Sometimes you have only 15 minutes, but even 15 minutes of Hatha Yoga can put you back on an even keel and refresh you. When you opt for a 15-minute program, you need to be specific about your goals. Consider some of the more common uses for a short routine:

  • A quick general conditioning program

  • A stress-reduction and relaxation program

  • A preparation program for Yoga breathing or meditation

General conditioning

For the purposes of general conditioning, choose the following categories and do them in the order listed.

  • Either a standing or a seated rest posture for attunement and a Yoga breathing technique

  • A dynamic series, such as either kneeling or standing sun salutation; the rejuvenation sequence, which counts as three or four postures; or three to four standing postures for 6 to 8 minutes

  • A lying twist

  • Compensation with knees- or knee-to-chest postures

  • A lying or seated rest posture

  • A breathing exercise and/or a relaxation technique

Preparation for meditation and Yoga breathing

If you’re looking for a routine to help you reduce stress, just plain relax, or prepare for meditation and Yoga breathing, choose the following elements in the order listed:

  • A lying or seated posture for attunement, and a Yoga breathing technique. Repeat this posture or a similar one at the end of the routine.

  • Two lying warm-up postures — one that moves the arms and another that moves the legs.

  • A prone back-bending posture, such as cobra I or locust I, or a lying back bend such as the bridge.

  • A bent-knee compensation exercise, such as the child’s posture or knees-to-chest posture.

  • A lying hamstring posture, such as rock the baby.

  • A lying twist.

  • A lying bent-knee compensation exercise.