I love finding ways to start my day on the right foot. Doing this series of sun salutations as a quick 10 minute yoga workout for beginners or advanced yogis first thing in the morning is a great way to wake up your body and mind.
Yogis suggest starting with two or three sets of the following full body yoga poses and to work your way up to five. I know if I’m pressed for time and can’t make it to a yoga class, that this quick workout will help to stretch and strengthen my muscles. It’s a great way to start the day!
Yoga videos are awesome, but I find that when I’m short on time, pictures help me more. I can cut to the chase and spend more time in poses that challenge me.
Of course, before doing any exercise program, please consult your physician.
How to use this 10 minute yoga workout:
1.Start in Mountain Pose by balancing your weight evenly on both feet. Lengthen your spine and engage your core. Roll your shoulders blades back, open your chest and place your arms beside your torso or bring your hands together in prayer.
Mountain pose is not just standing–it’s an active pose where you can engage your core and leg muscles, and focus on posture. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears and pull your shoulder blades together. Stand tall and breathe deep.
2. Next, inhale your arms up overhead. Stand tall, allow your lungs to fill completely, and again make sure your shoulders are down away from your ears. Do you hold your stress in your shoulders as much as I do?
3. On your exhale, hollow out your belly and bend into a forward fold. If you’re like me and not very limber first thing in the morning, you might want to bend your knees a bit to get the full fold.
If you’re feeling especially tight, go ahead and hang out here for a few minutes. Imagine your body folding a bit more with each inhalation and exhalation. It takes time to stretch ;)
4. Then, inhale into a half-way lift, bringing your hands to your shins or thighs. Keep your spine and legs straight.
5. Exhale again into a forward fold – see if your hamstrings have loosened up at all.
6. Next, plant your hands on your mat, slightly bend your knees and, on your inhale, lightly step or hop your feet back into a plank position. Your wrists should be below your shoulders, hands flat on the ground.
I often struggle with plank because one of my wrists is weak. I’ve read a lot about protecting your wrists during yoga, and have found that the best way to visualize it is to pretend I have a marble underneath my palm. Palms flat on the mat, pressing into the fingers.
7. Keeping your core engaged, exhale and slowly lower your body into a Chaturanga (tricep pushup). You can get onto your hands and knees to do this, if you’d like – Chaturangas are difficult, especially first thing in the morning!
8. Inhale into Upward-Facing Dog. Hands should still be below your shoulders. The tops of your feet should be resting on the ground and legs should be lifted off the mat and engaged (though you’ll want to keep your glutes relaxed).
9. On your next exhale, roll over your toes and come to a Downward-Facing Dog position. You can stay here for several breaths. You can alternate heels to the ground (walk your dog) and then press both heels down while lengthening your spine and lifting your booty to the sky.
Downward-Facing Dog is said to be a great yoga position for back pain. Take note of how you feel when beginning this daily routine and after a few weeks.
10. From here, you’ll inhale and step one foot up between your hands, coming into a lunge.
11. Next, bring the other foot up to come to a forward fold. If you’re doing this routine multiple times, make a note to step left foot first, then right foot first the next time you do it.
12. Finally, exhale and slowly roll your spine, one vertebra at a time, back to Mountain Pose. Stay here for several breaths and do it all again!
Doing this simple but challenging 10 minute core yoga workout every day can help so much with flexibility and strength.
How often should I do this beginner yoga routine?
I’d start with this free yoga flow once per day and then work up to five times per day. You can do this first thing in the morning to get your heart pumping! It’s an easy core and ab workout that you can do faster for more of a quick workout and slower for more of a flow.
How does yoga help you?
Yoga has so. many. benefits. Stress reduction, strength building, and muscle stretching are just a few of the benefits of daily yoga. I’ve noticed that yoga helps to reduce the severity of my migraines, and I’ve read many reports of yoga helping others with their chronic pain.
Some people use yoga to assist weight loss and increase core strength. You can read more about the benefits of yoga on YogaJournal.com.