A rejuvenating morning yoga routine that takes less than 10 minutes to complete, this sequence of poses will give you a chance to set your intention for the day while stretching and realigning your body.
I’ve been into yoga for quite sometime, but I tend to go through phases. I truly love everything about it and always feel good when I’m doing it, but I struggle to keep up with my practice when life gets busy. If I only have a limited amount of time to work out in a day I’ll usually opt for something that will give me more “bang for my buck” in terms of intensity and calorie-burn. I know this isn’t the best mindset, but it’s how I’ve felt in the past.
However, with the need to adjust my workout routine I’ve gravitated toward yoga and it’s been such a nice change of pace. I’ve been going to restorative classes, which are heavily focused on using props and holding the poses much longer than a traditional flow class. Most of these classes start with shavasana (or another reclined pose) and sometimes we literally stay on the mat the entire time without a single standing pose. It’s all about slowing down to focus on your breath while aligning your physical and mental being. I know this may sound a little woo-woo, but this type of yoga is seriously amazing. It’s not about how far you can take a posture, sweating or burning calories. It’s about being mindful, listening to your body and relaxing.
Think about your average day. How often do you take time for yourself to truly relax? Zoning out in your bed watching snaps or flipping through Facebook doesn’t count!
Since going to more restorative classes I’ve become really interested in incorporating a regular yoga practice, learning more about the yoga physiology and going on a yoga retreat. Basically all things yoga!
Like I said, I’ve always enjoyed yoga, but now I feel a deeper connection to the practice. So when Old Navy reached out to me about working with them to set a fitness goal for the fall I knew I wanted my goal to focus around doing more yoga. I’d love to do a yoga every day challenge sometime (kind of like my salad challenge), but I don’t want to get ahead of myself so my goal for this fall is to do some sort of yoga at least three times a week.
To make it really doable I’ve decided that it doesn’t have to be a full class, literally 10 minutes of yoga in the morning counts. The nice thing about yoga is that you can do it ANYWHERE, even without a mat. Mats are a nice, but you don’t HAVE to have a mat to practice. Heck, Jordan of the Balanced Blonde does yoga at the airport. Plus, I’ve found that it’s super easy to incorporate yoga into your evening or morning routine.
Ending your day with a few poses can be great for relaxing, but I think starting your day with a little yoga can be even more beneficial. It’s a great way to get in tune with your body, set your intention for the day and stretch a little before the day starts to get cray. Classes are awesome, but many mornings I don’t have time to get to a studio for class so I’ve come up with a quick morning yoga routine to do at home. It’s really basic, takes less than 10 minutes to complete and people of all fitness levels can do it.
I know 10 minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s amazing how much better you’ll feel after a little yoga in the morning. It’s especially good if you’re like me and sit at a desk all day.
Morning Yoga Routine
I’ve included many of my favorite poses in the sequence I’m sharing today, but feel free to make it your own based on what your body needs. For instance, if you feel like your hips need a little more openness you can add something like bound angle pose to the routine. Or if you really want to work on your balance, add in tree pose.
For this sequence you’ll want to hold each pose for 3-5 breath cycles. Start in a comfortable seated pose. Close your eyes, create awareness round your breath and set your intention of the day. Start with the seated side stretch, stretching out both sides of your body. Move into a table top position and alternate between cat and cow pose with your breath, inhaling for cow and exhaling for cat. From here you’ll go into a downward facing dog. Stay in this pose for a bit, breathing while pedaling out your feet, rotating your hips and doing any moves that feel particularly nice to you. You can move into a quick upward facing dog if that feels good or simply move on by stepping one foot forward into a low lunge with your back knee on the ground. Hold and relax here for a few breaths before switching sides. From here you’ll move a seated pose with your legs stretched out and then into a seated twist. Be sure to twist to both sides and hold for a few breath cycles before moving into the final seated forward fold. You can end here or move back into a seated crossed leg position with eyes closed before ending your practice.
Here’s a breakdown of all the poses in the sequence. Click the links to get a full description of each.
- Seated Side Stretch — Stretches and lengthens the sides of the body.
- Cat — Massages the spine and helps correct posture.
- Cow — Easy, gentle way to warm up the spine.
- Downward Facing Dog — Stretches the hands, feet, calves, hamstrings, spine and shoulders.
- Low Lunge — Opens the chest. Stretches the thighs and groin.
- Seated Twist (Marichi’s Pose) — Stretches the shoulders and spine while massaging the abdominal organs. A great pose for detox.
- Seated Forward Fold — Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings.
What I’m wearing: Old Navy Active — Gray Leggings / Light Blue Tank / Black and Gray Sports Bra — I loved everything about this outfit! The leggings are comfy, flattering and have a good amount of stretch so they’re perfect for yoga. The muscle tank is light and loose, but not so loose that it’s showing off your tummy during down dog. The sports bra offered a good amount of support so I’d feel comfortable wearing it to a more intense workout class as well.
Riddle me this. Do you love yoga? Have you ever done a yoga challenge? Are you up for joining me in my goal of doing yoga three times a week this fall?
This post is sponsored by Old Navy. As always opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make EBF possible.