Monday, January 18, 2010

twenty minutes of yoga

Angela over at Just Waffling asked me if I could give her a short yoga sequence that she could do regularly at home. Like so many of us she is time poor and so I thought I'd share it with you all!

So many people want to practice yoga more often, but don't have the time or the money to go to regular classes. One thing I always emphasise about home yoga practices is that they don't have to take huge amounts of your time. Little and often. A 15-20 minute sequence five times a week will do is much more useful than 90 minutes once a fortnight. And 15 minutes is doable right? I'm sure we can all find 15 minutes in our hectic lives to practice some yoga!

So you've found the time but then you have the big question of which asana to do, and in what order. So here's a little taster for you to try. This is an all-rounder sequence, it moves and stretches the body in it's four main directions (forwards, backwards, side and twist) and shouldn't have contraindications to any health issues. If you've got a question or want a modification please feel free to ask in a comment or email me (address in my profile).

So without further ado, let's get on with the practice!

Begin lying down; knees bent, feet on the floor with the heels in line with the sit bones. Observe the breath for a few moments. You can then hug the knees to the chest and rock on the back in any way that feels good for you. Then come into any sort of supine twist that is approriate for you. Roll onto the right hand side and come to sitting back on the heels towards the back of the mat.

Kneeling Salutations - As you inhale stand up on the knees and reach the arms high, exhale into child's pose with the arms stretched infront, inhale to all fours and exhale into downward facing dog. Then come back again, inhaling to all fours, exhaling to child, inhaling to standing on the knees stretching the arms up and then exhale to sitting back on the heels lowering the arms. This is one round.Take 3-5 rounds, moving slowly with the rhythm of the breath. Finish sitting back on the heels and take a couple of conscious breaths before coming to standing.

Virabadrasna 1
Virabadrasna 2

Practice each of these to the right first holding each pose for 5 breaths and then repeat to the left.

Standing forward bend with knees slightly bent to release the lower back for at least 10 breaths.

Come to lying on the stomach and focus on the breath once again then choose between Cobra Pose, Locust Pose or Bow Pose. Whichever you choose try to do three repetitions holding for 5 breaths. Or you could try one of each!

Press back into Downward Dog for 5 breaths and then into Child's Pose for as long as you need.

When you are ready, just roll onto your back and relax for a few minutes.

(NB - I've created links to some of the poses in case you don't know them. Don't let the pictures of bendy yogis put you off. I don't look like that in these postures either!)

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know. And remember, you can practice yoga any time, any place even when you can't get on your mat. There are a few postures you can do at your desk that will just wake the body up and even just a few moments breathing mindfully, connecting with your breath rhythms is yoga.

I will try to post a "Yoga at Your Desk Sequence" later in the week.

Happy Monday all :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel

Thank you so much for posting these suggestions. I look forward to looking at them more fully later (and hopefully trying a few tomorrow).

Happy Monday to you :o)

Eco Yogini said...

ouuuu i haven't done that from the knees sun sal before- it looks very interesting!

I really am excited about this short sequence- I may share with a few friends!! :)

Thank you very much (and for the kind words over at my space :) )

Jamie said...

I can't wait for "yoga at your desk"! I sit for hours and hours at my corporate I need it : )

Great sequence.

La Gitane said...

Love it!!

Also, great minds think alike... I just posted a 20-minute sequence for my students on my website (, using some way cool stick figures I found and used with permission from this site: Check out her drawings, she has lots of inspirational sequences and other fun stuff.

I think inspiring a home practice is the most important gift a teacher can give...

This is great!