When it comes to fitness and health, I love having challenging goals along with a plan on how to get there. It’s one of the things that I love about martial arts. There is always a new belt, with new requirements. At the start, an advanced belt seems unattainable. But then step-by-step you get there. And the impossible becomes possible. Your white belt becomes yellow, orange … brown!
I am about to start a wellness challenge with a group of people at work. One component of the challenge is to stretch for 10 minutes a day. What a great opportunity to build a consistent home yoga practice.
I am a big fan of short bouts of home yoga. It just seems more doable. I think that it is more beneficial to do 10 minutes each day, than one 90-minute class a couple of times a month. Consistency keeps your practice warm, alive, juicy. It becomes a part of your life. By practicing yoga at home, you own it!
I like to have a “go-to” routine. That way I don’t have to think about it when it comes time to practice yoga. I don’t always follow it. Sometimes I just do what my body wants or I follow a video online. But having a routine in my back pocket takes away one excuse.
I also love the accountability of a group. I discovered the power of this over the past year through doing some fun wellness challenges with lots of great people. (Thanks to Mike at The Wellness Bucket and MK of Cultivating Habits for creating these awesome opportunities)
Which brings me to …
Take Ten for Yoga
Are you up for joining me in doing 10-minutes of yoga a day for 21 days?
This would be a great opportunity to encourage and inspire each other. You can of course do a longer practice, but 10-minutes a day is the intention.
What does a yoga practice look like to you?
For me (in an ideal world…) it includes a bit of breath practice, some yoga postures and a short relaxation or meditation at the end. But some days it is just child’s pose and a few quiet moments.
Your practice may look different. Think about your own ideal practice and what elements you would like to incorporate daily.
I have created a 10-minute sequence below that includes breath, postures and relaxation. It is gentle but also warming. Give it a try!
And if you would like to join me in doing yoga for 10-minutes a day for 21 days, I would love that.
Here’s how it works.
We will start this Sunday, January 18th. Each day set aside 10 minutes to do yoga. Then just post on the Facebook event page, Take 10 for Yoga, that you’re done. You can comment or add a photo – whatever you like! I will do the same. I’ll also post some tips as we go and would love to hear any of yours.
Sound fun? Join in here.
10 Minutes of Yoga to Warm and Waken
Seiza (Hero’s Pose)
Sit back with your butt on your heels. You can sit on a bolster or block. Rest your hands on your thighs. Close your eyes. Take a few moments to settle in. Lengthen the crown of your head toward the ceiling; chin slightly tucked, shoulders relaxed. Stay for 10 slow, deep breathes.
Come onto your hands and knees (table top). Drop your belly. Inhale. Bring your chest and gaze forward. Exhale. Round your spine towards the ceiling tucking your chin. Move at your own pace repeating 5 times.
Curl your toes under and press up into downward facing dog. Start with knees bent. Walk your dog, lifting each heel. Come to stillness and hold for 5 breaths. You may start to take the bend out of your knees.
From down dog, walk your feet to the front of your mat. Fold your torso over your legs. Keep knees slightly bent. Tuck fists into opposite elbows. Allow your spine to lengthen. Feel grounded in your legs. Option: Sway side to side. Hold for about 5 breaths.
Standing forward bend with a twist
Step feet mat-width apart (or wider) and fold forward at the hips. Place your right hand on the floor under your shoulders. Open up to the left extending your left hand towards the ceiling. Keep your spine long and hold for 5 breaths. Lower to center and repeat on the other side (left hand down, opening to the right and extending right hand up
Sun Salutation A (3-5 times)
Pause on each Downward Dog holding for about 3 breaths. Here’s a great video if sun salutation is new to you.
Bring the bottom of your right foot to your left ankle, shin or inner thigh. Gently open your right knee and hip. Bring your hands to prayer position or extended to the sky. Steady your gaze on one spot. Hold for 5 breaths. Gently lower the foot and move to the other side.
From standing, swan-dive forward. Plant your hands on either side of your feet and step back into plank position. Hold for a couple of breaths (knees may be up or on the mat). Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, slowly bend at the elbows and lower to your stomach
Set your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor parallel to each other. Bring your chest and torso forward to move into a gentle backbend. Feel an opening in the front of the torso and chest. I like to place a bolster crosswise beneath my torso for support. Allow you head to hang or support it with a block or two. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
Press back into child’s pose. Hold for a breath or two and then come into a seated position.
Sitting on the floor, bring the bottoms of your feet together. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale and fold forward. Support your forehead with a block if you like. Stay for 5 deep breaths.
Stretch your legs out and let your feet fall open. Bring your ams by your side, palms up. Relax into your mat. Stay here for at lease a minute or two or as long as you like.