The 10-Minute Core-Strengthening Yoga Flow You Can Do At Home

Certified Personal Trainer & Yoga Teacher By Abi Carver, NASM-CPT
Certified Personal Trainer & Yoga Teacher
Abi Carver is a NASM-certified personal trainer and 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga instructor. She is the founder of the Yoga 15 video series, which helps make yoga simple and accessible for anyone.
10 minute Yoga Flow for Core Strength

Graphic by mbg Creative X Abi Carver

I lose my balance and trip probably as much as the next person, but I almost never fall over. I used to think that I was just incredibly lucky, but now I've realized that it's more likely because I have a yogi core, aka a strong core.

Yoga is phenomenal for building the sort of core strength that you need if you want to avoid painful falls; protect yourself from lower back pain; and pick up sports like paddleboarding, surfing, and snowboarding so quickly, you'll be the envy of all your friends. 

That said, here is a quick 10-minute yoga flow that can help improve your core strength in no time.

The best core-strengthening yoga flow.

This beginner yoga sequence is designed to strengthen your complete core—the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Try to keep your core engaged throughout the sequence, as you would in a Pilates class or when you're lifting weights at the gym.

But first, to warm up...start with some cat-cows.

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Cow Pose

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Come to all fours. Bring your hands directly underneath your shoulders, knees under your hips, feet are hip-width apart.
  • Cycle through four gentle rounds of cat-cow, synchronizing your breath and movement. 
  • Cow: Inhale, drop your belly, arch your spine, open up your chest, and look up.
  • Cat: Exhale, round your back, draw your belly in, and tuck your chin to your chest.
  • Repeat three more times.
  • And then come back to neutral, and jump into the flow.
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Downward Dog

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Downward Dog

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Walk your hands forward, spread your fingers wide, press down firmly into your index fingers.
  • Broaden across your collarbones, and tuck your toes.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • Exhale, lift your hips up into downward-facing dog. 
  • Walk out your feet a few times to stretch the backs of your legs. Take it nice and slow.
  • Press your heels, one at a time, back down toward the mat.
  • Release any tension in your neck and shoulders, and keep breathing in and out through your nose. 
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Plank Pose

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Plank

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How To:

  • From downward dog, take a deep breath in. Exhale, come forward into plank
  • Check that your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders, spread your fingers wide, reach your heels back, and draw the crown of your head forward.
  • Draw your ribs in, press the floor away from you, and press down into your index fingers.
  • Draw your sternum forward, broaden across your collarbones, and firm your shoulder blades on your back.
  • Hold the pose for up to a minute, breathing in and out through your nose.
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Locust Pose

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Locust

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Inhale, rock forward onto the tops of your toes.
  • Exhale, hug your elbows in close, and lower all the way down to the mat.
  • Untuck your toes, rest your forehead on the mat, and bring your arms by your sides for locust. 
  • Turn your palms to face down, reach back through your legs, and engage your abs. Inhale, lift your head, chest, and hands off the mat.
  • Exhale, outwardly rotate your shoulders, and turn your thumbs up to the sky.
  • Draw your shoulders back, tuck your chin, lengthen the back of your neck, and look down at the mat. Engage your abs.
  • Then lift your legs and press back through the balls of your feet. Keep looking down.
  • Interlace your fingers at the base of your spine, straighten your arms, and draw your shoulders back.
  • Reach back strongly through the balls of your feet.
  • Hold the pose for three slow breaths, in and out through your nose.
  • Take a deep breath in. Exhale, release the pose.  
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Child's Pose

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Child Pose

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Bring your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Take a deep breath in. Exhale, push your hips back toward your heels to rest in child's pose
  • Touch your big toes together, bring your knees out wide, and stretch your arms out in front of you. Hands are shoulder-width apart. 
  • Breathe into the back of your body for five slow breaths.
  • Take a deep breath in. Exhale, come back up to all fours.
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Boat Pose

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Boat Pose

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Sweep both feet to the right. Sit back.
  • Come to the middle of your mat with your feet hip-width apart for boat pose. 
  • Hold on to the backs of your thighs, and sit up tall. The key to this pose is to keep your back straight.
  • Lean back slightly, engage your abs, lift your sternum, pick up your feet, and balance on your sitting bones.
  • Bring your toes up to eye-line, lift your chest, lengthen your neck, and draw your shoulders back so that your lower back doesn't collapse.
  • If you have your balance, you can let go of the backs of your legs. Lean back, lift your chest and draw your shoulder blades toward each other. 
  • Hold the pose for three slow breaths, in and out through your nose.
  • Take a deep breath in. Exhale, release the pose. 

Bridge Pose

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Bridge

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Inhale, sit up tall. Exhale, lower as slowly as you can down to the mat for bridge pose. 
  • Rest your hands by your sides, palms facedown, and walk your feet back until your fingertips graze your heels.
  • Feet are hip-width apart and parallel. Inhale, press into your heels and lift your hips all the way up.
  • Exhale, relax into the pose. If you can, roll your shoulders underneath you, interlace your fingers, straighten your arms, and press your little fingers into the mat.
  • Lift your chest up and back as you draw your lower abs in. 
  • Take three slow, deep, and even breaths at the top of the pose.
  • If you feel compression in your lower back, drop your hips, curl your tailbone under, and release your inner thighs down to make space in your lower back.
  • Take one more deep breath in. Exhale, release the pose, and lower slowly back down to the mat.  

Windshield Wipers

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Windscreen

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Bring one hand to your belly and one hand to your chest.
  • Walk your feet to the edges of your mat and drop both knees to the right. And to the left. 
  • Move your knees in a windshield-wiping motion a few times to release your lower back.
  • Bring your knees back to center and hug them into your chest. Rock a little side to side.

Final Resting Pose

10 Minute Yoga Flow For Core Strength - Resting Pose

Image by Abi Carver / Contributor

How To:

  • Release your arms and legs, and lie back in final resting pose.
  • Let your feet come as wide as the mat and fall open. Relax your hands, palms facing up.
  • Rest your shoulder blades evenly on the ground. Close your eyes. 
  • Soften your eyes and tune back into your breath. Notice the gentle rising and falling of your chest. 
  • Let your entire body melt into the mat. Stay in final resting pose for at least two to three minutes.
  • Become aware of the palms of your hands. Bring your attention to your fingers and your fingertips.
  • Open your eyes. When you are ready, roll onto your right side and gently bring yourself up to sitting.
  • Now you can move back into your day. 

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