The thought of doing yoga can be intimidating. Social media is far too saturated with stick-thin girls standing on their heads and in full splits, contributing to yoga’s reputation that only super flexible people can practice. That couldn’t be more inaccurate. Yoga is attainable for everyone. Ultimately, it’s not about getting in a handstand (although it’s a fun goal to work toward!)… it’s about connecting with your breath, being present and quieting your mind. It’s a personal goal of mine to do yoga more often, even if that means in my home or a quiet spot.
While group classes are a great way to practice, they’re totally not necessary. For most of us, it’s hard to find a class that fits our schedule and to dedicate 60 or 75 minutes (or 90!!). If you’re in a time crunch, but still want to fit in a quick practice at the end of the day, grab a yoga mat or towel and try this 10-minute sequence. These poses are calming and will help you wind down from a long day.
1. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- From a kneeling position, sink your hips down onto your heels. Knees can be together or apart, whatever is comfortable for you.
- Exhale and fold forward so your torso rests gently on your legs and your head rests on your mat.
- You can leave your arms alongside you reaching toward the back of the mat with palms up, or for a nice shoulder stretch, place your arms overhead parallel to the long edge of the mat with your palms down.
- Begin to take deep inhales and exhales through your nose, bringing all your attention to your breath. As thoughts arise, let them go and bring your focus back to your breath.
- Stay here for 2 minutes.
2. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
- Come to seated position with your right leg extending straight out in front of you and your left leg bent at the knee with the sole of your left foot touching your right inner thigh.
- Keeping your right foot flexed, lengthen your spine and reach the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
- On an inhale, lift your arms toward the ceiling, and on your exhale begin to reach forward, lowering your torso but keeping your spine lengthened.
- Lower your hands to your shins, feet or the mat.
- Hold for 1 minute, then repeat on the other side.
3. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle)
via Yoga Journal
- Lower onto your back.
- Bring the soles of your feet together so your legs form a diamond shape.
- Allow your knees to lower down toward the mat. If it’s too intense, place blocks under your knees to support them (you can substitute with anything around the house—a book, a shoe box, etc.).
- Rest one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach, palms facing down, or lay your arms out beside you with your palms facing up.
- Stay here for 1 minute.
4. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
via Mind Body Green
- Lay on your back and bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet to the mat about hip-width apart and parallel.
- Tuck your pelvis under to lengthen your low back against the mat and press your shoulders against the mat to lengthen your neck.
- On an exhale, slowly lift your hips and back off the floor.
- Interlace your fingers under your back squeezing your shoulder blades together and lifting your chest higher OR for more support, leave your arms alongside you with palms facing down.
- Hold for a few deep breaths. Gently lower and repeat one more time.
5. Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Twist)
via Yoga Basics
- Laying on your back, hug your knees into your chest.
- Extend your arms out on either side, so you’re making a T shape.
- On your exhale, slowly lower your knees to the left, keeping your right shoulder rooted to the mat.
- Take deep breaths, allowing yourself to relax into the twist.
- Turn your head to look toward your right hand. If that doesn’t feel comfortable, keep your head centered looking toward the ceiling.
- Hold for one minute, then gently lift your knees back to center and repeat on the opposite side.
6. Savasana (Corpse Pose)
via Pop Sugar
- Lay on your back with your legs stretched out a little wider than hip-width.
- Rest your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up.
- Close your eyes and begin to relax every muscle in your body, beginning with your face and ending with the tips of your toes.
- Take deep inhales and exhales, letting go of any thoughts that arise.
- Hold for 2 minutes.
**Every yoga practice (even a quick, 10-minute sequence) should end with Savasana… it’s an excellent final pose to compl;completely relax the mind and body. Do your best to clear your thoughts or hold them until after you’re done (and don’t forget to put your phone on silent — and preferably in another room!).