15 Minute CorePower Yoga Flow You Can Do At Home

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Why You Should Start Your Day With Yoga

Mornings are rough. First, they're mornings, so unless you're a certified morning person, waking up and getting going are two of the hardest things you'll tackle all day. Mornings also tend to be hectic - filled with to-do lists and last-minute snafus practically designed to frazzle your senses. 

Good news - there's a better way. If you can carve out just 15 minutes of time to enjoy a 10-minute CorePower Yoga flow followed by a three-minute seated meditation, you just might be more mentally and physically prepared to tackle your whole day with gusto. Just a few minutes of low-intensity exercise can help get your blood pumping, while studies, including a series published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2005, indicate that yogic breathing and techniques contribute to positive mental health outcomes including better stress tolerance and mental focus. 

CorePower Yoga's Senior Vice President of Programming, Heather Peterson, created this custom 10-minute flow for a perfect morning pick-me-up, finishing with a simple, three-minute seated meditation. According to Peterson, "Three minutes of meditation has been proven to regulate mood and improve critical thinking, so starting the day with a short quiet time helps set you up for clear thinking as you face the day's challenges." 

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Custom Sun B

Custom Sun B
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

Start in downward dog by pressing through your palms and the balls of your feet as you use your abdominals to lift your hips toward the ceiling, as if you're forming an upside down "V," prioritizing a long spine over straight legs. Reach your right leg behind you, to enter a three-legged dog, then take a large step forward with your right foot, planting it between your palms to enter a low lunge pose.

Make sure your front toes are pointing forward and that your front heel is aligned with your back heel or the arch of your back foot. Rotate your back foot to a slight forward angle. Bend your front knee so that it's positioned directly over your front heel at a 90-degree angle. Tighten your core and keeping your legs fixed in place as you lift your hands off the mat and come to a standing position in warrior II. Align your shoulders over your hips and squeeze your shoulder blades together before reaching one arm to the front of the room, and the other to the back of the room. 

Place your hands back on the mat before stepping your right foot back to downward dog. Repeat on the opposite side, holding each position in the series for two to three breathes. 

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Forearm Plank

Forearm Plank
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

According to Peterson, "The forearm plank is one of the 'perfect' core exercises that tones all the muscles of your core including your abs, back, and hips, while also building shoulder and upper body strength. Hold this pose for 10 seconds to start, then build to one minute as you get stronger."

Kneel on your mat and interlace your hands as you position your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms flat on the mat. Step your legs back so your hips are aligned with your heels and head, your body forming a straight line. Tuck your hips under and draw your belly button toward your spine to ignite your core. Hold as long as you can with good form. 

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Standing Figure Four

standing figure four
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

Peterson says, "This standing-balancing pose opens the side and back of your hips and tones your leg and glute muscles. Hold the pose for two to three breaths."

Stand tall, your feet planted hip-distance apart, your knees slightly bent. Shift your weight to the left and press your hips back slightly to lower your center of gravity. Lift your right foot from the floor and use your hands to guide your right ankle up and across your left thigh, creating a "4" with your legs as you allow your right hip to open outward. From this position, press your hips back farther as you bend your left knee, lowering yourself into a modified one-leg squat. When you feel a deep stretch through your right hip and glute, hold the position, and if you can, bring your palms to a prayer position in front of your chest. After two to three breaths, carefully reverse the movement to return to standing. Repeat on the opposite side. 

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Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

If you've ever wondered why the bridge pose is worth doing, Peterson pretty much sums it up, "The Bridge Pose is an inversion that helps recalibrate your nervous system, opening your shoulders and upper back. Hold the pose for two to three breaths, and as you get stronger, build up to 10 breaths."

Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet planted on the floor hip-distance apart. Use your glutes and core to lift your hips, pressing them toward the ceiling. "Walk" your shoulder blades closer to each other under your body, Clasp your hands together underneath you to emphasize the engagement of your back muscles. Hold the position while breathing slowly, then release. 

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Classic Supine Twist

Classic Supine Twist
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

If you've never tried a classic supine twist, you're missing out. "[This exercise] releases the small muscles between the segments of the spine that translate to your nervous system and free your outer hips and back," explains Peterson. 

Lie on your back, your legs extended, your arms extended out to each side, your palms on the floor. Draw both knees in toward your chest, knees together, and as you do so, reach your right arm across your body, placing your palm on the outside of your left thigh. Making sure to keep your left shoulder in contact with the mat, gently drape your knees across your body to the right, creating a spinal twist as you use your right arm to help guide the motion. It's okay if your knees don't touch the floor. When you've twisted as far as you can, turn your head to look over your left shoulder. Hold for two to three breaths before repeating on the opposite side.

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Savasana

Savasana
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

The final pose in your 10-minute yoga flow is the savasana, or corpse pose. According to Peterson, this simple pose "Trains you in active rest and works to calm your mind as your body integrates the flow's movement patterns and the changes you just created in your practice."

All you need to do is lie flat on your back, your feet rolling outward and your palms lying face-up and open. Breathe naturally and enjoy the calm for 30 seconds. 

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3-Minute Seated Meditation

Seated Meditation
CorePower Yoga/Heather Peterson

After releasing from savasana, it's time for your simple three-minute meditation. Start by setting a timer so you don't end up watching the clock. Once that's done, sit atop a cushion or folded towel with your back and hips against a wall. Cross your legs in easy seated pose, then rest your hands on your thighs and close your eyes. To focus your mind, Peterson suggests, "Observe your breath and silently count to four with every inhale and exhale. Remain for three minutes or until your timer goes off, then get ready for an amazing day!"

 

Sources:

Brown RP, et al. "Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part I — Neurophysiologic Model," Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Feb. 2005): Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 189–201.

Brown RP, et al. "Sudarshan Kriya Yogic Breathing in the Treatment of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Part II — Clinical Applications and Guidelines," Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Aug. 2005): Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 711–17.

Kirkwood G, et al. "Yoga for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of the Research," British Journal of Sports Medicine (Dec. 2005): Vol. 39, No. 12, pp. 884–91.

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