30-Minute Yoga Sequence to Reset Your Day

·9 min read

This article originally appeared on Yoga Journal

You know those days when it seems you need to do several different things in each moment and you’re equal parts exhausted and confused and all you want--actually, need--is yoga? Yet it seems like there’s no time for it.

This 30-minute practice is for those days. It challenges your body to be strong and your mind to be still. And it allows you to come into familiar poses so you can have a respite from trying to achieve or psyching yourself up to overcome yet another obstacle in your day. You simply get to bring so much focus to your body that your mind can be silent.

Each time you practice yoga, you relearn how to bring yourself back to your breath, which in turn brings you back to an awareness of only what is in front of you at the moment. It is literally a reset for your mind. A reminder to bring all your attention on the moment in front of you and how you show up to that. That’s why we call yoga a practice. It’s practice for life.

A 30-minute yoga sequence to reset your day

A person demonstrates a variation of Savasana (Corpse Pose) in yoga, with a rolled blanket under the knees
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Savasana

Lie on your back and settle into a comfortable position, whether Savasana with straight legs or with a rolled blanket beneath your knees. Stay here for 8 to 10 breaths.

Slowly draw both knees toward your chest and bring your hands to your shins or the back of your thighs. Gently rock side to side or slowly circle, massaging your lower back. Play with gently curling your pubic bone toward your navel and then down toward your mat to release and lengthen your lower back.

A person demonstrates a reclining supported twist in yoga
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclining Twist)

Keep your knees drawn into your chest. Take your arms straight out to your sides in a T shape, palms up or down. Release both shoulder blades into the mat as you inhale deeply. As you exhale, drop both knees to the left, stacking them atop one another. Stay here for 4-5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

A person demonstrates Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) in yoga
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Marjaryasana (Cat) and Bitilasana (Cow)

Slowly come to your hands and knees. Align your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. On an exhale, round your spine, pushing the floor away from you with both hands and gently lifting your navel toward your spine.

Woman in Cow Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

On an inhale, arch your spine, moving your heart forward and up and let your gaze follow. Repeat 4-5 times or more, if you like.

(Photo: Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)
(Photo: Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Tabletop Crunches

Still on all fours, gently lift your navel to your spine to engage your abdominal muscles. Inhale and extend your right arm forward and your left leg straight behind you, keeping the inner left thigh turning in and toward the ceiling. Exhale to bring your right elbow and left knee toward each other, rounding your spine and bringing your chin in toward your chest. Inhale and reach your right arm forward and left leg back. Do this 4-5 times on each side.

Woman in Child's Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Balasana (Child’s Pose)

From Tabletop, bring your big toes to touch, let your knees slide a little wider than your hips, and ease your hips back over your heels with your arms extended. Bring your forehead to the mat or give yourself a bit more space here by placing a block or blanket beneath your head. Close your eyes and stay here for 16-20 breaths.

Man performing a Downward-Facing Dog modification with bent knees
(Photo: Andrew Clark)

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)

From Child's Pose, inhale and bring yourself to Tabletop. As you exhale, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back into Downward Dog. Bend both knees deeply and work on keeping your hips lifted while pushing the floor away evenly through both hands. Eventually find stillness. Draw your shoulder blades toward your hips and relax your neck. Let your heels drop toward the mat. If you can, start to straighten your knees a little. Breathe deeply as you hold for 5-10 breaths.

Person in a Standing Forward Bend variation with bent knees
(Photo: Andrew Clark)

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Step one foot at a time to the top of your mat and separate your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees, hinge forward from your hips, and grasp opposite elbows or let your hands rest on the mat or blocks. Take 4-5 deep breaths. If you like, reach behind your back to interlace your fingers and clasp your palms together. Release your head down toward the mat as you breathe deeply for another 4-5 breaths.

Woman in Mountain Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

With your feet together or hip-width apart, inhale and slowly reach your arms skyward. On an exhale, bring your palms together at your chest in anjali (heart) mudra or relax them alongside your body. Stand here with your shoulders relaxed, breathing deeply for 4-5 breaths or until you feel grounded and centered.

Woman demonstrating Chair pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

From Mountain Pose, with your feet parallel and toes pointing forward, bend your knees deeply, reaching your seat back as if you were about to sit in a chair. If you’d like, take a block between your thighs and squeeze. continue to squeeze the block. Breathe deeply for 5 to 10 breaths, then straighten your legs and come to stand in Mountain Pose. Repeat 1-2 more times.

Woman demonstrates Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend)

From Mountain Pose, turn to face the long-edge side of your mat and step your feet wide, outer edges of your feet parallel with your mat's short-edge sides. Bring your hands to your hips. Inhale and lift your chest; as you exhale, hinge from your hips and fold forward, bringing your hands underneath your shoulders to the floor or to blocks. Breathe deeply for 5 to 10 breaths.

Exhale and bring your hands to your hips. Inhale and slowly rise to standing facing the long side of the mat.

Woman in Warrior II Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II)

Facing the long side of the mat, extend your arms out to the sides, palms down. Inch your feet a little wider, so your ankles are beneath your wrists. Turn your left toes to face the front of the mat and angle your right toes in slightly. Inhale to lift your chest; as you exhale, bend your right knee and track it over your ankle. Press through the outer edge of your back foot to find stability as you try to distribute your weight evenly through both feet. Stay here for 4-5 breaths.

Bring your hands to your hips and straighten your front leg. Turn your right toes to face the back of the mat and repeat on the right side.

Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

From Warrior II facing the back of the mat, bring your hands to your hips and straighten your right leg. Turn yourself to face the front of the mat with your left knee bent. As you exhale, lengthen through your side body. As you inhale, extend your left arm toward the sky. On the next inhale, reach the arm overhead, palm facing the floor. Lightly rest your left forearm on your left thigh or reach your left hand down to a block behind your left ankle. Keep your chest open and spacious and your collarbones broadening. Stay here for 4-5 breaths.

Bring your hands to your hips and straighten your front leg. Turn your right toes to face the back of the mat and repeat on the right side.

Man in Extended Triangle Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark)

Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

From Extended Side Angle Pose facing the back of the mat, inhale to straighten the front leg. Turn yourself to face the front of the mat with your left knee straight. As you exhale, hinge from your left hip and reach your left fingertips forward, in the same direction as your left toes. Bring your left hand to a block behind your left ankle as you reach your right arm toward the ceiling Press firmly through the base of your front big toe, and hug your left hip in toward the midline of your body. Stay here for 4-5 breaths.

Inhale and come to standing. Change sides. Turn your right toes to face the back of the mat and repeat on the right side.

Person in Tree Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Stand at the top of your mat, feet together. Shift your balance to your right foot and leg. Hug your left knee in toward your chest with your hands, then place the bottom of your left foot against your inner right thigh--either above or below the right knee. Bring your hands to your heart. Work on dropping your left hip down and pressing your foot--especially your pinkie toe--into your leg, which will help you find balance in your pelvis. If you feel steady, consider reaching both arms skyward. Take 4-5 long, deep breaths, keeping your heart lifted. Change sides.

(Photo: Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)
(Photo: Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Reclining Figure-4

Lie on your back and cross your right ankle over the top of your left knee. Lift your left leg as you flex your right foot, and reach through to hold the back of your left thigh with both hands. Inhale as you draw the left thigh closer to your chest while keeping your pubic bone curling down toward your tailbone. Exhale, relaxing your shoulders and neck, finding broadness across your chest. Breathe here for 4-5 breaths, then change sides.

 

A person demonstrates Savasana (Corpse Pose) in yoga
(Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia)

Savasana

Find a comfortable position on your back, with your feet falling out toward the side and your arms angled out from your body. Relax as you slowly exhale. Stay here for at least 2 minutes.

Man in Easy Pose
(Photo: Andrew Clark)

Sukhasana (Easy Seat)

From Savasana slowly draw your knees into your chest and roll onto one side. Take your time as you make your way to a cross-legged seat with your hips propped on a blanket or block, if that feels most comfortable. Allow your eyes to rest and find your breath. Stay here until you begin to feel ease in your breath.

About our contributor

Los Angeles-based teacher and model Grace Flowers started her practice 15 years ago. A student of Annie Carpenter, Maty Ezraty, Erich Schiffmann, Shiva Rea, Saul David Raye, and numerous others, Grace has a unique teaching style that encourages artistic exploration in her students. Learn more at graceflowersyoga.com.

For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today.