women

Get a boost with this invigorating, 10-minute yoga routine.

Winter can be draining. It's dark when you get to the office in the morning and dark when you leave. And, the little sunshine you manage to catch on your lunch break is often not enough to lift your spirits. This is where this vinyasa yoga practice can turn your life around. Flowing from one posture to the next you'll learn to create sustained energy and greater resilience. You won't wilt as easily under the pressure of the day, your ability to concentrate will improve and you'll bring more vitality to each and every task - and who doesn't want that – and not just in winter!

The practice

What to do: Perform entire sequence on one side (leading with the left foot where applicable) then repeat from the beginning other side. To keep energy circulating, make sure to inhale and exhale through your nose, as instructed. It should take about 10 minutes to complete the moves on both sides. The more you practise the routine, the better. And do it daily for best results. To progress, build up how long you hold each pose (aim to hold long enough for you to take several breaths in each pose) or do the entire routine (from top to bottom) several times.

How to finish: End by lying on your back with your palms turned up and let your legs fall open naturally. Close your eyes and release. Stay in this relaxed position for at least a minute, allowing the effects of the energising sequence to flow through you.

Cat/Cow

Description: Cat/Cow

Start on your hands and knees, wrists aligned under your shoulders, knees separated and positioned under your hips.

Start on your hands and knees, wrists aligned under your shoulders, knees separated and positioned under your hips. Lift your belly up and in so your spine and neck are relaxed and elongated. Inhale deeply, then exhale as you round your back, dropping your head down and curling your tailbone under, lifting your navel toward your spine to cat pose. Inhale and reverse the spinal curve of Cat Pose: lift your tailbone, draw your shoulders aback and raise your chest to let your spine soften into your body as your belly sinks softly toward the floor to Cow Pose (shown). Continue to go back and forth between Cat Pose and Cow Pose up to 10 times - linking Cat to each exhalation and Cow to each inhalation - before you move on.

Downward-Facing Dog

Description: Downward-Facing Dog

. Keep your thighs firm, shoulders open and spine lengthened. Hold for three to 10 breaths.

On the last inhalation in Cow position, tuck your toes under, keep your arms straight and lift your hips into an inverted V, aligning your head with your arms and pressing your heels toward the floor; exhale. Keep your thighs firm, shoulders open and spine lengthened. Hold for three to 10 breaths.

High Lunge

Description: High Lunge

Lift your arms toward the ceiling, fingertips reaching up, then exhale. Hold the pose for three to eight breaths

From Downward-Facing Dog, exhale and step forward with your left foot, placing it between your hands, knee bent and aligned over your left ankle. Keep your right leg as straight as possible with your right heel lifted off the floor. Inhale and bring your torso to an erect position, looking straight ahead. Lift your arms toward the ceiling, fingertips reaching up, then exhale. Hold the pose for three to eight breaths.

Warrior II

Description: warrior II

Look out over your left arm. Hold the pose for three to eight breaths.

From High Lunge, exhale as you lower your right heel to the floor and turn your hips, torso and toes of your right foot to the right so you're facing squarely sideways. Lower your arms to shoulder height, palms facing down keep your left knee bent and your right leg straight. Look out over your left arm. Hold the pose for three to eight breaths.

Plank

Description: Plank

On the last exhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself all the way to the floor.

Exhale and "cartwheel" your hands to the floor on either side of your left foot. Turn your right foot, lifting your right heel, then step your left foot back to meet the right. Forming a straight line from head to heels, keep your abs pulled up and in, maintain a long neck and open your chest. Hold this position for five breaths. On the last exhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself all the way to the floor.

Bridge

Description: Bridge

Hold the pose for three to eight breaths.

Roll over onto your back and bend your knees, placing your heels on the floor in line with and about 15cm from your hips. Rest your arms on the floor at your sides, palms down. Push through your feet as you inhale and lift your hips and torso off the floor, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Slide your hands underneath you and interlace your fingers beneath your hips. Push through your feet and press down with your shoulders; relax your throat. Hold the pose for three to eight breaths.

Lying twist

Description: lying twist

Exhale and drop your knees to the left for three breaths, turning your head to the right.

From Bridge Pose unclasp your hands and exhale as you drop your knees gently to the right and turn your head to the left, keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor. After three breaths, inhale and roll your knees back to the centre. Exhale and drop your knees to the left for three breaths, turning your head to the right.

To complete the sequence

Exhale as your bring your knees back to centre and place your feet on the floor. Swing your feet around and behind you and come onto all fours. Now you're ready to repeat the entire sequence, placing your right leg forward on poses three and four.

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