Let’s be honest. Yoga is not the first thought to come to mind when you’re in that mid-day slump at work, trying to find a way to power through until quitting time. Practicing yoga may be great to unwind or clear your head, but for energy? Usually you’d avoid such activities, but actually, it might be just the thing to recharge you during the day.
Yoga concerns the flow of energy through the body, especially along the spine. The correct movements and postures can allow “prana,” or life force, to flow through the spine and the body, reawakening your central nervous system from the center outward, literally giving you a new infusion of vitality. After hours of sitting behind a desk, a few yoga postures can clear up the energy that’s been blocked by sitting for so long.
While there are any numbers of yoga poses that can help, here are seven relatively easy poses you might consider if you find you need some extra energy during your daily routine.
Right Nostril Breathing
Breathing through the left nostril is believed to bring calm. It’s opposite, right nostril breathing, energizes. This very simple pose raises your body temperature and is effective in part of a weight loss plan, as well. Not only does it lift your energy level, it can lift your spirit, brightening your mood.
You can perform this pose sitting in your chair, though you can also assume a cross-legged position on the floor, if you like. Block your left nostril with your thumb and extend your fingers. Inhale and exhale with deep breaths, only through your right nostril for about five minutes.
Half Sun Salutation
As the name implies, this pose is excellent for waking up in the morning, even before you’ve had a cup of coffee. It fills your body with energy, awakening you and preparing you for the rest of the day.
Start by putting your feet together, toes touching, heels slightly apart. Hang your arm from the sides, palms open. You may recognize this as Tadasana, the Mountain Pose. This is the starting position for the Half Sun Salutation.
Continue by inhaling, moving your arms up over your head as you do so. Exhale and bend forward. Inhale and lift your torso up about halfway, then put your hands on your shins and stretch out your spine. Straighten back up smoothly on the next inhale and bring your palms together as if praying. Repeat several times.
Warrior II Pose
The pose will bring strength to your legs and it stretches your spine to bring energy into your body. The name of the pose suggests power and strength, and that’s exactly what you’ll feel.
As with the Half Sun Salutation, this pose begins with the Mountain Pose. Exhale and move your feet a few feet apart. Lift your arms until they are parallel to the floor. Turn your left foot about 90 degrees, keeping the heels pointed at each other, then turn your left thigh until your left knee cap lines up with your left ankle. Exhale and bend your left knee until your shin is perpendicular to the floor. Stretch out your arms, keeping them parallel to the floor, then turn your head to the left, and look toward your fingers.
You can get even more energized from this pose by utilizing the “breath of fire”. Breathe rapidly from your belly while holding the pose. Focus on the exhalations — the inhalations will handle themselves.
The Triangle Pose is a good follow up to the Warrior II Pose. It focuses on expanding the body and expanding the body’s energy, allowing it to flow through your entire being.
Keep your front knee straight while extending your arm forward. Bring your arm down toward your shin. Raise your other arm high and look upward. Take five deep breaths, then do the same on the other side.
The Locust Pose engages the muscles of your entire back, along with your hamstrings. Your entire body is involved in trying to lift you from the earth, bringing energy from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes.
Lie on your belly and place your arms by your sides with your palms facing the floor. Slowly and carefully lift all your limbs, your head, and your chest from the floor, and take a deep breath. Breathe deeply several more times, and try to lift yourself just a little higher with each breath. Your neck should not be strained as you do this. If you feel comfortable in the attempt, you might even try to stretch your arms out over your head.
We call it the Chair Pose, because the practitioner looks as if he or she is seated while doing it, but in Sanskrit, it is known as Utkatasana, the Powerful Pose. Using the power contained in your leg muscles and glutes, it sends energy up your spine to awaken your body.
Stand with your feet touching, or place them hip-width apart, as you prefer. Flex your lower body as though you were going to sit in a chair. Then, lift your arms to ear-level and push your chest upward to complete the pose.
Poses that involve bending your back are good for freeing energy bound in your spine, and the classic Bridge Pose is one of the best for releasing that power.
Lie on your back and bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms flat at your sides and lift your hips high. You can lock your fingers together or keep your hands at your side, whichever your prefer. Inhale and exhale five times, deeply, then repeat.
Getting that boost of energy during a day doesn’t require tools or tricks, just some yoga. There are many more poses which can help balance your body and boost your energy. We hope that you’ve found this information to be helpful, and that you have all of the energy you need to take on the day.