Due to stress, lack of sleep, illness, injury, or a variety of other factors, our energy or life force can sometimes become blocked or stagnant. Below, we’ll highlight a few yoga poses that can help you feel more awake and energized all day long...
TO BOOST ENERGY
Hectic, busy lifestyles are the norm these days, and most of us wish we had the energy to check a few more things off our to-do lists each day. When you add a lack of sleep and chronic stress to the mix, it’s no surprise that many of us turn to caffeine and sugar to get through that afternoon slump.
But there’s actually a natural alternative that will provide long-lasting energy while helping you manage all that stress at the same time. Yoga can have an invigorating effect on the mind and body, combatting both mental and physical fatigue.
Practicing these yoga poses every day will help your life force you to flow more naturally, improving focus, physical energy, and emotional stability. It’s a good idea to warm up your spine with a few Cat and Cow poses before moving into the more intense sequence below.
Sun Salutations are fantastic for energizing the body and mind. The point is to move your body in rhythm with your breathing, which boosts your oxygen level and circulation. This not only increases your energy level, but also lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and even supports immune function.
For optimum results, keep your breathing even and deep as you move through the salutations. Coordinating your body’s movements with your breathing has a meditative effect that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
As you move into Warrior II, lengthen your spine, engage your core, and drop your hips. Keep your shoulders broad and extend your arms as long as possible. All this wideness increases oxygen flow to give you an energy boost. This power posture can even lower stress hormones like cortisol while raising testosterone, which can help you feel more optimistic and confident.
Tree pose is another energizing power posture. Balance poses like Tree Pose require both deep mental focus and an engaged core. This makes Tree Pose one of the most effective postures for boosting energy. The deep mental focus required for this pose reduces activity in the part of the brain that responds to stress, called the amygdala. When you free up the energy your body would be using to cope with stress, you can invest that energy into other things.
(if it is in your practice)
This deep backbend posture helps stimulate the adrenal glands, giving a nice boost of energy. Be sure to use the proper form. Your knees shouldn’t be wider than your hips and your elbows shouldn’t be wider than your shoulders. This will give you the most benefit and reduce the potential for spinal injury.
Locust Pose is an energetic release, heart opener, and also strengthens the back and counteracts any stress or fatigue from poor posture or long hours sitting at a desk. Locust Pose is a great yoga pose for both beginners and advanced practitioners to practice for one minute. Again, don’t feel like to you have to hold the pose for a full minute – instead work one or many variations:
- bend elbows as you inhale/lift chest - exhale release
- add more intensity: extend arms in front as you inhale/lift chest & arms
- clasp your hands behind lower back for a shoulder opener
- try lifting your legs along with your chest and arms