It is too easy to get up every morning, look at the clock, and decide you have no time for yoga. After work, the last thing you want to do is change out of your work clothes and drag yourself to the studio. Who has an hour between work, dinner, homework, and bed?
Turns out, you don’t need an hour to feel the benefits of yoga. A few quick, ten minute sessions will energize, revitalize, and restore you when you do strategic poses at certain times of the day. Here is your ten minute tutorial for every day yoga.
In the Morning
Salute the sun every morning with five (or more!) sun salutations, both A and B variations. Sun salutations wake your body after its rest, energizing and stretching your muscles, and getting your ready for your day. Additionally, following your breath as you move through each posture sends oxygen through your lungs and gets your heart pumping blood through your body. If you can manage to do these outside, you get the added benefit of vitamin D and the benefit of natural light helping you waken fully.
At Work: Mid-Morning
You have spent all morning hunched over your computer. It’s time to stretch. Stand up, and on an inhale, sweep your arms up over your head, bringing your palms together. As you exhale, bend back, keeping your palms together and your arms straight overhead. As you breathe in, let the air expand in your body fully, and as you exhale, imagine energy shooting through your fingertips. Breathe here for a couple breaths, then on an inhale, come forward to standing and lower your arms as you exhale.
Next, sit down in your chair and inhale your arms above your head, lengthening up through the crown of your head. On an exhale, twist to your right, placing your right hand behind you and using your left hand to the outside of your right leg. Breathe here for five breaths, lengthening on the inhale, and deepening the twist on the exhale. Repeat on the other side.
At Work: Afternoon
You’re almost done, but you need a little boost to keep you going. Stand up and do some lunges and forward folds to stretch and bring yourself back into focus. Stand with your hands on your hips and step forward with your right foot in a high runner’s lunge. Keep your belly in and your tailbone tucked under for balance as you try to keep your thigh parallel to the ground. Breathe here for five breaths, then stand up on an inhale, and lunge forward with the other leg on an exhale.
Before you sit down, take a deep inhale, sweeping your arms above your head. On an exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward. Relax your head between your arms, shaking it “no” and nodding “yes.” Stay here for five breaths, then on an inhale, push down on your feet to rise up, sweeping the arms overhead, and then exhaling them down by your side.
A great restorative pose will calm and center you, quieting your mind before bed. It is very simple: lay on your back with your legs up against the wall. You can put a blanket under your hips or low back if you need support, and a lavender-filled eye pillow is always nice, too. Breathe easily and relax; let your arms fall out to your sides in a T. Stay here as long as you like for a soothing way to end the day. This pose is great any time you need to take a moment to calm down and relax.
How can you make time for ten minutes of yoga?
Image by Smoobs via Flickr