The 10 Minute Yoga And Meditation Workout
Beauty isn’t merely about face creams and lipsticks. Inner wellness and health will do wonders for keeping you fit, fabulous, and youthful so that you can tackle any obstacle with a clear mind and a glowing complexion. I asked my friend Kyle Miller, celebrity yoga guru and founding teacher at Yoga For Bad People
, to devise a 10 minute mind and body morning workout exclusively for Beauty Banter readers.
Here’s her super simple but highly effective 10 minute yoga and meditation practice for even the most inflexible of us:
“Now, I know the mornings are rushed and groggy and insane, and that is exactly why you need 10 minutes to focus your attention, purify your energy, set intention and open up the body. Dedicating even this tiny sliver of time and space towards yourself can reap major benefits. Increased focus, release of the stress response, efficiency in the organ systems, just to name a few. You will feel better, more at ease, more poised and kinda like your head is screwed on straight and your body is functioning optimally. Sound good? Ok here’s the game plan:
1. Find Your Seat: Get out of bed, you can have your coffee or tea, your water with lemon, whatever your little ritual is already… and then return to your bedroom, unroll your mat and sit down. Start with whatever seat is comfortable, kneeling or cross-legged (elevating your seat on pillow is the most comfortable and helps you lengthen your spine: highly recommended!). Close your eyes and lengthen your spine. Spread the collar bones. Relax the shoulders. Once you have your seat, plug into the earth and really connect. From that point of connection start to visualize a central energetic channel running in front of your spine straight up through the crown of your head. Imagine energy moving up the channel from the earth and down the channel, from above. When you can see and feel and imagine this central channel, you will be centered… you will already feel the poise, the grace of embodiment, the natural gratitude, starting to blossom.
2. Mantra Meditation: After finding your seat, getting centered, quiet and still, begin to move the breath through your body. Feel the lungs fill and expand away from the center on the inhales and feel them fall back to the center on the exhales. Now attach a mantra to these conscious, expansive and beautiful breaths you are taking. Silently saying “let” on the inhale and “go” on the exhale is one of the first techniques I learned. You can literally feel stress and tension melt away. You could also say “SO” on the inhales and “HAM” on the exhales or “I” and “AM.” Feel free to think of your own two word mantra and silently repeat it to yourself with the movement of the breath. Your mind will wander, you will lose focus and THAT’S TOTALLY FINE! Just return your attention to the breath. And if you’re not feeling the mantras, let them go, and simply use these first few moments in your seat to watch the breath.
3. Move: Open the eyes, reach your arms out wide, gather some fresh, new energy, the exact type of energy you want for the day, bring your hands to meet over head and then pull them down to in front of your heart. Do this a few times. Feel that you are gathering what you want and drawing it into your center. Come forward onto your hands and knees and start to move the spine. As you inhale arch the back and as you exhale round the spine, tucking your chin and tail. After a few rounds, start to stir it up. Make big circles with your hips and shoulders, squiggle through the spine, get your neck and jaw and the muscles of your face involved. Breathe into the nooks and crannies. It should feel amazing. When you’re ready, tuck your toes and press back to downward facing dog. Peddle the feet and imagine the backs of the legs flushing open, the ball of muscles at the back of calf releasing. Roll forward to plank and back to dog a few times. Hold plank for a few breaths. Feel how sound and perfect your structure is. Feel the muscles hug to the bone, activating you for your day. Depending on the time you have, you can take some lunges, stepping one foot forward at a time, you can add warrior poses if you want to strength and feel capable. Forwards bends to calm the nervous system. Back bends energize, open and also nourish. Keep it simple and remember to keep the focus on integrating the movement with your breathing. Let it be organic, let the body lead you, move outside the box.
4. Finish: Closing your practice is a lovely way to seal the effort you put forth. Return to your seat, lengthen your spine, and close your eyes. Observe the subtle shifts these few moments of paying attention to yourself have created. Bring your hands in front of your heart and bow your head slightly. This is a posture of gratitude, humility, reverence and respect. Soak in it. Run through what you are grateful for or simply focus on one thing. Ground your self in a simple and humble appreciation for the world around you. Namaste. Go get ’em, tiger!”
*Kyle Miller is a teacher at Yoga Collective in Venice and the Springs in Arts District. Follow her on Instagram at @kylemilleryoga.