A quick 10-minute strength-building yoga routine. By Kino MacGregor
Yoga isn’t just about flexibility. Being able to get into and hold many of the asanas requires both mental and physical strength. This short 10-minute ‘yoga drills’ class focuses on building strength in your core and shoulders, giving you the stability you need to have a solid yoga practice.
1. Table Top Pose
We’ll start in table top position to warm up our wrists and shoulders. Come onto your hands and knees. Your hands are shoulder-width apart and your knees are hip-width apart. Grip your fingertips while rooting down through the heels of your hands. Rotate your tailbone under. Activate your core. Stay here for five breaths.
2. Cat Cow Pose
From table top we’ll warm up the spine by doing some cat cows. Inhale and extend your spine arching your back. Look forward, bringing your head up. Exhale and round your back, drawing your belly in. Tuck the tailbone under. Bring your head down looking underneath you. Repeat this five times, arching your back on the inhale and rounding it on the exhale.
3. Plank Pose
Now let’s start to fire things up with plank pose. From table top pose, step one leg straight back and then the other. Your body should form a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Don’t let your back sag. Slightly tuck your tailbone. Activate your core. Press into the mat with your hands, raising up and activating through the shoulders. Keep your thigh muscles active. Hold for five breaths.
4. Downward Facing Dog Pose
From plank pose move into downward facing dog. Bring your hips up and back so you’re in downward facing dog. Your feet are hip-width apart. Your hands are shoulder-width apart. Press your feet and hands into the mat. Try to evenly distribute your weight between your hands and feet. Stay here for five steady breaths.
5. Dolphin Pose
Let’s focus on building shoulder strength with dolphin pose. From table top pose again, lower your forearms to the ground. Your fingers are pointing straight out in front of you and your arms are shoulder-width apart. Activate your shoulders. Curl your toes under, round your back, and straighten your legs as you raise your hips. Now you are in a downward dog shape with your forearms on the ground. Walk your feet in. Look at your toes and keep your elbows at ninety-degree angles. Pivot your pelvis forward and up so you come up onto your toes. Stay here for five breaths.
6. Modified Boat Pose (Toes Touch the Ground)
Now let’s focus on our core. Sit on the mat with your legs out in front of you. Bend your knees and tuck your tailbone slightly under. Point your toes and hold them so they are barely touching the floor. Hold your arms out in front of you. Activate your core. Roll your shoulders down your back. Stay here for five breaths.
Now we’ll take Navasana up a notch. From the modified position you just did raise your legs so your shins are parallel to the floor. Reach your arms out in front of you. Stay here for five breaths.
Now we’ll do the full expression of the pose. Starting again from the modified version of Boat Pose, lift your legs up and straighten them. Your body is in a V-shape now, so you’re really firing up those deep core muscles. Lift through the spine. Don’t round your back. Keep your shoulder blades down. Point your toes. Breathe through the pose. It’s natural to shake a little. That just means your muscles are working. Stay here for five breaths.
9. Reverse Tabletop Pose
Release tension in the front of the hip joints with reverse table top pose. Sit with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground. Lean back slightly so you can put the palms of your hands on the ground behind you with your fingers pointing toward you. Inhale and lift your hips toward the sky. Press the soles of your feet into the ground. Stay here for five breaths.
Now that we’ve released our hips let’s fire up those core muscles again.
We’ll start in the first modified Boat Pose that we did earlier. Sit with your knees bent in front of you and your toes barely touching the floor. Inhale and bring your arms straight up overhead. Exhale and sweep your arms down to the right side so your fingertips touch the floor. Inhale and bring your arms over your head again. Exhale and bring them down to the left side so your fingertips touch the floor. Inhale and bring your arms back up overhead. Repeat this five more times.
Now sit in Navasana with your legs up and your shins parallel to the ground. Again inhale and bring your arms up over your head. Exhale and sweep them down to the right. Inhale and bring them overhead. Exhale and sweep them down to the left. Repeat five times.
Finally, straighten your legs in Navasana so your body is forming a V-shape. One last time, inhale as you bring your arms up overhead. Exhale and sweep them down to the right side. Repeat on each side five times.
11. Seated Meditation
Now let’s come down after that intense work. Sit in a comfortable seated position. Bring your attention back to your breath. Bring your awareness to your body. Notice how your energy is moving through you. Observe how you feel and settle into your breath. Keep doing these yoga drills and you’ll find yourself getting stronger every time you do.
The next time you’re feeling stressed, watch the 30-minute video and practice alongside Kino MacGregor on the OM app or website. Or visit omstars.com for more Yin Yoga classes and ideas.
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