Feel calmer and happier with a 30 minute workout at home

Avatar for Mish Khot By in calm, fitness at home, flexibility, home workout, yoga on 04/05/2020
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With busy days that start early and end late, we’re all guilty of pushing our fitness regime lower on the priority list. But even a short workout can help reduce your stress and make you feel calmer and more focused. This 30 minute workout at home is so easy and so convenient to do that you won’t have any excuses to skip it.

This yoga-inspired workout does not require any equipment except a yoga mat. It’s suitable for beginners and can easily be done in a small space too.

30 minute workout at home

Before you begin:

Set aside this time for yourself. When you unroll your mat, commit to making the most of this time and focusing on your breathing, posture and stretching.

Here’s your plan for a 30 minute workout at home

3 minutes warm up: This can be any warm-up you choose. You can do try jogging on the spot or jumping jacks.

2 minutes seated stretch: Then sit down on the mat with your legs crossed. Roll your head slowly to stretch your neck moving from left to right, right to left, up and down.

Shrug your shoulders as high as you can and drop them down a few times.

Raise your arms overhead and stretch forward slowly, leaning over your crossed legs to stretch your spine.

Now you’re ready to begin.

Pose 1: Upward facing dog pose / Urdhva mukha svanasana

Upward facing dog pose - instructions for home workout
  • Lie on your stomach with your palms on the mat at waist-level and the tops of your feet on the mat for a full stretch in your legs.
  • Inhale and lift your torso up off the floor, using your arms to press you up.
  • Keep your shoulders down and avoid hunching.
  • Keep your thighs engaged.
  • Push your chest forward gently but only as much as your lower back will comfortably allow.
  • Keep your gaze forward and slightly up, with a soft neck.
  • Hold for 20 seconds and lower your torso to the mat.
  • Repeat 5 times, resting for a few seconds between each pose.
  • End with child’s pose or down dog pose.

Pose 2: Cat-Cow pose / Bitilasana

Cat-Cow pose - how to do at home
  • Start on all fours, with your arms in line with shoulders and knees in line with your hips.
  • Begin with the cow pose. Inhale deeply, drop your belly down towards the floor and lifting your chin and hips towards the ceiling.
  • Exhale and pull your belly in, dropping your lower back and hips as well as turning your neck and head to look down.
  • Push your spine higher into the arch and drop your tailbone as low as you can.
  • Repeat Cat-Cow 5-8 times, slowly, resting with a neutral back between each Cat-Cow.
  • End with child’s pose.

Pose 3: Cobra pose / Bhujangasana

Cobra pose - how to do this correctly at home
  • Lie on your stomach with your palms at shoulder-level and the tops of your feet on the mat for a full stretch in your legs.
  • Pull your elbows in towards your body, and straighten your arms to push your torso up and off the mat. Your pubis and upper thighs remain on the mat.
  • Use your spine to pull yourself up, bringing a gentle stretch to your entire spine. This is a great way to stretch your spine during your 30 minute workout at home, but do not go more than is comfortable for your lower back.
  • Keep your shoulders down and your neck soft.
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds and lower your torso to the mat.
  • Repeat 5 times, resting for a few seconds between each pose.
  • End with down dog pose.

Pose 4: Plank pose / Phalakasana

Yoga-inspired plank pose - instructions for 30 minute workout at home
  • Get into plank position on the mat.
  • Your fingers should be splayed, arms strong but soft, and your core and thighs engaged.
  • Tuck your tailbone under and press your heels back.
  • Make sure that your body is straight, not arched up or dropping down.
  • Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and your gaze on the mat.
  • Hold for as long as 60 seconds if you can. If not, aim for 30 seconds.
  • Bend your elbows to lower yourself to the floor, keeping your body straight.
  • Repeat 2 times, resting for a few seconds between each pose.
  • End with child’s pose.

Pose 5: Tree pose / Vrikshasana

Tree pose for balance - how to do it correctly
  • Stand on the mat with your feet planted firmly on the ground, hip-width apart.
  • Straighten your spine to stand up tall.
  • Bring your palms together at chest-level, and breathe out slowly.
  • Bring your left leg up and place your left foot on the inside of your right thigh, as high up as you can.
  • You can use your hand to help you place your foot firmly.
  • Keep your gaze fixed on a point at eye-level in front of you. This will help you maintain balance.
  • Hold the pose as steadily as you can for 5 breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

Pose 6: Wide-leg forward bend / Prasarit padottasana

Prasarit pose - forward bend pose for home workout
  • Stand facing the long edge of your mat, with your feet placed about 4 feet apart, toes facing forward.
  • Place your hands on your hips and lean forward from your hips, keeping your back straight.
  • Lower your palms to the floor and drop your head towards the floor.
  • This stretch is not always possible for beginners, so you can use blocks or perform it in front of a sofa or chair for support. You want to feel the stretch in the backs of your legs.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and release.

Pose 7: Standing forward bend / Uttanasana

Forward bend for lower back and hamstring stretch - home workout
  • Stand with your feet planted firmly, hip width apart.
  • Lengthen your spine and stand tall.
  • Raise your hands above your hand and swing them forward and down to your feet, bending from your hips to touch your feet or the floor.
  • This stretch is great to add to a 30 minute workout at home but it is not always possible for beginners. To modify this, place your hands on your knees or shins and bend forward as much as you comfortably can.
  • Hold for 15 seconds and release.

Pose 8: Pigeon pose / Ek pada rajakapotasana

Pigeon pose for hip opening and lower back stretch - Short home workout
  • Start on all fours.
  • Bring your left knee forward and place it so that your outer shin rests on the floor.
  • Your right thigh should be facing the floor, toes tucked under, and knee and thigh off the floor.
  • Keep your hipbones parallel to the top of the mat.
  • The correct form of this exercise keeps your left leg at a 45 or 90 degree angle to the top of the mat, depending on your flexibility.
  • Remain in this position for 15-30 seconds and then switch legs.
  • End with down dog pose.

Pose 9: Warrior 1 pose / Virabhadrasana

Warrior pose for confidence and calmness - Short home workout
  • Stand facing the long edge of your mat, legs about 4 feet apart.
  • Raise your arms out to the side, shoulder-level, palms facing down.
  • Angle your right foot towards the top of the mat while your left foot points toward the long edge of the mat.
  • Bend your right knee, keeping your knee in line with your foot.
  • Turn your body from the waist to face your right hand.
  • Tuck your tailbone in and keep your torso upright and engaged.
  • Stay here for 30-60 seconds breathing evenly and slowly.
  • Swivel your torso back and then your legs, so that you are facing the long side of the mat.
  • Now repeat on the other side.

Pose 10: Squat pose / Malasana

30 minute home workout inspired by yoga
  • Stand facing the long edge of your mat, with your feet placed about 3 feet apart.
  • Bring your palms together at chest-level.
  • Keeping your feet firmly planted, bend your knees to go into a deep squat.
  • Lean your torso forward so that you can push your knees gently apart with your elbows.
  • Stay here for 30-60 seconds breathing evenly and slowly.

Do this 2 minute pose after any 30 minute workout at home

This relaxing pose is suitable to end any workout that you do at home, whether it is a yoga session or a high intensity exercise session. It helps relax all your muscles and calm the heart.

  • To end your 30 minute workout at home, lie flat on the mat with your body relaxed and eyes closed.
  • Focus on your breathing.
  • Run your awareness over your body starting from your feet, relaxing each part completely and letting it sink into the floor as you go.
  • You might like to play some calming music during this time.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, this short 30 minute workout at home will bring a sense of calm. It also has the benefit of being a full body workout so you’ll feel stronger and more flexible when you finish.

NOTE: Some of these poses may not be suitable for those with problems in the lower back, knees or neck. Do check with your GP or physiotherapist before trying these at home.

If you enjoyed this yoga-based workout, you might like to join a yoga class near you. Avaana can help you find the perfect yoga class to suit your level.

Avatar for Mish Khot

Mishana Khot is a fiction author and co-founder of The Great Next, an adventure travel company. She has been featured in National Geographic, Forbes magazine, and other publications, and has over 15 years of experience with health, travel, and lifestyle brands.

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