This 10 Minute Morning Yoga Routine Will Change Your Life

10 min workouts, Yoga

Woman preparing for her 10 minute morning yoga routine.

A 10 minute morning yoga routine is a simple way to focus and clear your mind each day.

When you think of things that will change your life what do you picture? Something grand and monumental? Sometimes the biggest change and impact can come from going back to basics. Sun Salutations are a basic flow, but we are adding some variations and some instructions that can amplify the results. Are you game to try this 10 minute morning Yoga routine and follow the directions? Move with your breath at one to two breaths per movement unless specified. For maximum results let go of rushing through and enjoy the next ten minutes with us.

10 Minute Morning Yoga Routine

Mountain Pose: Stand in Mountain Pose with your toes spread wide creating space between each toe. Press into the ground with all areas on your feet and simultaneously lift up through the legs creating dynamic tension. Close your eyes and focus on the breath for a few counts. Slowly inhale and exhale through the nose as much as possible, and draw the breath down to the belly using the diaphragm and push it back out using the same muscles. See if you can inhale four to five counts and exhale five to six counts with each breath cycle. Do this three to four times.

Swan Dive and forward fold: On the next inhale circle sweep the arms palms up to the sky and exhale as you swan dive into a forward fold by bending the knees, hinging at the hips (this shortens the levers and puts less strain on the low back), and arms circling to the ground palms down.

Lunge or Kneeling Lunge: Inhale stepping the right foot back into a lunge or a kneeling lunge. This time keep the hands down on the ground. Take a breath feeling the right thigh lifting towards the sky.

Second time through: Add a twist by placing the right hand onto the left knee and the left hand onto the left hip, or start with hands at heart’s center and hook the right tricep onto the outside of the left thigh. In either option make sure you are initiating the twist from the abdomen and that you aren’t pushing beyond what you should do. If you are pregnant or have a gentle back the first option might be better, or no twist at all.

Third time through: Add some chest opening by lifting up through the torso and gently reaching the head and body up and back. The arms can be up above the head and help initiate the movement, or they can be placed into the small of the low back with the elbows reaching behind you. In either option make sure you stay lifted out of the low back so it doesn’t receive too much pressure, and keep the neck safe.

10 minute morning yoga routine using the down dog position.

Downdog: Step the left foot back into your first downdog and slowly pedal the feet dropping one heel toward the ground and then the other while bending the opposite knee. Reaching the bottom of your tailbone and sit bones toward the sky and lengthening through your upper body for some delicious shoulder opening. Press into the finger pads and knuckles so the heel of the hand and wrist do not bear the brunt of the weight. Stay here for three to four breaths (after the first round you may decide to only stay here one breath).

Second time through: Change the balance and the weight distribution by lifting the right leg high towards the sky.

Third time through: Change the balance and the weight distribution by lifting the left leg high towards the sky.

Plank or Kneeling Plank: Press forward into a plank or kneeling plank. Holding the abdominals firm and support the low back staying lifted in the shoulders. Shift the weight forward just a little bit.

Second time through: Keep the right leg lifted although you may lower it so the foot or knee is hovering off the ground.

Third time through: Keep the left leg lifted although you may lower it so the foot or knee is hovering off the ground.

Chaturanga: Slowly lower into chaturanga keeping the elbows hugged in against the body in a tricep pushup.

Second time through: Keep the right foot or knee lifted as you lower. Lower it down as you transition into cobra or updog.

Third time through: Keep the left foot or knee lifted as you lower. Lower it down as you transition into cobra or updog.

Cobra or Updog: Inhale to cobra or updog keeping the core and low back supported and shoulder blades down and back.

Downdog: Press back into downdog or reverse the tricep pushup for some extra work to get to downdog.

Lunge or Kneeling Lunge: On the next inhale take the right foot to the sky and bring it through between the hands for a lunge or kneeling lunge, again keeping the arms down and lifting the left thigh towards the sky.

Second time through: Add a twist by placing the left hand onto the right knee and the right hand onto the right hip, or start with hands at heart’s center and hook the left tricep onto the outside of the right thigh. In either option make sure you are initiating the twist from the abdomen and that you aren’t pushing beyond what you should do. If you are pregnant or have a gentle back the first option might be better, or no twist at all.

Third time through: Add some chest opening by lifting up through the torso and gently reaching the head and body up and back. The arms can be up above the head and help initiate the movement, or they can be placed into the small of the low back with the elbows reaching behind you. In either option make sure you stay lifted out of the low back so it doesn’t receive too much pressure, and keep the neck safe.

Forward Fold and Reverse the Swan Dive: Stepping the left foot forward into the forward fold reverse the swan dive by bending the knees, hinging at the hips, and circling the arms palms up toward the sky.

10 minute morning yoga routine using the chair pose.

Chair: Sit into chair pose (arm options: hands at heart center, raised toward the sky with the shoulder blades drawn down and back, hands on the thighs, or goalpost arms).

Final time end in Mountain Pose: Stand in Mountain Pose with your toes spread wide creating space between each toe. Press into the ground with all areas on your feet and simultaneously lift up through the legs creating dynamic tension. Close your eyes and focus on the breath for a few counts. Slowly inhale and exhale through the nose as much as possible, and draw the breath down to the belly using the diaphragm and push it back out using the same muscles. See if you can inhale four to five counts and exhale five to six counts with each breath cycle. Do this three to four times.

Final Thoughts on the 10 Minute Morning Yoga Routine

Go through the sequence three to six times depending on your time. Instead of rushing through focus on the breath and how the body feels in each pose and as you transition. Instead of using the momentum of the movement slow it down and help your body gain strength and flexibility. Don’t lose focus because it seems simple.

As Steve Jobs said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Namaste.

Last modified: December 3, 2019

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