After taking the kids to a concert, out for breakfast, and lunch at restaurants this week, I felt a little over-indulged and I was really needing this 10-minute plank yoga flow. Add to that the fact that my monthly cycle has me all bloated so I was looking to really work my core today.
In order to reduce my bloating, I’m also drinking extra water and adding lemon juice to it. I’m also limiting my salt intake and processed foods (even though I’m really craving these things). I’m also eating a banana every day because potassium has been known to decrease sodium levels in the bottom and can act as a diuretic.
Coupled with my diet changes, moving is known to help with bloat, so I’ve continued to walk and do my 10-minute yoga flows on most days of the week, however often as I can.
Today’s flow includes a lot of high plank work and downward dog. When doing these poses, be sure to always protect your wrists by spreading your weight throughout your palms and fingertips, engaging your forearms. This will not only protect your wrists from pain and injury but building forearm strength is vital to achieving many advanced poses like arm stands if you’re interested in working on those.
I’ve been working on my forward fold a lot lately. I’m loving this pose because it is so restorative and stress-relieving. I’m also really working to improve my flexibility in my hamstrings and lower back. I have to say, a little bit really goes a long way. I’ve been doing this stretch most days of the week for a few months now, and I’ve really noticed a difference in how far I can reach and how deeply I can fold. It used to be difficult to touch the floor at first, now I can go right down.
There’s also a great pose in this sequence that provides a wonderful abdominal stretch and opens the hips - the one-legged dog rolled open. To do this pose, begin in downward dog and lift the left leg to one-legged dog. Next, bend the lifted left leg and allow the left foot to gently move towards, then past the right side of your body and continue as far as it will comfortably go, essentially rolling the hips open.
This flow took only 10 minutes to complete and really worked my upper and lower abs, as well as my obliques.
10-Minute Plank Yoga Flow
1. Mountain pose
2. Forward fold
3. Walk hands on the floor out to downward dog
4. High plank
5. One-legged dog (L)
6. High plank while bending left leg to bring left knee to the right armpit
7. One-legged dog (L)
8. Roll open
9. High plank while bending the left leg to bring the left knee to the left armpit
10. One-legged dog (L)
11. Roll open
12. High plank while bending left leg to hug the left knee straight forward to the abdomen
13. Downward dog
14. Walk hands back on the mat to forward fold
15. Repeat sequence on the right side
16. Supine twist to L
17. Supine twist to R
If you’re having a hard time fitting in exercise, these 10 minute flows are perfect. Anytime you feel like you might have just 10 minutes, don’t think about it, just go do it. Sometimes even if you think you’re hungry and want to go to the pantry and you’ve just had lunch, try doing one of these 10-minute flows because you might just be bored.
I find that 10 minutes a day is enough to get the blood flowin’ a bit, build strength, increase flexibility, reduce stress and improve sleep habits. After just 10 minutes, I have more energy, and I also feel like it helps curb my appetite for the day. If you have more time and more energy, you can add another 10-minute flow to your routine or simply repeat this flow twice. I have more 10-minute flows here, and here, and here.
Before I wrap this post up here for the day, I wanted to add a little note about nutrition and weight loss and management. One of the many reasons why I love these 10-minute flows is that it’s just enough. You don’t need to exercise a ton in order to lose or maintain your weight. It’s mostly about your eating - specifically how much you eat. You can eat as “clean” as you like but if you eat too many calories you won’t lose weight or maintain a healthy weight for long. Sometimes, if you exercise too much, I find it increases your appetite to the point where it makes weight loss or management way too difficult. I've recently started running again and I have to be really careful to not overdo it.
Something that’s been working for me really is just watching my portions. I do most of my own cooking and meal prep, we only get take out or eat out once or twice a month (typically - this week is a real exception). Everything else is made here by yours truly. Cooking for yourself is a great way to make sure you’re eating healthy and not taking in too many calories because no matter how healthy you think the item you’re ordering at a restaurant, it’s probably packed with so much oil and salt it will put you over the ledge for your daily calorie needs easily. I want to start sharing some more of my recipes on the blog, so stay tuned for some of my fav's.
I don’t skimp, I’ll cook and eat what I consider “real food” - you know, food my husband will like (they do say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!). I’ll use ground sausage in my vodka sauce, and real butter on my home-made white toast - and it’s delicious. I just make sure I watch my portions and eat a well-rounded diet.
It sounds pretty simple but hey, I’ve maintained my roughly 30-pound weight loss from having my baby in January of ‘18 so, it’s working for me!
For more on yoga and weight loss, check out this post.
I hope you find this information helpful, and this flow energizing and peaceful, as I did.