The fast pace of life in the 21st century has turned many of us into accomplished multi-taskers. Do you often floss your teeth while driving to work? Are working lunches becoming your new norm? Do you take conference calls while on the treadmill?
Many of us do not have a spare two hours in their day to work out, but I’m guessing you do have a spare ten minutes for a quick, ten minute yoga routine.
Cody’s Ten Minute Yoga Routine:
Turn your cell phone on silent, find a quiet space, and prepare yourself for some speedy zen. Spend two minutes on each pose, and afterward I promise you will be glad to have put life on pause for this ten minute yoga routine.
Start by standing in Mountain Pose, with your back straight, head up, and feet a couple of inches apart. Slowly begin sliding your left foot up the length of your right leg until it is resting as high as it can on your inner thigh. Ideally, the calf and inner thigh of your left leg should be folded against each other. Bring your hands up and press your palms together while breathing deeply. Holding this stance, balance on your right leg for one minute before switching sides and balancing on your left for the second minute of Tree Pose.
After completing Tree Pose, return to your Mountain Pose. Then exhale slowly as you roll your back forward and down, bringing your hands down to touch your toes. It is perfectly ok if you can’t reach the floor yet, but you should be reaching for your toes and feeling the stretch throughout the back of your legs. Let your head hang, but don’t let your knees bend. After two minutes, inhale deeply and move on to the next pose.
From your forward bend, bend your knees so that your palms are flat on the floor (if they aren’t already). Shift your weight so that your arms help support you as you hop or walk your legs back. Your hips should be the middle point between your hands and feet on the floor. Use your hands to push your body back towards your heels until you feel a stretch throughout your back and legs.
From Downward-Facing Dog, bring your knees down to the ground so that you are on all fours with your back straight and parallel to the ground. From this position, inhale as you round your back upwards like a cat, and let your head drop. Hold this for 30 seconds. Then exhale and arch your back in the opposite direction, so your belly is dipping towards the floor and you are now looking upwards towards the ceiling. Hold for another 30 seconds, then repeat this sequence again to get your full two minutes of cat-cow.
End your mini yoga session by folding your torso over your knees, bringing your arms to your sides, and touching your forehead to the floor. Breath deeply, clear your mind, and relax for your final two minutes of yoga.
A closing remark: You want to focus and destress, and that is never going to happen unless you fit yoga somewhere in your busy schedule. So next time you find yourself with a spare ten minutes, whether it be when you wake up, during lunch, after work, or before bed, try out this short and sweet yoga routine.