaxing movement that focuses on your hips, hamstrings, and core. If you have 16 minutes to spare, you’ll love moving through this one. You can follow the flow with a description of the moves below.
Warm up by placing your feet at the top of your yoga mat, blanket, or towel. With feet hips-width apart and palms facing forward, take a few inhales through your nose and lift your shoulders up. Exhale as you bring your shoulders down, and repeat about three times. Try keeping your eyes closed and set your intention for this workout.
Reaching your arms into the sky, exhale and go into a forward fold, letting your head hang heavy. Shake your head “yes” or “no.” On the next inhale, bend your left knee and twist your body to the right, looking up toward the sky to feel a hamstring stretch. If looking up is uncomfortable, you can adjust by moving your gaze downward. Do this same movement on the opposite side.
Watch this video: This Invigorating Yoga Flow Is the Best Way to Get Energized
Next, straighten your legs before stepping back into downward dog and letting your head hang heavy. Here, you can pedal out your legs by bending your left, then right knees. After a couple big inhales and exhales, reach your right leg in the air and bend your knee. Move your knee in a circular motion and then reverse it. Extend your right leg into the sky and as you exhale, swing your right leg in between your hands. Moving your knee forward and back, you should start to feel your hips “wake up.” Drop your left knee onto the ground, shift your butt back to stretch your right hamstring and lean over your leg. As Ratliff says, remember to keep breathing.
Plant your right foot on the mat and go into a lizard pose by bringing your right hand to the inside of your right foot. Then, move into a lunge. If it’s more comfortable, you can go onto your forearms. Take a big inhale, come back on your hands and heel-toe your right foot to the inside of your left hand. Bringing your bent right leg into a pigeon pose, bend down and forward, and lean into your hips. After a few breaths, go back on your hands, tuck your left toes, and lift your right knee up. In the same movement, swing your right leg into the sky and return to downward dog. Do this on the other side, starting with your left foot.
Are you feeling it yet? “Your hips might be screaming at you, but we’re gonna send some love back,” says Ratliff.
Once you’ve completed the flow on your left side, take a big inhale in downward dog and exhale. On your next inhale, shift your body forward into plank pose or lower to your knees. Lower down by hugging your elbows into your midline. Return to high plank and then downward dog. Do this three times.
When you’re back in downward dog, reach your right leg to the sky, exhale, and swing it in between both hands. You’ll then shift into a crescent lunge, lifting your hands to the sky while looking up. Step your right foot back into downward dog and complete the routine on your left side, making sure you keep knees stacked directly over your ankle.
From downward dog, bring your knees to the mat, shift onto your butt, and swing your legs around in a cross-legged seated position. Go into boat pose by bringing your bent knees up. Sit up tall and if you can, raise your arms into the sky. Take your pointer and middle finger and place them around your big toe before stretching out your legs. Exhale and slowly bring your feet back down onto the mat. Do the same position, and then extend your legs and lean back so you’re in a half-boat pose. Flutter-kick legs for 15 seconds and return to your seated position. Go back into the half-boat pose and scissor-kick legs for 10 seconds.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re nearing the end of the routine. Sit up tall with legs crossed, make sure the crown of your head is lifted toward the sky, and place one hand on your belly and the other on your heart. At this point, Ratliff wants you to check in with your body.
“See how you feel now,” she says. “Feel this energy that you just cultivated, come back to your intention, take a big inhale through the nose, open the mouth inside out, another inhale and let it go.”
End with your palms facing up or down and resting on your legs. Seal your practice in a savasana—or however you’d like to celebrate the end of this regenerative hip hop practice.