I Did 10 Minutes of Yoga Every Day for a Week and Here’s What Happened
Day 1: Finding Motivation
I have to be honest: I tried to start my week of yoga on Sunday and I couldn’t gather the motivation to do so. A weeklong commitment is a big deal in my mind—even if it’s just 10 minutes a day! So Sunday passed by. Then Monday did the same. And Tuesday too. Finally, I realized I needed to get myself excited about this somehow, so I signed up for a 7am Hatha yoga class I hadn’t taken before at New York Sports Club just a block-and-a-half from my apartment. I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but when my alarm went off at 6:25am, I actually sprang out of bed. I love trying new things so I was excited to slip on my leggings and sweatshirt and trudge across the street. The class was slow and gentle but energizing at the same time—just the right way to ease into the morning and jumpstart this week. (And then I spent all day patting myself on the back as if I hiked Mount Kilimanjaro while the rest of the world slept.)
Day 2: Easing into the Day
I really didn’t feel like putting in the effort to do yoga first thing in the morning at home, but I unrolled my mat and drowsily googled “10 minute yoga” on my phone. “10-Minute Yoga for Self Care” was the first video that popped up … and it turned out to be exactly what I needed. We often think yoga is all about doing really active poses, but there’s not a single downward dog in this flow. For 10 minutes, Adriene (an instructor that one of my friends raves about) focuses entirely on self-care and massaging different body parts. It was an excellent feel-good session to remind me that the practice of yoga itself is flexible and can be whatever you need it to be—whether that’s a super sweaty vinyasa flow or a 10-minute calming meditation.
Day 3: Learning to Adapt
Looking for something different to do before heading to work, I decided to try an on-demand Gixo class called “Mobility and Mind.” I’ve done some of their live streaming classes, but they have a few on-demand ones that also come with a subscription. The description for this class talked about enhancing your body awareness and a photo showed someone holding Warrior II, so I assumed yoga was involved. The 11-minute session encompassed exercise moves related to yoga poses, but it wasn’t yoga and there was no talk of breathing or awareness. I just rolled with it, made modifications, and sat out some moves to meditate a little. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, the class reinforced the fact that sometimes you just have to go with the flow (pun totally intended) and things will work out—I felt really energized afterward.
Day 4: Waking Up
My alarm went off at 6:45am and I had a four-hour drive ahead of me, so I wanted a simple yoga session to put me in a good mood while requiring minimal effort (if only everything could be like that!). “10 Minute Gentle Yoga in Bed” by Candace allowed me to do it in my pj’s before my feet even touched the floor for the day and it was perfect. Candace leads you through a whole bunch of seated stretches coordinated with your breath. She also demos it all from a hotel room bed to prove you really can do yoga on the go.
Day 5: Boosting Energy
I had downtime on Sunday so I decided take advantage of the nice weather and opted for a more energetic afternoon flow outside. I found “10 Minute Energizing Yoga Workout” from YogaTX, which is meant to be done in the morning, but totally works as a mid-day pick-me-up. The instructor guides you through several sun salutations that engage your whole body and she does a good job explaining proper alignment. I wasn’t ready to stop at the end!
Day 6: Settling into Bed
At the end of a holiday weekend and after another four-hour drive, I was glad to be home and really just wanted to get in bed. The thought of still having to do yoga was daunting. However, I figured that if I found such a great morning yoga routine designed for my bed, there must be one for nighttime too. Within a minute I found “10 Minute Bedtime Yoga in Bed” by Sarah Beth (the Internet still amazes me sometimes). You can ignore the first minute in which she plugs some of her services and jump right to the yoga. I actually enjoyed it so much that I think I’ll use yoga to get ready to go to sleep more often. Even just 10 minutes can really calm your mind, relax your muscles and help put the day behind you. Sarah Beth gently reminds us to stay in the present moment: “All of the interactions and experiences of today have already happened and now are part of the past. They no longer exist and everything happening tomorrow—all the people you’ll meet and things you’ll do—they’re part of the future and have yet to exist.”
Day 7: Managing Pain
The final day of my challenge reiterated everything I had learned so far. After a busy day at work and then a strength-training class at the gym, I ended up with a headache. I thought, if there has been a 10-minute yoga routine for everything else so far (boosting energy, settling into bed, self-care, etc.), there MUST be one out there for getting rid of headaches. With an open (and painful) mind, I tried “Yoga for Headache Relief” by ChriskaYoga. While it didn’t cure my headache, it did relieve tension throughout my body and help me prepare for bed both mentally and physically. Once again, I realized that there are many different types of yoga and reasons for doing it, and best of all, you don’t need to go to formal hour-long classes every day to reap the benefits. A few minutes here and there is just fine. I’ll definitely be turning to it more often even if I don’t do it every day.