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8 Minutes to Awesome yoga practice

This is an excerpt from Motivational Yoga by Nancy Gerstein.

8 Minutes to Awesome


To ignite an active energy state in 8 minutes.


You can produce more of almost anything in this world except one thing—time. Once it's over, it's gone for good, and you can never get it back. That's why it's essential to know that if you want to live a better life, learn to be the master of your own time. The quality of your minutes is all that matters.

The moment you wake up is the beginning of the rest of your day. What you choose to do with your day and the choices you make can be significantly altered when you live in an active energy state. The way you feel is in direct relation to how content, empowered, patient, and loving you are. The fact is, when you feel good, you live a better life.

Kick off your day by using your first-thing-in-the-morning time to commit to this high-energy 8-minute practice. Place it on the list of daily rituals you already do in the morning, such as drink a cup of coffee, brush your teeth, and check your email.

This 8-minute practice will rock your mind and body, and help you become aware of how you spend each precious moment.

Practice Tips

Practice on an empty stomach. A cup of coffee or a glass of water is OK, but skip any solid foods till after your practice.

Use a timer for each movement.

Prepare to get fired up for the day. Let the exercise reward you with a strong body, an open heart, a calm mind, and a positive outlook.

Focus on every breath. Use your muscles to encourage clear decisions, release stale energies, and feel gratitude for this amazing new day.

5 Movements in 8 Minutes

This practice is packed with five powerful movements that offer sustainable mind-body improvements far beyond the 8 minutes it takes to complete them.

  • Uddiyana bandha (2 minutes). It's said that if you only do one practice a day, it should be uddiyana bandha. This ancient exercise stimulates the internal agni (fire), helps relieve constipation, and strengthens the will. Plus, it lights the fire in the belly, giving you the confidence to accomplish anything!
    1. From a standing position, bend your knees and rest your hands just above them as you lean forward.
    2. Exhale completely, and pull your belly back toward your spine; hold your breath.
    3. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and lift your belly up behind your ribs to hollow out your torso, and tuck your chin in toward your chest, holding uddiyana bandha.
    4. Inhale when needed, and release the pelvic floor, belly, and chin.
    5. Repeat this exercise several times for 2 minutes.
  • Downward dog (2 minutes).Downward dog is a buffet of delicious full-body stretches. From squatting to back stretching to twisting, there's a dog that suits your home style. Used as an inverted posture, it brings fresh blood flow to the brain. If holding the pose for 2 minutes seems like too much to handle, mix it up by moving the hips left and right, lifting one leg, or bending the knees.
  • Seated twist (2 minutes; 1 minute per side).The twist lengthens the muscles around the spine, spreads the wide muscles of the back, and ignites the hip flexors. It is also the perfect remedy to erase internal tension.
  • Bridge (1 minute). Bridge connects the top of the head to the soles of the feet as the entire front of the body unfolds. With skillful breathing, bridge ignites the chakras, stimulates the sexual organs, connects the mind to the heart center, and massages the thyroid.
  • Inverted action (1 minute). One minute in this pose delivers all the benefits of inversions, including draining the feet, ankles, and legs from stuck energy.

5 movements in 8 minutes

More Excerpts From Motivational Yoga



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