This 10 Minute Yoga Wake-Up Will Start Your Day Off on the Right (and Left) Foot
Waking up can be hard — no matter who you are or how regular your REM cycle. Although many are guilty of hitting the snooze button at least half-a-dozen times before reluctantly slithering out of bed, and others spring up before the alarm has even made one obnoxious peep, there are some mornings that require a lot more oomph to rev up the ol’ engine. Sometimes, coffee does the trick. And yes, showers certainly help. But I’ve found that the best way for me to fully and completely wake up is to move. Whether I’ve logged a full 8, or I’m scraping by with just 4 or 5 measly hours, nothing better prepares me for the day than yoga.
Admittedly, I’m one of those obnoxious people who wakes up every morning at the crack of dawn and goes to a 6AM class in order to move and breathe and generally stimulate my body and my mind. But I’m also acutely aware that I’m an anomaly: most people have neither the desire nor the ability to participate in this daily ritual.
But here’s the thing: the only requirement for doing yoga is commitment. You don’t need expensive equipment or extensive time spent to reap the benefits — and the benefits are vast. Not only are there endless physical gains to be had from cultivating a regular practice (like improved balance, better core strength, metabolic regulation, increased flexibility, better posture...I could go on for days) but there are also mental benefits to this ancient practice. Think: mental clarity, reduced anxiety, higher energy levels, increased positivity, and greater personal awareness.
You got 10 minutes? Of course you do.
Set your alarm to go off 10 minutes earlier, and try waking up your body and your mind with a little movement and breath. Emmy Singer, co-owner of Nashville’s Inner Light Yoga studio, created this 10 Minute Yoga Wake Up specifically for Broad Varieties — and it'll get your engine fired up in ten minutes flat! Why not give it a shot? You might still want that cup o’ joe to complete the awakening process (I know, old habits die hard) but we’d wager to guess you’ll see the benefits go much further than that cup of caffeine.
Psst - find that you like this 10 minute yoga wake-up and are ready for a little more? Inner Light has early morning classes 5 days a week! And a ton of classes scattered throughout the day and evening, if that's more your vibe. Plus, they pump up the jams while they yoga = good vibes. Check out there schedule here.
Ten Minute Yoga Wake-Up:
1. Minute 0.00 - 1.00 | Child’s pose: 10 breaths
2. Minute 1.00 - 1.30 | Table top → cow + cat: 6 breaths
3. Minute 1.30 - 2.30 | Downward facing dog: 5 breaths → lift right leg → low lunge → step forward, fold → stand up + reach high → fold forward → plank pose → vinyasa* → down dog
4. Minute 2.30 - 5.00 | Repeat Step 3 on the left side. Then do both sides once more.
5. Minute 5.00 - 7.00 | Down dog → jump to hands → stand up + reach high → chair pose → fold → step left leg back, low lunge → prayer twist to right (option to lift back knee for crescent lunge twist) → crescent lunge → warrior two → peaceful warrior → vinyasa → downward dog
6. Minute 7.00 - 9.00 | Repeat Step 5 on the left side.
7. Minute 9.00 - 9.30 | Camel pose: 3 - 5 breaths → child’s pose
8. Minute 9.30 - 10.00 | Sit on your heels and rest your palms on your heart: 5 breaths
For a printable version of Emmy's 10 Minute Yoga Wake-Up, complete with more detailed instructions, click the button below.
*Vinyasa: In sanskrit, the word vinyasa means "to unwind." Yogis move through this traditional sequence between postures as a way to unwind their bodies. Typically: chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog. Emmy offered two vinyasa variations for you to try:
Vinyasa 1: Step into a plank pose: stack your shoulders, elbows and wrists. Activate your legs and press your shoulder blades up towards the ceiling. Look slightly forward instead of down or back to keep your spine long. Drop your knees to the ground: modified plank. As you exhale, bend your elbows, hugging them in towards your sides, and lower down halfway or all the way to the ground (your preference). On your inhale, lift your heart off the ground for cobra pose (hips grounded) and as you exhale lower to the ground. Press up through table top, then tuck your toes and go back to downward dog.
Vinyasa 2: Step into a plank pose: stack your shoulders, elbows and wrists. Activate your legs and press your shoulder blades up towards the ceiling. Look slightly forward instead of down or back to keep your spine long. Keeping your body strong and flat like a board, bend your elbows, hugging them in towards your sides, and lower down halfway: chaturanga. Push forward off your toes and bring your chest through your upper arm bones as you arch your back for upward facing dog. Only your hands and the tops of your feet should be touching the ground here. To get back to downward facing dog, pull your navel in and roll over your toes and lift your hips to the sky.
BV: Did you try it? What did you think? Leave us a comment below to let us know how our 10 Minute Yoga Wake-Up left you feeling!