“How just 10 minutes of yoga has transformed my mornings”

Hate mornings? Can’t bear the thought of exercising first thing? Writer and self-confessed nightowl Siam Goorwich felt the same… until she realised how powerful a super-quick morning flow could be. 

I need to start off by explaining something: I hate mornings, and I hate yoga. Or at least, I did. Because it turns out, in this instance at least, that two negatives make a positive.

So, here’s the story: despite my rather expensive orthopedic pillow, I wake up most mornings feeling like I’ve been drawn by Picasso – all the right bits, but in the wrong places. For years, I’ve known that really I should start my day with a good, thorough stretch (a million doctors and masseurs have told me so), but I could never seem to find a way to work it into my hectic morning schedule of running around like a headless chicken. 

Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly my commute involved walking from my bedroom to the living room. I realised this was my opportunity. 

You may also like

Yoga for back pain: “I tried these stretches every day for a month – and they’ve cured my chronic back ache”

Like I said, I’ve never been a fan of yoga – and believe me, I’ve tried. From bougie studios in London to beach-side pergolas in Thailand, I’ve given yoga my best shot, but it’s just never felt right in my body.Still, I knew enough to realise that if I wanted to start my day with some deep and meaningful stretching, that was probably my best route; so I typed something like ‘quick and easy yoga’ into YouTube, and the Yoga with Kassandra channel popped up.

The first video I tried was her 15-minute Morning Sun Salutations Yoga Flow. It felt good to move first thing in the morning – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. For the rest of the day I carried the smug glow of someone who’d already ticked the ‘exercise’ box on their to-do list.

Then, in April 2020, Kassandra launched the Morning Yoga Movement – a 30-day ‘challenge’ of 10-minute morning yoga flows, each accompanied by a different affirmation. I. Was. In. 

10 minutes a day is enough to reap the mental and physical benefits of yoga

These videos are as low stress as exercise gets. Once I’ve tumbled out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen, poured myself a cup of ambition (or in my case home-brewed kombucha), I hit the mat. In my PJs. Sans underwear. That’s the vibe. And it’s great. It’s easy and intimate – just you and Kassandra for 10 stretchy minutes. There’s no pressure, no demands, no eyes on you. 

It’s been 20 months now, and I finally feel confident in saying that this is a lockdown habit that’s stuck (unlike making my own sourdough, which was a massive pain in the arse). Weekday mornings are probably never going to be my favourite period, but now they have meaning, purpose and structure, rather than being something I simply suffer through.

Physically, I feel stronger too. It might only be 10 minutes on the mat each day, but over the course of the working week, that adds up to nearly an hour of yoga – and it’s noticeable. Downward dogs are no longer an unbearable hell, my tight hips are creaking open, and my arms and waist have gained more definition. 

As it turns out, I’m far from the only person to discover the joys of a quickie yoga sesh. One of Kassandra’s 10-minute videos has over 27 million views – something she describes as “absolutely wild!” – so I wanted to find out why she thinks this is such a powerful formula.

“If you’re new to yoga or new to practicing at home, it can be really daunting to put on a 60-minute video,” she tells Stylist. “I’ve found the best way to start a new habit and stick to it is by starting small, and no matter how busy you are, you most likely have 10 minutes to spare at some point during your day.

“Taking a few minutes to move mindfully and breathe deeply first thing in the morning is a great way to tune into how you’re feeling and set the tone for the rest of your day. It might only be 10 minutes, but it’s amazing how much you can fit in, and by the end, students usually feel a lot calmer and more comfortable in their bodies.” 

You may also like

Yoga challenge: “I tried yin yoga for 30 days – here’s why it was the best decision of 2021”

For years, I wanted a rewarding morning routine, but I always thought that meant pulling a Margaret Thatcher and waking up at 5am – which very much isn’t my schtick. But 10 minutes of morning yoga ticks all my boxes. 

Obviously, every body is unique and we all have different commitments and obligations, but for me, this has proven to be a fulfilling and sustainable way to start my day – and hopefully some of you might enjoy it too.

If you’ve got a little time before work, have a go at one of our quick, 15-minute mobility workouts.

Images: Getty

Source: Read Full Article