You don’t need to join a class to learn this yoga sequence. Tune out and tone up in just 10 minutes with this effective warm-up, stretch and workout for all your muscles and joints.

Sun salutation

Traditionally this combination of still and flowing movements is a great way to wake up and energise the body and mind for the day ahead. It may take a while to master the moves and breathing without looking at the step-by-step guide below, but persevere – soon you’ll be doing this routine on your own and enjoying all the benefits it offers.

Description: Your 10 Min Total Body

Your 10 Min Total Body

Before you start

Wear comfortable, loose clothing and no shoes. Use a yoga mat and stand on a level surface.

1.    Mountain pose

Description: Mountain pose

Stand tall with big toes touching, heels slightly apart, shoulders relaxed, hands long at your sides, with fingers stretched gently open, neck long, underside of chin parallel to the floor, lengthen tailbone to the floor, and knee caps and thigh muscles lifted. Lift your sternum without pushing your ribs out. Visualize yourself as a tall mountain. Stay still in the pose while breathing in through your nose (mouth closed) to the count of four and exhaling out to the count of four through your nose (mouth remains closed).

2.    Prayer pose

Description: Prayer pose

From mountain pose, slowly bend elbows and place palms together in front of your chest. Relax your whole body. This position establishes the concentration and calm you need to complete the rest of the sequence, which consists of flowing positions. Each move follows the next and it’s very important to connect each with an inhalation or exhalation.

3.    Raised arms pose

Description: Raised arms pose

As you inhale, raise and stretch both arms above your head. Keep palms together, open your chest so your upper trunk arches back slightly, keep shoulders down, head releasing back slightly. You’re now stretching your abdomen and expanding your lungs, exercising your arms and shoulder muscles and toning the nerves in your spine.

4.    Hand to foot pose

Description: Hand to foot pose

As you exhale, bend forward touching fingers or palms to the floor on either side of your feet. Try not to bend your knees, but don’t strain. Pull your tummy in as you bend. If you have back problems, bend from the hips with a straight spine or only as far as is comfortable. This pose aids digestion, tones the abdomen and improves circulation.

5.    Equestrian pose

Description: Equestrian pose

As you inhale, place palms flat on floor beside feet as you stretch the right leg back as far as possible and bend the left knee, keeping the left foot on the floor in the same position. Keep arms straight, support your body weight with both hands, left foot, right knee and toes of right foot. Arch your back slightly and open your chest and neck. This pose strengthens leg muscles and regulates the nervous system.

6.    Plank pose

Description: Plank pose

As you exhale, step the left leg back into a plank position. Keep spine and legs in a straight line and support your weight with your hands and feet.

7.    Transition pose

Description: http://www.yogadivinity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/92572299_XS.jpg

Lower your knees, chin and chest (simultaneously if possible or one after the other) to the mat, bending your elbows so they point upwards at a 45o angle behind you. Release your feet onto the mat. This position strengthens arms, legs, chest and shoulder blades.

8.    Cobra pose

Description: Cobra pose

As you inhale, lower your buttocks to the floor, straighten your elbows, arch your back and push your chest forward, pulling gently on your hands ( which are flat on the mat, fingers spread). The cobra pose keeps your spine supple, improves circulation, tones various internal organs and spinal nerves.

9.    Downward dog pose

As you exhale, take the left foot back to join the right, raise your buttocks and lower your head between the arms so your back and legs form a triangle. Try to keep your heels on or moving towards the floor, lengthen your back, spread your hands on the mat and press down gently into your palms.

10.  Equestrian pose

As you inhale, repeat pose 5, but this time bring your left leg forward between your hands and leave your right leg stretched out behind you.

11.  Hand to foot pose

As you exhale, repeat pose 4

12.  Raised arms pose

As you inhale, come up and repeat pose 3, fanning your arms up until your arms touch.

13.  Prayer pose

As you exhale, lower your arms, palms still together into this final position, which is the same as pose 2.

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