10 Minute Morning Yoga Routine

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!

Girl on a blue yoga mat doing a yoga pose.

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.

Yoga Tank Close Up

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.

Girl sitting on blue yoga mat stretching.

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.

Yoga Pants

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.

Girl doing yoga 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.

10 Minute Morning Yoga Routine graphic

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? 

A special shout-out to Marshie for taking these photos and Om On Yoga for letting me use their studio space!

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. As always opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make EBF possible. 

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    32 comments
  1. Can you share this on my email pl sothat download and practice. We are told you should not after food ….Then how come bed time postures are shiwn

  2. Yoga to start your day is a yummy full body sequence to get you stretched and poised for an awesome day. Physically. Mentally. Even emotionally or spiritually. This practice will help you tune in to your mindful side and set intentions with awareness and breath

  3. This is perfect! I was looking for something to add to my daily abs workout that would help with cool down/stretching, thanks so much!n

  4. I do yoga and meditation in the afternoon with my kindergarten students…We do a lot of these poses. It’s so important for young kids to develop balance. Since I get to wear yoga pants every day, I’m always looking for something besides black!

  5. Love this! In the past I’ve tried different kinds of workout-y/bootcampy yogas and though I did them for a while I didn’t love them and gave up. In the past year I discovered this more relaxed, restorative and inner kind of yoga and love how much it can calm me, center me even after a stressful, busy day. So I’ll gladly join your challenge, since I also want to challenge myself to move/workout more, even if it’s just 10 or 30 minutes a day.

    Oh and I went on my very first yoga retreat this summer, it was a women’s retreat with this kind of introverted, mindful approach, and it was amazing. Such a profound experience, I was still all relaxed and amped up weeks after coming back it recharged me so well.

  6. Yes, yoga is great. Back into it. Three times a week a good challenge. I am working on doing yoga outside rather than in my house. I love it when I end with a meditation lying down. Then I see the sky and tree branches and leaves above me. Today I did yoga on the beach during the start of a tropical storm (I mean the calm lightly raining part). I o some of these but my routine does suffer from sameness. So I can add some of these you have here. Thanks.

  7. Great morning routine! Are you familiar with Yoga with Adriene? She has some great at home routines you can do to expand your practice and help you meet your goal. Love me some yoga!

  8. Some of my favorite yoga moves. I started doing yoga challenges on Instagram in 2014 and did yoga poses for Instagram everyday for almost a straight year. I love yoga and now I teach yoga. Unfortunately I just found out I might have a minor stress fracture in my right foot. At least I can still do a lot of floor poses and cat cow and such to keep up my yoga and only taking a week off from teaching and will coach my class through instead of all the demonstrating I usually do. It is a challenge but I am staying positive. Yoga has helped me both physically and mentally.

  9. This is just what I needed right now. I’m also having to adjust my workouts (which is incredibly difficult) and itching to do something! I also had no idea Old Navy had such great work out clothes!

  10. Yoga is something I really need to get into more as I get older and have more and more ailments! I feel so good afterward and hope to get it into my routine even more. This 10 minute routine sounds like a great start!

  11. I seriously plan to incorporate this quick but beneficial yoga routine into my week now! I will set a goal to always do this on Sunday morning and at least one evening during the work week. Thank you so much. Also, I love Old Navy’s athletic clothes, and those look great on you. Great post!

    • Yay!! So happy to hear this, Kori. I can’t wait to hear how you feel after making this a habit for a few weeks. I’m a big fan of Old Navy for workout gear for for everyday clothes. I got a bunch of cute stuff this summer!

  12. I tried yoga a couple of times and the poses were so hard, I gave up. But these are an easy way to stretch and squeeze in a quick session. I run most mornings and am so stiff as I don’t stretch like I should so I’m thinking I need to give your morning yoga session a try before my run – thank you so much for the inspiration!

    • I heard the same thing from my mother-in-law who said that she tried yoga once and hated it. Apparently the instructor of her class was known to teach bootcamp-style yoga, which doesn’t sound very yogi to me. haha! But it really depends on the type of class you attend and the instructor. And there so many types, you’re bound to find one that works. I’ve even seen classes called “yoga for runners” which would be perfect for you. Let me know if you end up trying this routine. 🙂

  13. I just ordered that tank you’re wearing from Old Navy the other day and I am so excited to start wearing it! They have the BEST workout apparel.

    Thanks for this post – I love going to yoga classes at a studio, but this is a great alternative for when I’m short on time, or even just to add to my morning routine. LOVE yoga!

    • Oh yay! You’re going to love the tank! It’s super lightweight and dries really fast. If I could take a class at a studio every day I definitely would, but sometimes a short little routine like this is all I have time for. 🙂

  14. This totally made my morning! I share the same yoga style, as in I love it, but go in phases of doing it regularly. So yes, I have done a yoga challenge before (the one-weekers and one-monthers you print from online) and I’m totally up for a 3x per week yoga challenge – it’s just what I need!!!

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