Shine Brighter with Us
Shine Brighter with Us
Boost Your Energy with these Yoga Moves
In the winter, we Netflix (sometimes even without the chill). In the summer, we melt onto beach chairs. It’s relatively easy to go from season to season without much energy. It is why we nod in avid agreement when our co-workers describe the 3:00 p.m slump. It is why we rush out of the house in the morning, only to wait in a long line for a cup of coffee. If you need a boost of energy in the morning, turn to yoga.
Yoga doesn’t always have to be a long practice to be a worthwhile practice. Even the smallest yoga breaks can give you a much-needed boost and prevent you from slumping into your sofa after work. The next time you feel the beginning of a downward spiral, give yourself one minute to make an energetic difference:
On all fours, make the rounding pose an angry cat would (also a great pose for anyone who is on the verge of writing a snarky email). Then let your spine flow in the other direction, with your belly down to the floor, butt up to the ceiling. Move in each direction with a nice slow breath. Your spine will get the benefits from flexion and extension, rather than being frozen in one place. Just a minute of these flowing movements will reset your mind and straighten your posture
Some yoga poses have names that don’t even remotely relate to their shape, but this is one example where that certainly is not the case. Lie on your stomach and breathe into your belly. Feel your toes press into the floor and engage your legs lightly. Then prop up onto your forearms, which can be in front of your shoulders or underneath your shoulders, depending on what is more comfortable for you. Keeping your forearms in place, imagine dragging your elbows back as if they were on something slippery. At the same time, move your chest forward through the frame of the arms. Stay for one minute and feel the energetic shot just one backbend can provide.
Modified Camel Pose
Full camel pose is a wondrous pose that requires a great deal of warming up, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get something from the preparation and the intention behind the pose! Get onto your knees and lift upwards so you have a standing pose from your head to your kneecaps. Bring your hands to your hips and hug your legs in. Lift your chest up towards the ceiling without moving your hips. With every inhale lift your chest, and with every exhale feel your shoulders draw together, while a small backbend emerges from your upper spine. Stay for a minute, then rest on your knees. It is now time to power forward.
This classic yoga pose allows you to begin by lying on your back, but be sure you don’t get too comfortable. Bring the bottoms of your feet to the floor and imagine your whole spine moving as you lift your hips from the floor. Exhale and lower your spine, vertebrae by vertebrae. Move in slow-mo to get a nice spinal massage! The last 30 seconds, hold the bridge pose and tuck your arms underneath you, and breathe fully into the chest. As you come back to earth, it will be easier to sit with a more neutral pelvis. As you sit up straighter, energy will be less likely to lag.
Half Lord of The Fishes
It is hard not to think of Michael Flatley and his Lord of The Dance moves when cueing this position, but it is extremely simple to do. Sit up as tall as you possibly can, on your yoga mat or even in your office chair! Exhale and twist to the right, letting your hand press against your leg or the back of the chair. Evenly distribute the pose through the entire lengthened spine. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the left side. Boom! There you have it, an energized spine and a peppier mood.
About Courtney Sunday: Courtney Sunday is a yoga teacher and writer who has lived and taught all over the world. Home is currently Philadelphia, where she loves to teach Thai massage/restorative classes and find new ways of experimenting in the kitchen. Courtney leads retreats and teacher trainings at the RYT200 level and you can find out more about her here: www.courtneysunday.com and on https://somuchyoga.com.