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Yoga For Strength, Flexibility And Mental Peace: All In 15 Minutes!

Even if you woke up on time, there are some days you just can't seem to get everything done. And on these days, quickly squeezing in some yoga time can seem almost impossible - but if you have at least 15 minutes, we've got you covered.

15 Minute Yoga For Your Mind And Body

There's a little bit of everything in this 15-minute practice: shoulder openers, hip openers, twists, core work, and subtle backbends. It'll help you stretch, build strength, and relax so you can rest. A yoga mat and enough space to unroll it are all you need. According to experts, even a simple 15-minute yoga routine can completely transform your health [1][2].

We will explain the 15-minute yoga poses in 10 steps.

Step 1. Sit On The Mat

  • With hands in Anjali Mudra - palms lightly pressed together at the centre of the heart - sit cross-legged.
  • Create an intention for the day; it can be a short, positive sentence or word that inspires and motivates you.

Step 2. Cow-Cat

  • Bring your shoulders directly over your wrists, fingers spread wide, and hips above your knees (Cow pose). As the belly dips, lift the tail and heart. Don't overextend the neck when gazing forward.
  • As you exhale, draw the navel up towards the spine and tuck the chin to the chest, rounding and stretching your back (Cat pose). Create a flow between the two poses, synchronising the breath with the body's movement.

Step 3. Plank

  • Start on your hands and knees, then step one foot back, then the other. The body should be in a long line, so feel the head lengthen forward as the tail and heels extend back.
  • Draw your navel up towards your spine and keep your shoulders over your wrists. Next, engage the arms and upper back muscles by firing up through the thighs and pushing the mat away from you. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds.

Step 4. Downward Facing Dog

  • Keep hands shoulder distance apart, fingers spread wide.
  • Start with your knees bent and glide your hips up and back to lengthen your tail and spine. Before coming to a stationary pose, straighten one leg at a time and feel how the hamstrings feel.
  • Our bodies are stiffer in the morning, so you can keep your knees bent if necessary. Breathe deeply for at least 5-6 complete breaths.

Step 5. Open Hip

  • Stretch your right foot and float it back behind you. Fold your knee to your butt and open your hip open to the right. Ensure your chest is square to the front of your mat, and extend the left heel down. Straighten your leg, square up your hips and step back into Downward Dog.

Step 6. Low Lunge

  • Keep your core switched on as you step the right foot forward between the feet. Back knee over ankle, front knee over back knee. Sweep arms overhead, fingers pointing upward.
  • Bring your tailbone down to the mat and draw your lower ribs and belly in to support your lower back. Let the heart space feel open and light for at least 5-6 breaths.

Step 7. High Lunge

  • Steps for the previous pose are repeated with the back knee off the mat. Again, engage your back leg and feel it power you through the pose.

Step 8. High Lunge Twist

  • This great way to power up through the legs and re-ignite that core power.
  • Keep your legs strong as you slowly float the hands down, left hand inside the right foot.
  • Then, hold your right hand up, fingers reaching toward the sky, and draw your navel to the spine.
  • If your neck is comfortable, look up at your top hand. Bring the hands back to the mat using strength and control for at least 5-6 breaths. Return to Downward Facing Dog. Step both feet together and bend your knees. Then, slowly peel up to standing with the chin tucked to the chest.

Step 9. Side Stretch

  • Stand in Tadasana - feet together or hip distance apart, arms beside you. Raise your arms overhead and distribute the weight evenly between both feet.
  • Lean the torso to the right and press the left hip to the left. The tailbone lengthens to the ground to keep the space in the lower back, and the heart space feels open and light. Stay for a few breaths, then switch sides.

Step 10. Tree Pose

  • From Tadasana, place the sole of the right foot against the inner left thigh or calf muscle. Don't press against the knee. Instead, get your standing leg firm and steady.
  • Next, place your hands at the centre of your heart. Keep the shoulders relaxed and away from the ears while floating the hands in prayer mode overhead.
  • On each side, stay for at least 5-6 breaths, and repeat the other side if you like.

On A Final Note...

It's nice to end this sequence with the hands in Anjali Mudra so you can return your focus to your intention or word. Get back in touch with that positive intention message you had started with. Take a deep breath, open your eyes, smile, and enjoy your day.

Story first published: Sunday, July 31, 2022, 14:54 [IST]
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