If you find yourself in the midst of the midday doldrums — and in need of a serious energy boost — skip the coffee. Instead, take a short break and try some of these yoga poses to get you back in the game.
For the greatest benefit and to max your energetic “high,” hold each of the following poses as long as you comfortably can. Keep your eyes closed and stay focused on your breathing.
You may just find that you’re more relaxed, energized and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Camel Ride (Or Spine Flex)
This kundalini pose releases blocked spinal energy and gives a nice stretch.
- Sit on your heels and rest your hands on your knees (rock pose).
- Inhale deeply, arching your back forward, pushing your sternum out. Exhale, bringing your sternum in, arching your back out.
- Repeat at a comfortable pace and rhythm.
This staple yoga pose will chase away the afternoon doldrums and give you a quick burst of energy.
- Stand tall with your big toes touching. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet.
- Engage your leg muscles, core and shoulders.
- As you raise your arms alongside your ears, ease your shoulder blades down your back.
- Hold for five breaths, lower your arms and repeat if you wish.
Ragdoll Pose Or Forward Bend
Here’s a pose to really loosen you up. (Yep, like a ragdoll.)
- Begin in Mountain Pose as above. Exhale while folding forward, bending from the hips. Bend your knees to relieve pressure on the hamstrings.
- As you drop your arms beside your ears, grasp your opposite elbows with your opposite palms.
- For this pose, you can choose to stand still or gently sway side-to-side.
- Gently shake your head side-to-side then forward and back, releasing tension from your neck.
- Hold the pose for three breaths, then release by rolling back to Mountain Pose. Do this slowly, one vertebra at a time.
- Again, start in Mountain Pose. Inhale deeply, raising your arms above your head.
- Grasp your left wrist with your right hand, exhaling deeply and extending over to the right.
- As you keep your hips square and forward, draw your left shoulder backward. Hold for three to five breaths.
- Inhale and go back to center. Then switch your grip, and repeat on the opposite side.
Vakrasana (Half Spinal Twist)
- Sit down stretching your legs forward on the ground.
- Bend your right leg straight with your foot flexed. Place your left foot beside the right knee and keep your left knee raised upward.
- Twist to the left, place the right arm by the outer side of the left knee and hold the left ankle with the right hand. Take the left hand behind the back keeping the palms on the floor. Look backward towards the left side.
- Repeat the same from the other side.
The next time your eyelids feel droopy around midday, don’t break down and grab a sugary snack – the rush you’ll get from that morsel will be short lived and unhealthy for you. Instead, practice a few of these yoga poses!
- American Academy of Health and Fitness. http://www.aahf.info/sec_news/section/yogas-growing-popularity_012507.htm
- AnmolMehta.Com http://anmolmehta.com/blog/2007/04/22/book-of-kundalini-yoga-poses-kriyas-spinal-warmup-yoga-exercises-ch-1/
- Core Power Yoga Connection. http://www.corepoweryoga.com/blogs/yoga-energy-boost