Apart from improving your quality of sleep, reducing your stress levels, and enhancing your overall physical health, yoga can also raise your energy! When you stretch, you make it easier for the blood to circulate in your body, resulting to energy boost. Yogic poses, particularly those that stretch the spine, can help combat debilitating fatigue symptoms and increase your feelings of vitality throughout the day. Here are ten of the best yogic poses that you can try to stay active all day long.
1. Half Sun Salutation
This pose is traditionally performed as a way to awaken the body. Experts say it is best to do this routine as soon as you wake up, before you even sip your coffee.
To do this exercise, stand up straight with your feet together and your arms placed at the side of your body, palms open. Raise your hands up and extend them over your head as you inhale and bow forward into a forward bend as you exhale. On the inhale, lift your torso halfway up and place your hands at your shins. Then, extend your spine. Sweep back up and bring your palms together, as if you are praying. Repeat this sequence for 1-4 times.
2. Right Nostril Breathing
Aside from boosting your energy levels, this yogic pose is a great remedy for headache. To perform the exercise, sit upright on a chair or a cross-legged position – whichever position makes you comfortable. Then, block your left nostril with your thumb. This allows you to breathe only through your right nostril. Breathe deeply for about five minutes. Do the same with your left nostril by covering the right.
3. Camel Pose
This invigorating routine is performed either with hands on the lower back or reaching down towards the heels, almost touching them. It is said to benefit the circulatory, nervous and endocrine systems.
To perform this pose, kneel on the floor, with your knees, hip width and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Rotate your thighs slightly inward, narrow your hip points but don’t harden your buttocks, keeping your outer hips as soft as possible. Press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly on floor. Then lean back against your tail bone and shoulder blade, chin up, with your hands on the pelvis. Remain in this position for 30 seconds to a minute. Beginners may not be able to reach their heels but still, they are bound to experience the benefits of this pose.
4. Locust Pose
This stretch helps strengthen your core, upper and lower back, as well as your hamstrings. Lie flat on the floor, facing down. Gently lift your arms, legs, chest and head off the floor as high as you can. Stay in this position as you breathe deeply for five times. Repeat the pose for three to four times.
5. Warrior II Pose
This pose combines leg strengthening and mild back bending to boost your energy levels. As the term suggests, this pose will awaken the warrior within you – your power and strength, without you needing to put so much effort.
Stand straight. As you inhale, step your feet at 3 ½ to 4 feet apart. Then, raise your arms parallel to the floor and stretch them out, with your palms facing down. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle and keep the stretch on your left leg. Make sure your right heel is aligned to your left heel. Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor, keeping the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
6. Triangle Pose
After the warrior position, the triangle pose is a good follow up, restorative sequence. Simply straighten your front knee and extend your arm forward, then down to your shin, the floor next to the leg, or a block. Raise your other arm up and face the sky, breathing deeply for 5 times. Repeat the routine on the other side.
7. Bridge Pose
Lie on your back, with your arms by the side, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly lift your hips up as high as you can. You can interlace your hands together if you want. Breathe deeply for several times. This pose effectively unlocks the energy in your spine and nervous system.
8. Side Plank
Perform the traditional plank position. Turn to the right side and place your feet on top of each other, lifting your left hand. Breathe in and out deeply for five times. Do the same to the other side.
9. Half-Moon Pose
A study published in the Yoga Journal suggests that this pose can be effective in alleviating stress, anxiety and fatigue. To perform the half moon pose, bring your right hand about 10 inches in front of you. Move it gently to the right whilst extending your leg up and keeping your hips and torso open. Extend your left arm up. Inhale and exhale deeply for five times.
10. Chair Pose
Imagine sitting on an invisible chair. This dynamic yogic pose is performed with your feet together, bending your lower body down, near to a squat position. Raise your arms to your ears and your chest up. This pose gives you a sudden boost in energy by awakening your spine and stimulating the muscles in your legs and glutes.
Best wishes, Steve