10 Minute Morning Yoga Flow: Start Your Day Right

With numerous scientific studies supporting the positive physical and mental benefits of yoga, it’s no surprise that approximately 36 million Americans practice yoga regularly. One study in particular examined the effects yoga has on individuals with chronic depression. The yoga group showed significantly greater reductions in depression symptoms compared to the control group. Let’s take a look at the positive impact of a daily yoga routine on your life.

Taking care of your body and well-being is more important than ever. With busy schedules and various commitments, fitting exercise into your schedule can feel overwhelming. What if ten minutes of daily yoga could provide you with the physical and mental well-being effects of exercise without the added time? Let’s take a look.

Is ten minutes of daily yoga enough?

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Ten minutes of yoga a day can improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and circulation, improve energy and mood by releasing endorphins. And enable weight management by increasing muscle mass and boosting metabolism. Whilst the effectiveness of a ten-minute yoga routine depends on the individual and their goals, ten minutes provide the overall benefits of exercise. For those short on time or just starting out, ten minutes is ideal. For advanced individuals who want to master their craft, a longer session may be advised.

What is the best time to practice yoga?

Deciding the time of day to practice yoga can be dependent on the individual, their preferences, and schedule. Many people are either “early birds” or “night owls,” meaning they are either more productive in the morning or evening. Understanding which category you fall into could help you get more out of your practice. Practicing in the morning can help set you up for the day, whilst practicing in the evening can help you unwind.

For women, timing your yoga practice around your menstrual cycle is important. During the second half of your cycle, also known as the luteal phase, progesterone levels rise in preparation for potential pregnancy. Progesterone is important for mood regulation, skin health, and bone health. Excessive levels of cortisol in the body can decrease the production of progesterone, leading to hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities. Yoga is known for decreasing cortisol in the body; therefore it can act as a preventative measure for hormonal imbalances.

The impacts of ten minutes of daily yoga

Here are some of the benefits of practicing for 10 minutes daily:

BenefitImpact
Increased flexibilityA consistent, short, and effective yoga practice can help improve length and flexibility in the muscles and connective tissues.
Improved strengthCertain exercises can increase muscle strength, which can prevent injuries and boost metabolism.
Decreased stressYoga has been scientifically proven to reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in the body.
Self-careCommitting ten minutes of your day to yourself and your body can have positive effects on well-being whilst improving your mind-body connection.

Simple ten minute yoga routine

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This routine will help you build strength and flexibility while helping to reduce stress.

Standing side bend pose: 1 min

Woman doing Standing side bend yoga pose HN

Step-by-step description to successfully perform the sanding side bend:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip width apart on your mat and arms relaxed by your sides. Take a few deep inhalations and exhalations to arrive on your mat and connect to your body.
  2. Inhale while bringing your arms overhead and interlacing your hands, extending both index fingers and bringing them together. Exhale to hold for a moment.
  3. Inhale, elongate the spine, and side bend your upper body to the right, while keeping both feet rooted down on the mat.
  4. Hold this position for a couple of breaths. Return to your start position on your next exhale.
  5. Inhale center then repeat on your left side. Repeat three times each side.

Transition to next exercise: from a standing position with feet under hips, roll down through your spine, leading with the crown of your head with soft knees, walking your hand along your mat and lowering your knees into all fours position.

Cat-cow pose: 1 min

Woman doing Cat-cow yoga pose HN

Follow these steps to perform cat-cow pose:

  1. Start in all fours position, knees under hips and hands under shoulders.
  2. Inhale. Draw your shoulders down to your hips and shine your chest forwards, dropping your stomach towards the floor whilst arching into your back.
  3. Exhale. Bring your chin towards your chest and curl your tailbone in between your legs, as you round your spine up towards the ceiling. Keep pressing out of the shoulders and press your hands deeper into the mat.
  4. Keep alternating between these two positions. The movement never stops, every part of your spine is flowing together.
  5. Repeat each position ten times. Focus on your breath.
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Child's pose: 1 min

Woman doing Child's yoga pose HN

Three easy steps to perform the child's pose:

  1. From an all fours position, sit back on your heels (with heels tucked or top of feet on the mat) and fold your torso forward, resting your forehead on the mat or a block.
  2. Extend your arms forward or place them by your sides. Take slow, deep breaths, allowing your body to relax and release any tension.
  3. Hold for one minute.

Transition to next exercise: tuck toes and walk hands into feet, bend the knees and slowly roll up to stand, stacking the spine gradually, with the head coming up last.

Sun salutation A: 3 mins

Woman doing Sun salutation yoga pose HN

Here are the steps to successfully do a sun salutation:

  1. Inhale. Reach your arms up overhead.
  2. Exhale. Fold forward into a forward fold.
  3. Inhale. Lift halfway up, lengthening your spine.
  4. Exhale. Plant your hands, step back into a high plank, and lower down to a low push-up position. Keep knees down if you need extra support when lowering.
  5. Inhale. Lift your chest into upward-facing dog or cobra pose.
  6. Exhale. Lift your hips into downward-facing dog pose. Repeat this sequence a few times, linking breath with movement.

Transition to next exercise: repeat roll up to stand.

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Warrior II pose: 1 min each side

Woman doing Warrior II yoga pose HN

Follow these steps to perform a warrior II pose:

  1. Step your feet wide apart, with one foot pointing forward, and the other foot turned to the side. Bend your front knee, keeping it directly above your ankle, and extend your arms out to the sides.
  2. Hold the pose for one minute, feeling the strength and stability in your legs and the openness in your chest. Focus on inhalations and exhalations.
  3. Repeat the second side and hold for one minute.

Triangle pose: 1 min each side

Woman doing Triangle yoga pose HN

Here are several steps to easily do a triangle pose:

  1. From warrior II, straighten your front leg and reach your front arm forward, lowering it down to your shin, ankle, or a block.
  2. Extend your other arm straight up towards the ceiling. Feel the lengthening and opening through your side body and enjoy the stretch. Hold for one minute. Focus on your breath.
  3. Repeat on the second side for one minute.

Finish off your practice like you started: standing tall and taking a couple of deep breaths.

Ten minutes of daily yoga can be a powerful addition to your routine, offering a range of benefits such as increased energy, improved strength, and enhanced flexibility. However, it's important to recognize the value of incorporating other forms of exercise, such as weight training or Pilates, for targeted muscle strengthening. By diversifying your workouts, you can enjoy a broader range of physical and mental benefits that different exercises provide.

Always listen to your body and modify or leave out any poses that don't feel right for you.

Key takeaways:

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