10 Minute Yoga

 

Despite Yoga’s origins dating back to almost 3000 BC, the western world has only really experienced Yoga since the 1980’s. Because of this, many people in western culture have yet to experience the amazing effects and benefits of Yoga. Defined as “a physical, mental and spiritual practice” Yoga can be performed by the individual for many reasons, those include physical exercise, as a form of psycological healing, and as a meditation technique. 
 
There is quite literally too many benefits of Yoga to mention, so we’ve compiled a list of 8 reasons to immerse yourself in the ancient practice:
 
  • Improves flexibility
  • Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Improves posture 
  • Improves circulation 
  • decreases blood pressure
  • Boosts immune system functionality 
  • builds muscle strength 
  • Improves balance 
 
To give you a taste of the power of Yoga, we’ve created a simple 10 Minute everyday program for, with three different yoga poses. Every Yoga pose is easy enough for the most novice of Yogi. It doesn't matter when you complete your program during the day, just that you take 10 minutes to invest in yourself and feel the full benefits Yoga has to offer. One of the oldest quotes in yoga goes something like this, "You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless your too busy then you should sit for an hour". Don't let the stress and rush of modern life get the better of you with, create your own inner peace. 
 
1.) Downward Dog 
 
Benefits: 
 
  • Eliminates stiffness and back pain
  • It builds bone density
  • Increases overall flexibility and specifically in the hamstrings 
 
Instructions:
Possibly the most famous yoga pose of all - the downward dog. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, take a couple of deep breaths, and pinch your shoulder blades back to retain better posture. Then slowly slump your hands down, sliding along your stomach, onto the top of your thighs, down to your shins and eventually touch your toes (And then the floor if your really flexible!). Walk your hands out in-front of you with your palms on the floor, but still keeping your heels pressed against the floor (For a beginner this ay be tough due to tight hamstrings! Go as far as you can whilst keeping your heels down or just a little off the floor). Remember to keep your legs straight to extend your hamstrings. When you have fully extended, pause and take a few breaths whilst feeling the stretch in your hamstrings. Then slowly walk your hands back up with the reverse action of how you got down to your toes. Roll your hands and arms back up to standing whilst keeping your heels down and your legs straight.  Repeat up to 3 times every minute (or whatever feels comfortable) and take deep breaths in-between.
                               
2.) Warrior 1
 
Benefits: 
 
  • Opens yours hips, chest and lungs
  • Improves focus, balance and stability
  • Encourages good circulation and respiration
 
Instructions:
 
Begin in laying facedown on your mat, with your arms down by your side and your legs fully extended. Then slowly Inhale and extend your right leg high into the air (whilst keeping your torso as flat yo the mat as you can). As you exhale, step your right foot forward from up in the air to between your hands, into a very low lunge position. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up (now you should be in a full lunge!) You want your right foot to be slightly to the right of the centre of your mat (not directly in front of your left heel - this allows your hips to be more parallel). Then Place your hands on your hips, and gently direct your right hip back and your left hip forward (this is called squaring your hips and will stretch your hip flexor muscles). Reach your arms toward the ceiling and turn your palms in. This allows your shoulders to relax down your back. Maintain a deep, 90 degree lunge in your right leg. Your lower core muscles are engaged here, which should allow you to find length in your low spine. Stay here for five breaths or so. Then slowly release your legs from the lunge, relax your arms down and return to facedown on your mat. Repeat on the other side with your left foot forward. 
                  
                                                 
 
3.) Cobra 
 
Benefits: 
 
  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders
  • invigorates the heart  
  • Stretches muscles in the shoulders, chest and abdominals 
 
Instructions:
 
Start by lying down with your abdomen facing the floor, exactly the same as warrior one above. Keep your legs inline with your hips/shoulders, and rest the top of your feet on the floor (this in itself should be quite a nice stretch). Rest your head on the floor and allow your shoulders to relax. Then, bend your elbows and place your forearms and palms on the floor (like you would do if you were doing a front plank) with your forehead still resting on the floor/mat. Inhale a deep breath, engage your back muscles and raise your chest and head off the floor, pushing through your forearms at first and then onto your palms (Show in the picture below). Look straight ahead and take 4 or five deep breaths keeping in mind not to engage your shoulder muscles too much. Exhale and lower yourself back down onto the floor, repeat 3 to 4 times. 
    
                                                       
Its that simple, 10 minutes a day to invest in yourself to create inner peace. As you start to feel stronger in yourself when completing the program you may wish to add other poses or variations to the program, which is brilliant. We will have another blog post soon with some more advanced poses, another quick program, and an insight into a few other types of yoga. Let us know what you think of the program in the comment section below, we hope you find it useful. 
 
The Shake It® Team 
 
#shakeitup

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