Three ways to add core to your 10 minute yoga flow

A picture of side plank position

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away (i.e. before I had kids, when I was cool and lived in the city), I could easily find ten minutes a day to do some yoga. I ended every workout with ten minutes of core and a luxurious ten minutes of stretching. Every week or two I’d go to a full 1.5 hour yoga class in an actual yoga studio and I would lie there afterwards in savasana, wondering why everyone was in such a rush to roll up their mat and get out the door. Those days are long gone, my friends.

Today, I get to a yoga class every couple of months. I’m lucky if I have time after a quick at-home workout to fit in two minutes of stretching before children are climbing on me, pressing all the buttons on my computer, or dumping my water on my yoga mat. So some days I set a reasonable goal: find ten minutes to do some yoga. I have to make the most out of that ten minutes, so I try to incorporate a whole body stretch and some strengthening moves. I’ve been practicing yoga for long enough that I can generally do my own thing and not follow a particular routine, but I thought I would offer a few of the moves I incorporate to add some extra core-activation.

  1. Downward dog to plank – inhale forward into a high plank and exhale back to downward dog. Repeat 10x.
  2. Knee hovers – from downward dog, lift your right leg. Shift forward on exhale into high plank, bringing your right knee to your right elbow. Inhale back to “three legged dog” and shift forward on exhale, bringing right knee to your nose. Inhale back to three legged dog and shift forward on exhale, bringing right knee to left elbow. Repeat as many time as you like using your right leg, then make sure you balance out with the left.
  3. Push-up/side plank – from high plank, do a push-up, then rotate into side plank (pictured above). Repeat the push-up and rotate to side plank on the other side. Repeat as many times as you like.

You can insert some or all of the above moves into a simple sun salutation or into whatever flow you are feeling. Now it’s time for me to get off the computer and do the same before the kid invasion begins!

Disclaimer: As always, consult a physician or other health professional before starting any workout program. This blog is solely for informational purposes. If you choose to do any of the exercises discussed here, you do so at your own risk.

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