80:20 Yoga: The Ultimate Yoga Sequence

Reclining Spinal Twist

I realise that’s a big claim but I can back it up!


  1. It’s all on your back.
  2. The poses are easy.
  3. It targets all the muscles that typically hold tension. 
  4. We go deep.
  5. You can do it at any time of day.


In a concept drawn from economics, this sequence is the 80:20. It gives you 80% of the results for 20% of the effort, in 20% of the time. The benefits are disproportionate for the amount of effort and time that you have to put in.

If your goal with yoga is to move well, without pain or stiffness, despite a heavy training schedule—this ultimate yoga sequence has you covered. The poses are nothing short of miraculous!


  • Beginner


  • Releases tension in the hips—the groin, glutes, piriformis, TFL and external hip rotators.
  • Stretches the calves and hamstrings.
  • Re-aligns the pelvis.
  • Helps to prevent and alleviate lower back pain. 


  • A strap if you have one.


Lie down on your back. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet flat to the mat—hip-width apart, toes point straight ahead. Close your eyes. Bring your attention to your breath. Take 4 or 5 long, slow breaths—deep into your abdomen. Allow your belly to expand on the inhalation and contract on the exhalation. 

We begin with some gentle pelvic tilts to bring your focus to your lower back. Move with your breath. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, tilt your pelvis back as you press your lower back into the mat. Inhale, come back into a neutral spine—feel your lower back lift away from the mat. Exhale, tilt your pelvis back and press your lower back into the mat. Inhale, come back to neutral. Repeat slowly, 4-6 times. 


Wind-Relieving Pose

Next, we’ll come into Wind-Relieving pose to start to loosen up your hips. Take a deep breath in. Exhale, hug your left knee into your chest and lower your right leg to the mat. Relax your neck and shoulders and release any tension in your jaw. Sometimes I flex my right foot and sometimes I completely relax into the pose.

Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side—drawing out the length of your exhalations.


Happy Baby

Let’s come into Happy Baby to gently stretch your groin. Hug your knees into your chest, keep your feet together, open your knees and stretch your hands through to take hold of the outsides of your feet or ankles. Bring your feet out over your knees and gently pull them down towards the mat. Flex your feet, press your lower back into the mat and rock gently from side to side.

Hold for 5-10 breaths. Keep drawing out the length of your exhalations.


Dead Pigeon Pose

Bend your knees and bring both feet to the mat for Dead Pigeon pose to stretch your glutes and piriformis. Inhale, straighten your left leg up to the sky and press through your heel. Exhale, cross your left ankle on top of your right knee and flex your right foot. Draw your right thigh in towards your chest—feeling the stretch in your left outer hip. Flex your left foot to protect your left knee and press the back of your pelvis evenly into the mat. 

Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side.


Reclining Butterfly Pose

Let’s come into Reclining Butterfly for a deeper groin stretch. Bring the soles of your feet together, keep your knees bent and let them fall open in the shape of a diamond. Bring your arms by your sides, palms facing up and allow your inner thigh muscles to relax. You can adjust the intensity of the stretch by sliding your feet closer or further away from your hips. And slide pillows under your knees for more support.

Hold for 5-10 breaths. Then carefully bring your knees together.


Reclining Spinal Twist

Next, we’ll come into Reclining Spinal Twist. Inhale, lower your left leg to the mat. Exhale, squeeze your right knee into your chest. Inhale, bend your right arm to 90 degrees like a cactus. Exhale, gently guide your right knee across your body towards the mat. Look to the right and relax into the pose. Try to keep both shoulders flat on the mat. 

Hold for 5-10 slow breaths on each side.


We’ll finish with Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe to release tension in your calves and hamstrings. Bring your right knee into your chest and straighten your left leg to the mat. Take hold of the back of your right thigh or big toe and press through your heel to straighten your right leg up to the sky. Keep the back of your left hip firmly pressing into the mat. You can bend your left knee and bring your left foot flat to the mat if that helps you to keep your hips level. Try to bring your leg in a little closer on every exhalation. (For this pose, you can also use a strap).

Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side.


Final Resting Pose

Release your arms and legs and lie back in Final Resting pose. Let your feet come as wide as the mat and fall open. Relax your hands, palms facing up, shoulder blades rest evenly on the ground. Close your eyes and allow all the muscles in your body to soften and become heavy. 

Bring your attention to the sensations of your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Focus on the movement at your belly or your chest. Try to follow each breath as it comes and goes.

Stay in Final Resting pose for 5-10 minutes. 

This is definitively the most effective and pleasurable yoga sequence that we practice at Yoga 15. I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer any questions that you have.

Download this QuickGuide to your phone for the 15-minute version of this sequence.

The Ultimate Yoga Sequence

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