If you were to go and do a Yoga class at your local studio, you would probably find the class to be at least 45 minutes or more. But today we're going to talk through how 10 minutes of yoga can be plenty, which is good news if you don’t have time for a full session or simply want to access the benefits whilst working from home.
Not only is 10 minutes of yoga enough, but it actually gives you more opportunities to enjoy the health, fitness and mindfulness benefits of yoga every day if you want!
What Equipment Do I Need For Yoga?
The wonderful thing about yoga is that you need very little equipment. You’ll need a gym yoga mat and enough space to move through your yoga flow.
You might also want to invest in some resistance bands to help you move into trickier poses. You’re good to go!
Here Are Some Must-Do Yoga Poses For Wellbeing
Also called the easy pose, this seated pose helps you slow your breathing and heart rate and drop into a mindful headspace. At the same time, it’s gently encouraging your hips to open and core to engage, ready for your yoga session.
Tadasana (or Mountain pose) might look easy, but therein lies the challenge. Simply standing still, feet under hips and arms up in the air or by your sides, is an exercise in tuning in and standing strong.
Downward facing dog
This full-body pose is often used to link other poses in traditional yoga flows, but it can also be a pose you hold for some time. It strengthens your shoulders, arms, and wrists, stretches your calves and ankles, and eases your entire postural chain from hamstrings to neck.
The cobra pose stretches the front of your body, including the hip flexors, which can get very tight from too much sitting down. It also gently works into your wrists, shoulders, and lower back.
This dynamic plank-based movement is often found in the middle of a yoga flow, linking downward dog to upward dog. It combines a plank and a narrow-hand press up to work your core, shoulders, chest, and triceps. Slow it down for the ultimate challenge.
All of the warrior poses are strong, dynamic movements. But the first pose in the warrior series puts you into a lunge movement, working your thighs, glutes, core and shoulders. From here you could move into warrior 2, warrior 3, or triangle pose for a flow.
A standing or seated forward fold can feel luxurious on tight hamstrings and lower back, easing out knots in your spine and neck to get rid of aches and pains.
The go-to pose to pause in a yoga flow, child’s pose is much more than a resting spot. It’s a chance to connect with your breath and find mental stillness before you get on with the rest of your day.
Slowly switch between these two positions, holding each for a few seconds and breathing slowly. This is great for stretching your whole back and neck, loosening tension you may have built up.
Try This 10 Minute Yoga Flow
- Start in child’s pose to connect with your breath and get calm
- On all fours, move through cat/cow pose to ease into your neck, hips and spine
- Get into a plank position and push up into a downward facing dog
- Move forward into a plank, drop your knees, and do a modified chaturanga, moving through upwards dog before pushing back to downwards dog
- Repeat step 4 but stay in a high plank for your chaturanga if you are ready
- From your final downward dog, walk your feet towards your hands and hang in a forward fold to ease through your back
- Roll through your spine to stand tall, holding mountain pose for 10 seconds
- Take your arms overhead and gently lean back for a small back bend
- Roll back down to a forward fold, rolling through your spine
- Step or jump back to a plank
- Step your right foot forward, placing it outside your right hand
- Put your left knee to the floor and raise your right hand to the ceiling, twisting your body to the right
- Bring your hands back to the floor, step back into a plank
- Repeat steps 11 and 12 on the left side
- Sit on the floor, feet together and legs in a diamond shape
- Keep your chest proud and bend from the hips to fold over your legs
- Sit up again, take both legs out straight in front of you, and fold at the hips for a seated forward fold
- Lie on your back, put your arms out in a T-shape and bend both legs, feet still on the floor. Take both knees over to the right and move your head to the left to feel a twist through your spine and hips.
- Bring your feet back to the centre and repeat the twist on the other side.
- Lie on your back, feet the width of your mat and arms away from your sides. Breathe for 10-20 seconds to finish your practice.
The Benefits of Short Yoga Sessions
By stepping away from your usual task to do 10 minutes of yoga, you’ll create a valuable pause in your day. This allows you to slow your thinking and put some distance between you and your source of stress. Not to mention the fact that yoga is great at lowering blood pressure, which has clear benefits for longer-term stress management.
Take a Break
10 minutes of yoga is just long enough to be a treat, giving you a break from the laptop (or whatever else you need to deal with!), and a quick yoga break will leave you refreshed and refocused, so you might actually save time by being more productive afterwards!
Ease Aches and Soreness
Shoulders up around your ears? Wrists aching from too much typing? Modern living can leave us feeling tight and achy. A 10 minute yoga flow allows you to work into those tight areas, easing off your neck, shoulders, lower back, or whatever needs attention.
Improve Your Posture
Computer work, driving, and looking at our phones leads to postural problems, including internal rotation of the shoulders. 10 minutes of well-chosen yoga poses can strengthen your upper back, ease your shoulders back into place, and stretch your neck muscles to improve your posture.
Increase Focus and Alertness
Yoga is somewhat famed for having a particular power to connect our body and mind. This is good news at any age, but especially as we get older and feel the effects of the decline in memory and alertness. Tap into the short term and long term benefits of yoga with just 10 minutes a day.
Yoga is a calm, stress-free way to move your body and check in with yourself. Just 10 minutes of yoga during the day can boost happy hormones like endorphins and dopamine, so you feel brighter and lighter.