Magic Ten and Beyond

The Magic Ten is a  series of ten simple exercises, designed by Sharon Gannon, that can be done in about ten minutes. It is a good way to warm up for an asana class or to get your body moving first thing in the morning or at any time you need a “pep up.”  It is the warm up for the Spiritual Warrior class, and the first six exercises are the warm up for the Fundamentals class.


The Jivamukti Magic Ten Curriculum

  1. Downward Dog – 10 breaths. Then keep hands where they are and walk feet forward until shoulders are directly over the wrists and hips are directly over the feet.
  2. Uttanasana variation – 10 breaths. With legs and arms extended, press equal weight down through hands and feet and simultaneously lift up out of wrists and ankles (with blocks under hands, if necessary, in order to extend legs).
  3. Squat – 10 breaths. Feet mat-width apart, knees tracked over middle of feet, spine extended, hands in prayer at heart, using elbows to open inner thighs, press heels down into floor or into folded blanket or sit on a block.
  4. Teepee Twist – 5 breaths each side Seated with soles of feet on floor, feet and knees together, twist to the right, bend left elbow and embrace both knees with left arm, right hand on floor behind supporting vertical lift of spine, breathe 5 breaths; do left side, then extend both legs straight.
  5. Ardha Matsyendrasana – 5 breaths each side Bend right knee and cross right foot over extended left leg, placing right foot adjacent to the outside of left knee or further down near left foot. With left elbow bent, press outside of left arm against outside of right leg (or those who can, hold right instep with left hand); breathe 5 breaths, repeat to left side, then extend both legs straight.
  6. Table Top – 10 breaths Separate feet hip-width apart and bend knees, place hands behind you on floor, fingers pointing toward feet, chin to chest, inhale lift up, exhale extend head back, hold for 10 breaths (pelvis should be lifted as high or higher than knee level, with ankles under knees and wrists under shoulders).
  7. Handstand – 5 to 25 breaths Place hands on floor about 3-5 inches from a wall, and leading with one leg jump up and follow with the other, then rest heels on wall, feet flexed, and drop head between arms; or start on hands and knees and walk up to a 90 degree angle; or practice jumping with one leg in center of room. Finish by simply hanging over in uttanasana (no need to rest in child’s pose), then stand up for posture alignment.
  8. Standing Posture Alignment – 5 breaths Standing in tadasana (feet parallel, together or apart), interlock fingers together behind back, pressing palms together, lift arms away from pelvis, aligning pelvis and rib cage-pelvis is neither retracted nor tucked under, upper chest lifts as armpits expand, chin drops to meet lifted chest.
  9. Standing Side Bends – 4 breaths Extend arms overhead, interlock fingers, pressing palms together, inhale lengthen spine, exhale bend to the left side, inhale to upright position, then exhale bend to the right, repeat once more to each side for a total of 2 rounds. Inhale come to a upright standing position.
  10. Standing Spinal Roll – 16 breaths
Exhale: place interlaced hands behind head
    • Inhale: in upright position, spread elbows, lengthen spine, expand chest
 – Exhale: arch back 1
    • Inhale: lengthen spine – Exhale: lean back further 2
    • Inhale: lengthen spine – 
Exhale: lean back further 3
Inhale: come to an upright position
 – Exhale: draw elbows towards each other, chin to chest 4
    • Inhale: breath space into back body
 – Exhale: roll down, nose toward upper chest 5
Inhale – 
Exhale: roll down, forehead toward sternum 6
    • Inhale
 – Exhale: roll down, forehead toward belly 7
    • Inhale – 
Exhale: roll down, forehead toward navel 8
    • Inhale
 – Exhale: roll down, forehead toward pubic bone 9
Inhale – 
Exhale: roll down, forehead toward mid-thighs 10
    • Inhale
 – Exhale: roll down, forehead toward knees 11
 – Exhale: bend knees, touching forehead to or toward knees 12
Inhale: keep knees bent, open elbows, lift torso (like in utkatasana)
 – Exhale: stay 13
    • Inhale: straighten legs, lift to upright position
 – Exhale: stay 14
    • Inhale: in upright position, lengthen spine 
- Exhale: lean back 15
Inhale: come to upright position
 – Exhale: release arms, tadasana 16 
(Take 16 counts for the entire sequence)