Are you always on the move? If so, finding the time to slow down and do yoga can be a challenge, but don’t worry–I’ve got you covered with a ten-minute sequence for busy people! It’s important, essential, really, to carve out moments of tranquility and self-care exclusively to invest in your health and well-being. That’s why I’ve designed this quick and efficient yoga sequence to fit seamlessly into your day, no matter how busy it might be. This short practice will leave you feeling energized, centered, and ready to embrace whatever the day brings.
Consistency is key when establishing a new habit, and yoga is no different. Incorporating short bursts of movement, stretching, or breathing exercises throughout the day improves blood circulation, reduces stiffness in the muscles and joints, increases energy levels, and boosts productivity. That’s why experts suggest setting a reminder to stand up and stretch, walk, squat, and move every single hour!
You can do Yoga on the Go in ten minutes or less, or you can use the sequence as the foundation upon which to build a longer practice. Most of the postures are suitable for most people and each can be modified to support people with specific needs (just ask me!).
How Yoga for Busy People Works
The postures included in the sequence release tension in the lower back and hips while building strength and stamina in the legs and core. The postures blend seamlessly together to increase (and maintain) body temperature and promote maximum results in minimal time.
The beauty of the flow lies in its simplicity familiarity and – you won’t waste time sorting out complicated moves or pausing to check your form, and the fluidity of the sequence makes it easier to remember without guidance, ready to use anytime, anywhere. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, on your lunch break, together with the grandkids, or just before bed, you can easily squeeze this sequence (or portions of it) into your schedule.
Consistency is key when establishing a new habit.
Are You Ready to Go? Let’s Flow!
Sit in a comfortable seated position and breathe in deeply through the nose, exhale-sigh through the mouth. Notice your posture and lengthen your spine. Sit tall. Begin taking long, smooth breaths in and out through the nose. Notice the impact of your breath on the body, on the rib cage, and on the spine. Do 3-5 five rounds of focused breathing and notice the impact of the breath on your mind.
Stand at the top of your mat in Mountain Pose.
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana):
Beginner yogis: Keep your feet hip-width distance apart.
Experienced yogis: Lift one foot off the ground in Tadasana, reaching the arms overhead for an additional challenge.
2. Forward Fold (Uttanasana):
Beginners: Bend your knees and rest your hands on your shins or on yoga blocks.
Experienced: Straighten your legs and engage your abdominals to rest the belly on the thighs. Clasp opposite hand to elbow.
3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana):
Beginners: Take a wider stance and soften the knees. Come down onto hands and knees after 2-3 breaths.
Experienced: Lift one leg towards the ceiling while squaring your hips to the floor. Guide the opposite heel towards the mat.
4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) with knee down:
Beginners: Put blocks under your hands to lift your chest and lengthen the spine.
Experienced: Lift your back knee off the mat and raise your arms overhead. Look up.
5. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II):
Beginners: Take a shorter stance and rest hands on hips if your arms get tired.
Experienced: Sink deeper into the lunge, moving the front thigh towards parallel with the earth. Lift your front heel off the floor and hold for 5-10 breaths.
6. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana):
Beginners: Lean against a wall for support or rest your forearm on the front leg.
Experienced: Wrap the upper arm behind your back in a ‘half-bind for an added shoulder stretch.
7. Tree Pose (Vrksasana):
Beginners: Place the ‘balancing foot’ lower on the opposite leg, keep your toes on the floor.
Experienced: Close your eyes and reach your arms overhead.
8. Standing "Savasana”
This may be the most challenging part of the sequence, but it is essential to every yoga practise. Set your timer for one minute and remain standing, eyes closed, or sit cross-legged. Be still.
Whether you're a busy professional, a parent on the go, or someone with a body that's always on the move, it's possible to prioritize your well-being.
5 Tips for Incorporating Yoga on the Go into Your Daily Routine
The following suggestions will make it easier to roll out your mat, until it becomes second nature.
1. Schedule yoga time: The first step to establishing a new habit is to designate time for it. Don’t wait for a "spare minute" to roll out your mat. The time is now.
2. Dedicate space: Designate a space in your home for yoga where you are less likely to be interrupted. This could be an entire room or the corner of a small den. All you need is the length and width of a yoga mat.
4. Don’t negotiate: These ten minutes are as important to your health as brushing your teeth. Ditch phrases like “If I have time,” or “When I’m finished with . . .” and “I’m too busy.” Not showing up for yourself, postponing until tomorrow, waiting until a blink before midnight, or promising yourself you’ll do it are not good options.
5. Be adaptable: Although consistency is crucial when shaking up our routines, it’s just as important to be flexible. We aspire to move away from rigidity in yoga. If you miss your ten minutes of self-care despite an honest effort, instead, take 5 mindful breaths with your eyes closed. You can do this in the washroom at work, the kitchen at home, walking the dog, lying in bed, in the library, before checking email. Any amount of devoted time is better than none at all.
By prioritizing your health and following some of these tips, finding time to practice will be easy. What matters most is translating into coping skills for daily life, until deep breathing, mindful movement, and focus become the source for the strength, courage, and calm we can draw on in more challenge times.
There you have it—ten minutes of mindful movement that can transform your day! Whether you're a busy professional, a parent on the go, or someone with a body that's always on the move, it's possible to prioritize your well-being. Embrace this opportunity to invest in yourself, because when you do, the benefits will ripple out through every aspect of your life and positively influence those around you.
Let's flow through life with ease and grace, one breath at a time. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it.