We’ve all experienced that midday energy crash. Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee that might leave you jittery and unable to sleep, how about some yoga? Recently, we did a post on Yoga Poses for Rest and Recovery, so now it’s time for the opposite! These five poses can help you shake off the afternoon blahs and give yourself an energy boost.
Crescent Lunge: Anjaneyasana
Crescent lunge is a great pose for boosting energy and heart opening. If you’re starting from Downward Dog, step one of your feet between your hands, with your knee bent. On an inhale, raise your torso and arms above your head. Sink into your legs, keeping your hips centered. If you feel wobbly, you can separate your feet so they’re not directly in line with each other. If this version is too intense, you can drop your bottom knee to the mat and untuck your toes for a lower impact lunge. Hold this pose for several breaths, really sinking into it an finding your balance.
Camel is one of those poses that can be a challenge but is such a great pose for everyone sitting at a desk or hunched over a phone or computer. If this is an intimidating pose for you, then props can make all the difference.
For standard Camel, you’ll start sitting up on your knees, with your feet tucked. Lift your chest and reach your hands toward your heels. Think of reaching your chest up, instead of leaning yourself back. If you feel comfortable, you can lean your head back as well. If that is inaccessible for you, you can place blocks on either side of your feet on their highest height and reach for them as you lift your chest. If that is still too intense, place your hands on your lower back and perform the same lifting motion. Hold this pose for three to five breaths.
Locust is another backbend that really helps build strength in your back. For this pose, you’ll start laying on your stomach, with your forehead or chin on the mat, arms at your sides, palms facing down. On an exhale, lift your torso, legs, and arms, keeping your gaze just beyond the edge of the mat so you’re not straining your neck. Press your hips into the mat and hold for three or four deep breaths before lowering back down to the mat.
Chair is one of those poses that doesn’t seem so difficult before you sink into it, but after a few breaths, you really start to feel the intensity. This pose is great for firing up your energy and working your glutes. To start, raise your arms overhead. If you have tight shoulders, you can bend your arms so they look like a cactus, or a goalpost. Sink down as if you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Keep your core tight and your knees tracking over your toes. Hold for four to six breaths before moving into a Forward Fold. Don’t forget to breathe!
Half Moon: Ardha Chandrasana
This is another pose that can really be enhanced with props. Half Moon is a balance challenge that will have you reconnecting with your breath. To start, get into Warrior II. You can place a block on a low or high setting about six inches in front of your foot. Reach for the block, or the floor if you aren’t using one, while raising your back leg horizontally to the mat. Raise the arm that isn’t reaching for the mat or a block toward the sky, opening up to the side. Look up toward your top hand, or gaze down at your bottom hand. Keep your back foot flexed. Remember: It’s okay to wobble and fall out of any pose. Some days we have more balance than others. Sit with wherever you are during your practice without judgement. Hold this pose for four to six breaths.
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