The Power of the 10-Minute Practice

Ever wonder how to fit your yoga + movement practice into your day?

You know, the practice that helps create a mindset and a feeling in your body so that you can support the other efforts in your life?

The kind of practice that strengthens your body in the places where it needs strength, relaxes tension where you need that relaxation, and provides a sense of calm so your family can count on you to not go off the rails when something goes wrong?

And the kind of practice that helps you feel truly present, because you’ve hooked into this feeling and this sense of what’s important, so you can be with your family in the way you want to be with them?

Here’s how I teach this to my private students.

Fair warning: these women are not trying to be the ultra-flexy yogi who’s tying herself up like a pretzel, and they also don’t like NOT moving and breathing.

Here it is: The 10-Minute Practice.

Let’s break it down.

You can try to design this on your own by jotting the following:

Step 1: What are your favorite movements or postures that are your “desert-island” poses? 

Think of it like this: if you were stranded on a desert island, what are the absolute essential poses that you would not want to be without?

If you had to choose just 10 movements or yoga postures that you LOVE,

That will help you get on your mat (you won’t dread it),

That help you feel calm and centered and like a nice person,

That will also challenge you and work on those “body blind-spots” that we all have,

What would they be?

Make a list of 10.

If some of these poses are asymmetrical (done on one side and then the other), you can either do each side for 30 seconds and then switch, or you can add a couple more minutes to your 10-minute practice…but try to keep this short!

Pro tip: Don’t forget that one of your poses could be Savasana (final relaxation)!! Though it’s also an option to end your practice by doing something like rolling your spine down and up again a few times from standing into a standing forward fold….this can be a great way to start your day with energy!

Step 2: What sources of chronic pain are you dealing with right now (chronic pain is anything you’ve been feeling for more than about 3 months or so).

This is essential to know this so that you can create a realistic plan for helping your practice actually support your body and not break it down further.

In the applications I receive to talk about working with me, I sometimes see “magical” thinking.

I.e. My low back hurts every day, and I’d like to be completely pain-free in 3 months with some good “morning stretches.”

Just get real, feel into your body, know that pain is complex and subjective and connected to LOTS of movement patterns that are simple (simple, not easy) to fix over a long period of time (it takes 1-2 years, usually, for tissues to adapt and that adaptation takes continual, daily inputs of movement in an intentional way for things to shift).

The yoga world is filled with quick-fix marketing promises that unintentionally lead women to thinking that they can revamp their bodies through a few simple stretches without doing the strength work required, practically overnight.

It can take someone else to help you find your body’s blind spots and adapt your desert-island practice to just what it needs to be right now.

Know that it will change over time.

Note: if you already know what these are, great. If you don’t, you may want to consider working with me privately to figure that out.

Step 3: Put the postures in an order that you like and makes sense. 

Do you like to start on your back? If so, start there.

Do you have energy and want to start standing up? Do that.

Play around with a logical order where one pose will kind of flow into the next. You might put all the reclined postures together, all the standing postures together, etc. Have fun with this and get creative.

Step 4: Set up a timer. 

I love Insight Timer for this.

I have a saved pre-set timer that is set for 10 minutes, and a bell goes off every minute.

Every time I hear a bell, I go to the next pose. Simple.

Step 5: Do your practice as a way to prepare for something hard where you NEED a mindset and a body shift. 

This is key.

It’s how you can use the practice to actually FUEL your life instead of being another to-do item to check off the list.

I have a routine where I do hard things most days. The hard things for me are sitting down to write marketing material (my inner critic screams and yells at me!!) and preparing to teach my group classes.

Both of these things I actually ENJOY and LOVE, of course.

But both of them bring up challenges for me in my internal voices. So though I’ve designed a 10-minute practice for myself that is very much focused on what I want to work on body-wise, my MENTAL GAME during the practice is one of shifting my mindset.

I’m using the practice to remind myself that my inner critic is not all of me. That I can turn down the volume on that voice. That I can listen instead to the voice of calm and reason and creativity, and nurturing.

So then my 10-minute practice becomes magical.

It’s a small deposit in the bank, body-wise.

And it’s a HUGE daily investment in my emotional state and my mental well-being.

Here’s a video of a 15-Minute Practice that I do in the morning to prepare for what’s hard and to provide a framework for my body’s strength and a ritual of calm. 

When I practice it on my own, it’s only 10 minutes, but teaching things takes longer, so it’s 15.

Example of my Quick 15-minute Yoga Practice

Morning Practice Childs Pose

Here’s how my own practice works, in case you’d like to follow along.

Just know that YOUR quick 10-Minute Practice will likely be very different and SHOULD be. The 10-Minute Practices that I design with my private students are all customized just for them.

We’re all different, and this practice even shifts for ME just slightly on a daily basis. So this is just an example

But…if you’d like to see how this works in action, this is how it goes.

Grab a timer and set it to go off at 1-minute intervals. You’ll transition between each posture when the bell goes off. I use Insight Timer, and LOVE it!

If you’d like to practice along with a video, follow along below:

 

Timed 15-Minute Practice

15 min

Timed 15-minute Practice:
* Child’s Pose

* Downdog

* Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) –> Hinge up to stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

* Step wide with parallel feet –> Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottonasana) with hands interlaced behind back — > {Lunge –> Downdog}

* Supported Headstand (Sirsasana 1) –> {Child’s} –> Sit –> Core Roll Down

* Bridge –> Upward Facing Bow (Urdhva Danurasana)

* Shoulderstand –> Fish

* Savasana

* Rock and Roll up to sit –> Breathe, attention at base of nostrils

This short practice was all about feeding myself a little bit of breath and movement, like a slice of peanut butter toast. This is how home practice is sometimes.

It’s a lot like cooking. Sure, you could make restaurant-caliber food for every meal, but a piece of peanut butter toast now and then will also sustain you quite nicely.

Jason Crandell

Yoga Teacher

You can absolutely design your own to fit into 10 minutes, and it will FEED you. I promise.

THE METHOD

This is how you’ll create the magic:

a) How to find your body’s blind spots, where you’re compensating in your movement, and how to fix that over time

b) How to use the power of the breath to support all of this mind-body work

c) What it will look like day-in and day-out (and how you can keep yourself accountable!)

For my private students, we do just a few things: 

  • We move to create strength and control over range of motion (there are other ways to move and practice yoga, but it’s what works for most people who want to move functionally in their life and mindfully in their brain, so it’s what I teach.
  • We continually and progressively LOAD our bodies and our minds with just the right amount of challenge with just the right amount of support so we feel safe and we get stronger over time.
  • We build the 10-Minute Practice into our day as a way to prepare for what is hard (though there are certainly days where we do longer and more intensive practice than this…we need that luxurious 25-minute, 60-minute or 90-minute practice too, every now and then!)

This is sacred time to strengthen your body and cultivate the habit of practicing for LIFE.

I teach my private students how to do this.

It’s not optional.

And it’s magical.

If you want help with this, and you’d find comfort and clarity in creating a plan that will get you to where you want to go in step by step fashion, get in touch.

The #Reconnect approach isn’t for everyone.

But you know it’s for you if a) you want your body and mind to work well and are willing to explore ways to get there, b) you don’t need to have Instragram-perfect yoga poses or a flexy-bendy body, and c) you have a family/social/work life and want to a practical way to fuel your LIFE through a reasonable time spent on your body each day.

During the next week, starting on April 1st, I’ll be sharing different versions of my 10-minute practice and how it can shift from day to day. You can see that on Instagram and on Facebook. It will be sped up, but you’ll get the gist of how it works.

Restore and Reclaim Your Body from Chronic Pain
Receive FREE tips, insights, resources, and videos on using an approach to yoga to break free of pain