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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.

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    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.

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      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.

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        Photo Credit: AmandaD_TX via Compfight cc

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        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.

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          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.

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            Photo Credit: amproshoot via Compfight cc

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            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.

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              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.


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                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.

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                  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!

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                  Sarah Hansen

                  A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                  Published on March 8, 2019

                  How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                  How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                  When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

                  Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

                  Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

                  How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

                  How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

                  Think about your current workouts:

                  If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

                  In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

                  A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

                    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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                    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

                    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

                    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

                    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

                    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

                    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

                    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

                    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

                    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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                    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

                    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

                    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

                    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

                    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

                    Meet Strong Stan

                    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

                    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

                    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

                    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

                    Meet Flexible Fiona

                    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

                    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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                    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

                    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

                    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

                    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

                    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

                    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

                    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

                    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

                    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

                    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

                    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

                    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

                    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                      Final Thoughts

                      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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