10 Minute Yoga Practice

Here's another one from the request pile. I've done something similar in the past, but it can't hurt to pull a repeat.

In every yoga practice, whether it be five or fifty minutes, we want to move the spine in every safe way possible. There are thought to be six movements to the spine: forward folds, back bends, twisting right, twisting left, and side stretches in both directions. If you have only 10 minutes to get your yoga in, try to get every movement of the spine involved. One of the most important physical benefits of our yoga practice is spinal health and well being (hello, central nervous system). The less we can stop focusing on whether our arms and legs are in pretty shapes, and the more we can focus on healthy spinal work, the better.

In 10 minutes (or less!) here are the six movements of the spine and a complete yoga asana practice.
  1. Begin lying on your back
  2. Take a gentle supine twist, one minute to each direction
  3. Plant your feet on the floor. Lift and lower the hips with breath 3-5 times. 
  4. Hold Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana) for 1 minute.
  5. Gently roll up to seated
  6. Extend your legs long in front of you and your spine long to the sky. Exhale to a gentle forward fold for 1 minute. 
  7. Using your hands, walk the torso back upright.
  8. Coming onto your knees (put a blanket under the knees if they are sensitive), extend one leg to the side and come into Parighasana, or Gate Pose. Breathe deeply into the side of the body, 5 cycles of breath.
  9. Table top position for five rounds of cat/cow poses
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 on the other side
  11. Child's Pose
  12. A couple of minutes of seated meditation, if you have time

On another note (and a long shot at that!): Anyone know of good yoga places in Okinawa, Japan for native English speakers? Another request, but one I couldn't be too helpful on. If you can be more helpful, email me at thejoyofyogabook at gmail dot com. I'll forward the message along-- thank you!

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