Yoga, perhaps for the beginner or someone who’s never tried the practice, might seem like a calming activity. And it is, but it’s also very invigorating. Thanks to the breathing, poses and meditation techniques, the Ananda, Ishta, Kundalini and Vinyasa forms of yoga can awaken the mind, body and soul. How? Moves that have you twisting, on the floor or upside down stimulate blood flow and oxygen in the muscles will give you energy. Here are 10 moves to help you recharge.
1. Happy Baby
(Exercise Link Gaiam)
Open up your ups, stretch the groin and relieve stress with Happy Baby.
- Lying on your back, you hold the inside of the arches of your feet.
- Place a blanket under your neck for support.
2. Bharadvaja’s Twist
(Exercise Link Yoga Journal)
Nothing feels better than this twist that releases all the stresses you hold in your back.
- Sitting on the floor with your legs bent in front of you, shift your body weight to the right, moving your right foot atop your left leg.
- Sit up tall, and twist your trunk to the right.
- Feel your spine lengthening and your shoulder blades coming together, as you put your right arm behind you.
- Turn your head from side to side.
- Don’t forget to breathe.
3. Standing Forward Bend
(Exercise Link Yoga Basics)
So simple and forward bend feels so good. Especially along the back of the body.
- Standing tall, hinge forward at the hips.
- Bend your knees so that you can rest your palms on the floor.
- Now, slowly straighten your legs and feel the stretch along the backs of your legs.
(Exercise Link Yoga Outlet)
This is a combo move (cat and cow), which can be used as a warm up stretch to get the spine, torso and neck ready for more poses. It also works on balance and is often used in physical rehab programs.
- On all fours, push the belly button down to the floor, so the back drops like a cow’s would.
- Then do the opposite, pushing the belly button away from the floor, like how a cat’s back curves would do when stretching.
(Exercise Link SpiritVoyage.com)
- Lying face down on the floor, put your hands on the mat, just underneath your shoulders.
- Push your upper body up while keeping your legs on the matt.
- You’ll feel your back arch.
6. Pull-Through Tabletop
(Exercise Link Shape)
- Sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your hands just behind you, lift up your body so that you’re in a tabletop position (body parallel to the floor).
- Engage your core, lower your hips without letting your backside touch the mat.
7. Arm Pumps
(Exercise Link Prevention)
- With your hands interlaced, palms out, bring your arms overhead.
- Hold here and then bring them back down in front as you inhale and exhale.
8. Bow Pose
(Exercise Link HealthAndFitnessTravel.com)
This will work the back muscles.
- Lying on your stomach, have your arms at your sides.
- Bring your heels up to your backside, and grab your ankles.
- Now push your heels away from the body, pulling your upper body off the mat.
9. Warrior II
(Exercise Link DoYouYoga.com)
This will get your glutes working.
- Step one foot forward and raise your arms out to the sides at shoulder level.
- Point your forward foot straight ahead and your back foot out to the side.
- Bend your front knee, stretching your back leg.
10. Baby Pose
(Exercise Link SpiritVoyage.com)
On your knees on your mat, sit on your heels.
- Bend forward so that your forehead is on the floor.
- Lay your arms along the side of your body, with your palms up.
- Keep your eyes closed and feel the release in your back.