Try This '5 Minute A Day' Yoga Challenge For A Stronger Core

Relax and recharge while you're at it!

yoga challenge
Image: Clare Grieve

It would be amazing if we all had the time to get into a yoga studio for a class every single day, but this just isn’t practical. You can also benefit from an in-home practice, and it doesn’t need to be an hour-long intense session either. Whether you want to relax and recharge, energize or strengthen, you can flow for just five minutes to see benefits!
February is almost over, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to take advantage of Fit Feb. I’ve put together a very basic, yet intense and effective one week yoga challenge for your last week. You’ll need just five minutes a day for the next seven days to feel stronger. Note how you feel before and after the challenge. I bet you’ll be surprised at what just five minutes per day can do!
Ideally, you’ll hold each pose for 60 seconds. If you’re not there yet, no worries, start at 30 seconds and work your way up!

5 Minute A Day Yoga Challenge:

60 second Plank Pose

yoga challenge
Image: Clare Grieve

Plank Pose is a total body strengthening pose. It works the core, shoulder, buttocks, spinal muscles, upper arms and more. The more you hold this pose, the stronger you will feel.
How to: Begin on your hands and knees. Press up into a push-up position on your hands and toes. Feel your body lengthening all the way from the crown of your head through to your heels. Keep your core pulled into your spine and hold.

60 second Boat Pose

yoga challenge
Image: Claire Grieve

Boat Pose is the ultimate core strengthener. This pose may look easy, but it is actually a challenging pose that will help you build some serious inner core strength.
How to: Begin seated with your feet and hands on the floor. Inhale. On your exhale, activate your core and lift your legs up into a 45-degree angle. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, reaching for the wall. Balance on your sit bones keeping your spine straight and your chest lifted. Hold for 10 breaths and release.

60 seconds Side Plank, each side

yoga challenge
Image: Claire Grieve

As with Plank Pose, holding Side Plank can help you strengthen and tone without any movement. This variation of plank works the oblique muscles, which can help to shape your midsection.
How to: Start in Plank Pose. Turn your body to one side stacking your shoulders over wrists and heels on top of each other. Release one arm and stretch it towards the sky. Align and engage your body in one long line from head to toe.

60 seconds Chair Pose

yoga challenge
Image: Claire Grieve

Chair pose is another total body strengthener working the core, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders and more all at once.  This pose will help you to feel powerful and grounded.
How to: Inhale and raise your arms up to the sky, allowing your shoulders to relax away from your ears. As you exhale, start to bend your knees and lower your hips down as if you are sitting in a chair. Sit down even lower and shift your weight into your heels as you lengthen your lower back and lift up through your heart.

60 second Warrior 3 Pose

yoga challenge
Image: Claire Grieve

Warrior 3 is a challenging balance pose requires the entire body to work.
How to: Start in Crescent Pose and square your hips. Engage your core and begin to lean forward. Keep extending your arms parallel and actively reach as you lift your back leg. Flex your foot as if you are pressing into an imaginary wall. Stretch through your whole body and keep your gaze a few feet in front of you. Remember to breathe!
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