Advertising
Advertising

8 Amazing Benefits Of This 10-Minute Yoga Sequence

8 Amazing Benefits Of This 10-Minute Yoga Sequence

More and more research is confirming that practicing yoga regularly is one of the best ways to improve your emotional and mental health. In fact, there is strong evidence that yoga helps improve symptoms experienced by people with lower back pain, depression and anxiety, and even autoimmune conditions. It can also help reduce post-partum depression. In addition to reducing pain and improving your mood, yoga also gives you greater flexibility and a toned body.

Yoga focuses fundamentally on your breathing while you hold poses, which creates a more meditative frame of mind. This promotes mindfulness, which has been shown to help those struggling with certain addictive behaviors.

The best reason to consider yoga is its versatility. Anyone can do it anywhere. If you think that you need to spend an hour at a top yoga studio to enjoy the benefits of this amazing therapy, you’re wrong. You don’t need to carve out a ton of time or have a lot of money or athletic prowess. All you need is a mat and instructions on how to strike those healing poses.

While all yoga positions are beneficial, here are eight power poses that you can do in about 10 minutes to gain all of that yoga goodness when you’re pressed for time. Here’s what you can expect if you do this routine daily.

You’ll Earn Strong Legs

The chair pose is a must for getting glamorous legs. It strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine while stretching out the shoulders and chest.

Advertising

4453772495_edf4f66b95

    Photo Credit: Paloma A. Capanna, Photographer via Compfight cc

    You’ll Build Better Balance

    The warrior pose helps create muscle stamina and balance. It also helps relieve stress in frozen shoulders while toning the arms, legs and lower back as you work to maintain stability.

    warrior-pose-241611_1920

      You’ll Develop Flexibility and Strong Shoulders

      The dolphin pose not only gives your body a good overall stretch, but holding your upper body with your arms helps tone your shoulders. It also opens up the front of your body while helping to relieve stress and mild depression.

      8066266498_6d05b00504_b

        Photo Credit: AmandaD_TX via Compfight cc

        Advertising

        You’ll Create a Rock-Hard Core

        The dolphin plank fully engages your core as you tighten your stomach’s abdominal muscles and your glute muscles to support the spine. If you relax those muscles, your entire form falls. If you find that this pose is too easy, try lifting one leg off the ground to further engage your core muscles and balance. If you want some ripped abs, this pose will help you get there.

        6362889571_8727dcf2d4

          Photo Credit: Average Moms Wear Capes via Compfight cc

          You’ll Lose Those Love Handles

          The side plank will tone your flank muscles, which is where your love handles can develop. Like many other yoga poses, this one also works on improving your balance and flexibility.

          533580863_09cd189943

            Photo Credit: amproshoot via Compfight cc

            Advertising

            You’ll Tone Up Your Arms and Back

            The plank is basically like holding the top of a push up. It tones all the core muscles of your body. Your back muscles hug your spine while your arms support the bulk of your weight and your abs keep your body straight. If you don’t engage your core, your body will give up the fight against gravity and sag; so try to keep your body straight like an arrow.

            6362889629_799306a142

              Photo Credit: Average Moms Wear Capes via Compfight cc

              You’ll Get Ride of Wobbly Arms

              If your arms keep waving long after you’ve stopped, this is a great pose for toning up your guns. The four-limbed staff pose really helps to strengthen the entire arm, since you are using those muscles to balance and support most of your weight.


                Photo Credit: yogicphotos via Compfight cc

                Advertising

                You’ll Improve Posture and Stability

                If you struggle with poor posture, yoga can help. While yoga isn’t the only type of exercise that can improve posture, it certainly is one of the main avenues to achieve a better stance. The boat pose engages the deep abdominal muscles, as well as strengthening the hip flexors and spine. Make sure to keep your belly firm and don’t slump your shoulders in this position.

                6922378521_e23d146bfc_b

                  Photo Credit: evaxebra via Compfight cc

                  If you can form this ten-minute yoga habit, you will find that it becomes a wonderful retreat from the hectic craziness of life. Don’t forget to breath deeply during each pose. One of the many reasons that yoga has so many benefits is due to the deep, rhythmic breathing that it utilizes. Also, try to hold the pose for at least five to ten slow breaths. However, if you feel that you are losing your form, it’s fine to take a rest.

                  There’s not doubt that life is stressful and fast-paced. However, you will find that it really isn’t that difficult to improve your overall well-being by just investing ten minutes per day to work on your heath. It’s time to enjoy the many benefits of yoga. So make the time! Your health is worth it!

                  More by this author

                  Sarah Hansen

                  A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

                  Why Am I so Unhappy? 50 Little Things That Secretly Make You Unhappy 12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power 10 Amazing Benefits of Swimming You Never Knew Top 10 Questions to Ask in an Interview to Get Hired Which Dehydrator Is The Best For You?

                  Trending in Exercise

                  1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Published on July 18, 2019

                  11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

                  11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

                  No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

                  Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

                  The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

                  While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

                  Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

                  1. Planks

                  Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

                  Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

                  Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

                  For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

                  2. Side Planks

                  To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

                  From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

                  Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

                  Advertising

                  Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

                  3. Reverse Crunches

                  The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

                  When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

                  The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

                  Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

                  Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

                  4. Flutter Kicks

                  The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

                  If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

                  Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

                  It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

                  5. Arms High Sit-Ups

                  Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

                  Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

                  Advertising

                  Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

                  Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

                  6. L-Sits

                  The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

                  To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

                  Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

                  Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

                  7. Stomach Vacuums

                  And now for something different!

                  It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

                  This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

                  To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

                  Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

                  You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

                  Advertising

                  8. Star Planks

                  Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

                  The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

                  From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

                  Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

                  9. Boat Pose

                  Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

                  Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

                  Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

                  Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

                  10. Mountain Climbers

                  Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

                  Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

                  Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

                  It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

                  Advertising

                  11. Russian Twists

                  Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

                  Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

                  You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

                  For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

                  The Bottom Line

                  The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

                  However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

                  If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

                  Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

                  Give them a shot!

                  Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next