10 minute micro yoga workout
New to yoga or stuck in a rut? Do not fear. This week is all about micro-yoga: practising yoga in short bursts and creating a tiny window for yoga during the day.
In this guide, we have developed a routine that we can all find time to do. The biggest and best benefits of yoga poses are that they double as stretches, improving mobility, reducing soreness and stiffness, and increasing relaxation.
So join us for 10 minutes a day and limber up the M Life way (just don’t forget your yoga mat). Please note we are not physical health specialists, qualified personal trainers, yoga instructors nor doctors, this is just a list of our favourite yoga-based stretches.
Downward facing dog is a brilliant yoga pose for giving calf muscles, necks and backs a much-needed stretch. This pose is all about elongation and provides an excellent release of tension.
How to do this pose: move to a tabletop position (hands and knees, flat back) on the yoga mat. Bend the knees, then straighten the legs while pushing them back, so that the hips are in the air. Do not lock the knees fully. Reach hands out in front, spread the fingers and push down into the hands, while pushing back into the shoulder blades. Suck in the stomach and then push the torso towards the thighs. The body should resemble an upside-down V shape. Hold for two minutes.
Thread the needle
This looks very strange but gets into the corners of our body we didn’t know we could and acts as a counter to the way we sit and stand throughout the day. Very good for those with tight shoulders.
How to do this pose: place the shins against the yoga mat and ensure knees are hip-width apart. Then stretch the arms out in front, ensuring shoulders and wrists are lined up. Remove one of the arms, bringing it behind the other, to slide it through to rest on the ground/side of the mat with the palm facing upwards. Bring the shoulder down so it is resting on the mat too. Place the side of the head on the mat but not the whole head. Breathe in and out to relax into the pose. Hold for a minute on each side.
A fun pose which reaches right into the upper back muscles and cervical spine. One of those essential poses for anyone who sits at a desk, bends down to pick up children or spends a lot of time in the lifting, moving and picking things up from the floor.
How to do this pose: start in a plank position and then lower the whole body to the ground. Place forearms on the mat in front and straighten upper arms to make an L shape, ensuring the shoulders are slightly behind the upper arms and elbows. Arch the back gently and lift the chest up, so that the body resembles a sphinx statue shape. Suck in the stomach and point the toes for an extra stretch. Hold for one minute.
One of the most relaxing yet fortifying poses. Child’s pose really allows us to ground down into ourselves, notice the impact our stretching has had and offset any remaining stress of our daily life.How to do this stretch: start in tabletop position and then kneel down with the ankles under the glutes. Stretch the arms and torso forwards, then stretch the arms out in front so they are just slightly wider than the knees. Lengthen the arms as much as possible. Hang the head between the shoulders so the forehead then rests on the floor. Breathe deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Hold for three minutes