A 10-Minute Yoga Routine That Will Help You Feel Less Stressed


    Summer always seems a little less stressful—there’s frosé, beach time, and lots of vacations to plan and enjoy. Then BAM, Labor Day weekend hits and fall is all of a sudden back in full swing (even though, technically it’s still summer).

    If you’re anything like me, your stress levels magically skyrocket this time of the year. Yes, it’s nice to get back on a schedule, but the hustle is real once fall comes around, and with it, my schedule seems more jam-packed than ever. Enter one of the best ways to de-stress and unwind: yoga.

    To help us stay sane throughout all the craziness, Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones, instructors at Sky Ting Yoga in New York City, created a 10-minute stress-relieving yoga workout.

    “The workout we designed is full of forward folds and inversions, which calm the nervous system and reduce stress,” Jones tells SELF. By flipping yourself upside-down, you’re bringing fresh blood and oxygen to the brain, she adds, which research suggests may have numerous benefits, including helping you think more clearly, be more alert, and improve memory and focus. Yogis also say that inversions can shift your perspective (you’re literally looking at life from a different angle), and since they take a lot of focus, force you to be present and stop worrying about your to-do list or any deadlines creeping up. And, of course, research points toward yoga in general as an effective method for managing stress and reducing anxiety.

    Ready to chill out? Grab a mat and a block (if you have one) and get ready to feel Zen after just 10 minutes. You’ll hold the following six moves for a set number of breaths as opposed to reps, which makes it easy to make the workout longer or shorter, depending on what you need on a given day.

    Here’s how to do the stress-reducing yoga workout:

    Child's Pose — 5 breaths

    Child’s Pose — 5 breaths

    • Start on all fours, with your legs and knees comfortably apart.
    • Sit back on your heels and fold forward, resting your belly on your thighs completely.
    • Place your hands along your sides (or wherever feels most comfortable) and rest your forehead on your mat. Try to bring your glutes down to your heels.
    • Interlace your hands behind your back and lift your hips off your heels to roll forward onto the top of your head.
    • Keep hands interlocked and reach them toward the ceiling as far as you can. Rock arms side to side without lifting your head.
    • Continue rocking for five breaths, and then lower your hands and roll up so you’re sitting on your heels, hands resting in your lap or on your sides.
    Downward Dog — 10 to 15 breaths

    2 Downward Dog — 10 to 15 breaths

    • From a kneeling position, grab a block (if you have one) and move it to the middle of your mat.
    • Walk your hands out in front of you and push your hips up and back into Downward Dog. End with your forehead resting on the block. You can choose between the middle or highest height (Krissy, on the left, has her block on the highest height, and Chloe has hers on the middle height).
    • Stay here for 10 to 15 breaths.
    Wide-Legged Fold — 10 to 15 breaths

    3 Wide-Legged Fold — 10 to 15 breaths

    • From Downward Dog, bring your right leg up to the front of your mat in between your hands.
    • Grab your block and straighten your front leg, as you pivot your stance to face the side of your mat, with your toes facing the same direction.
    • Place the block at its lowest height underneath your torso on the ground.
    • Release your head down and rest the crown of your head on the block. Place your arms in between your legs on the mat.
    • Hold for 10 to 15 breaths.
    Headstand — 5 to 10 breaths

    4 Headstand — 5 to 10 breaths

    • From the wide-legged fold, transition back into a lunge, then high plank, and then lower your knees down to the ground so that you’re on your hands and knees.
    • Place your forearms on the mat and interlace your fingers together to prepare for a handstand.
    • Lean your head into your hands, and bring all your weight into your arms and head.
    • Lift your legs up to the ceiling, keeping them as straight as possible, and hold for as long as you can. Aim for 1 minute.
    • Slowly bring your legs back down to the ground, and slide back into child’s pose.
    Kernaghan and Jones recommend trying to stay in a headstand for as long as you can, building up more time as you get more experienced. If you can’t get into a headstand, try holding Downward Dog on your forearms instead. Leave your hands clasped together and bring your legs back into Downward Dog, pushing your butt up to the ceiling. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
    Pigeon Pose Right Leg — 3 minutesAmber Venerable

    5 Pigeon Pose Right Leg — 3 minutes

    • From child’s pose, come up onto your hands and knees.
    • Bring your right knee up to rest behind your right hand and let your knee fall out to the right side. Your calf should be parallel to the top of the mat. Keep your right toes flexed.
    • If you can, walk your hands forward until your forehead touches the ground.
    • Hold that pose for 3 minutes.
    Pigeon Pose Left Leg — 3 minutes

    6 Pigeon Pose Left Leg — 3 minutes

    • Lift up out of Pigeon pose, and bring your right leg back to meet your left.
    • Bring your left knee up to rest right behind your left hand and let your knee fall out to the left side. Your calf should be parallel to the top of the mat. Keep your right toes flexed.
    • If you can, walk your hands forward until your forehead touches the ground.
    • Hold for 3 minutes.
    Supported Bridge — 3 minutes

    7 Supported Bridge — 3 minutes

    • Rise up, and transition onto your back.
    • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your hips off the ground enough to slide a block under your hips. Rest on the block.
    • Extend your legs up to the ceiling, keeping your feet flexed. Bring your arms out to a T-position on the floor.
    • Hold for 3 minutes.
    Krissy is wearing a Nike Indy Sports Bra ($35, Nike.com) and Alala Leggings ($110, similar styles at Alala.com). Chloe is wearing an Alo Yoga Field Sports Bra and Entwine Leggings ($56, and $108, Aloyoga.com).


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