Lets face it, life is busy, when we are so busy and stressed our posture and energy are greatly affected, especially in the winter months we feel extra drained, sluggish and tend to go into hibernation mode. To counter this we want to focus on poses that work to lengthen the spine, (improving posture) which allow for more energy to circulate throughout the whole body. Just by changing our posture alone it can make us feel more empowered, confident and energetic. We also want to practice poses that open the chest to help encourage deep breathing, as it increases oxygen to the cells making you feel more energetic. These poses also help to regulate the hormone cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, they help to regulate stress, low cortisol equals low energy. So before you reach for that cup of coffee or that quick power nap, try these yoga poses instead to boost and balance your energy levels.
1. SUN SALUTATION – A
This is my favorite way to start my morning to get me going or to warm up before any exercise, and if you only have time to do one thing I recommend this.
- Standing at the top of your mat, feet together, hands down by your side, palms open, roll the shoulders down and back.
- Inhale arms reach up, exhale forward fold and bend the knees as much as needed.
- Inhale flat back halfway lengthen – palms to shins, gaze is slightly forward
- Exhale plant the palms –step or jump back into plank pose lower into chaturanga
- Inhale upward facing dog or baby cobra
- Exhale downward facing dog
- Inhale step to the top of your mat – halfway lift, palms to shins
- Exhale forward fold
- Inhale to rise – coming back into Mountain Pose
- Repeat 3x or more
- What happens when you don’t move your body we get really tight, this helps to get things flowing by increasing circulation and oxygen. Also helps us to connect breath with movement.
- Great way to warm up the body, release tension and feel more mobile.
- Helps release toxins and stimulates circulation throughout the body creating energy through the day
2. FULL WHEEL
MODIFICATION: BRIDGE POSE
Lying on your back, bring the soles of your feet onto your mat, make sure feet are hip distance apart and place both hands by the ears – palms down, fingers pointing to your feet. Inhale and start to straighten your arms while you push through the soles of your feet and palms of your hands, coming up into full wheel working to open the chest and straighten arms and legs.
- This is like yoga cardio, it increases your heart rate making this a cardiovascular posture which also stimulates endorphins, your happy hormones
- It activates the adrenals giving the body a shot of adrenaline
- Stimulates nerves along the spine while strengthening legs and arms
- Expands the rib cage allowing more oxygen to support the lungs creating more energy
3. BIRD OF PARADISE
Standing at the top of your mat – take a step back with the left foot, root your foot parallel to the short edge side of your mat. Bending through the right leg, knee over ankle, begin to reach under the thigh with the right hand while bringing the left hand behind you to clasp onto the right fingers or wrist, coming into a bind. Bring the left foot beside the right foot in a forward fold with bind. (option one stay here) Slowly begin to stand up and balance on the left leg while picking up the right leg maintaining the bind and working to extend right leg.
- When we think about a million things at once it’s exhausting, intense balancing postures, like this one, require strong mental concentration forcing you to focus on one thing
- Creating mental clarity helps to make you better equipped to tackle a crazy day with more stamina
- Strengthens core and legs
- Opens shoulders and chest
- Creates a rush of blood flow stimulating the heart, increasing energy.
- Poses that work to lengthen the spine allow energy to circulate throughout the whole body
4. 3 LEGGED DOG PLANK VARIATION TO FALLEN TRIANGLE
- Start in downward facing dog
- Inhale – extend the right leg back pointing the toes — 3 legged dog – keep hips in one line
- Exhale bring your right knee to your nose and shift forward into plank making sure shoulders over wrists, engaging the core, puffing up through the upper back, creating a C shape with the spine.
- Start to extend the right leg all the way over to the left side of your mat flexing the foot, toes towards your shinbone. Begin to pick up the left arm , extending straight up to the ceiling, opening up the chest.
- Release back to downward dog and repeat left side.
- Repeat as many times as you can.
- Think of this as a yoga workout, an excellent exercise on its own to help build overall strength, increase mobility and stimulate energy
- Strengthens core, arms, glutes
- Stretches and opens chest, legs, shoulders, and neck
- Allows for deeper breathing and sending more oxygen to the lungs and circulation to the body.
5. PIGEON WITH BIND
Come to downward facing dog, reach your right leg up towards the ceiling and bring your right knee outside of your right wrist. Look back and make sure your left leg is straight, left toes pointing straight back. Sitting up tall, reach the left hand on the inside of the left foot while slowly pulling the foot towards you. Reach the right hand up and over your right shoulder to come back and meet the left hand to come into the full bind – or use a strap where needed.
- Big hip opener, hips tend to hold a lot of emotion, especially in women, once we start to open the hips it releases pent up emotions and stress, our bodies can begin to let go and flow with more energy.
- Holding this posture can create strength building which helps stimulate energy in the body.
WATCH RACHELLE LATEST SEGMENT ON CTV’S THE SOCIAL!
5 Yoga Poses for Energy