If you’re a summer baby like I am, when winter rolls around with its cold weather and lack of daylight you might find yourself feeling a bit lethargic. I know I do, sometimes all I want to do is curl up in flannel sheets and take a nap. And while that sounds lovely, it is not always possible!
So, instead I turn to a few energy-boosting yoga poses to give myself a bit of a pick-me-up and recharge for the evening, or late afternoon- it gets dark here at 4:45. Not. Cool.
I teach from the Five Foundational Yoga Poses so if you need a refresher or if you’re new to yoga be sure to pop over and check them out!
Crescent Lunge is a great pose to wake up the whole body. From a deep engagement in the legs and core to sending energy up through your arms the whole body is working. Even practicing this asana for a few breaths on either side can give you a jolt of energy!
Start in Downward Facing Dog. Heel-toe your big toes together and engage your core- both front body and back body. On your next inhale, raise your right leg up towards the sky keeping hip creases level, parallel with the earth. Draw your right knee into your nose then step your right knee through between your hands. Plant your right foot directly under your right knee and keep your left leg long and strong, toes engaged onto your mat. Using your next inhale to buoy you, lift your torso to upright with your arms engaged and stretched out overhead. Make sure your shoulders drift away from your ears and that your shoulder blades are flat against your back and breathe deeply. When you are ready to come down, plant your hands on your mat and sweep your right foot back to Down Dog. Repeat on left.
Warrior III is a wonderful balancing pose that relies on core engagement and the breath. An intense heat building yoga pose, Warrior III is sure to fire up your body to recharge a sleepy mind!
Starting from Cresent Lunge (above) or Warrior I start to drag the left toes up towards the front of your mat while straightening the right leg. Engage your core and draw all of your energy to the midline. Keeping your arms long and engaged, start to tilt the torso towards the earth as you draw your left foot off of the mat. Engage the left foot and continue to tilt until both your torso and left leg are parallel with the ground. Stay here and breathe deeply. Repeat on opposite side.
On top of being an amazing pose for strengthening both your shoulders and core, side plank wakes up the body for an instant energy boost.
Start in Downward Facing Dog. Engage your core and roll forward into a standard plank, hands planted under shoulders, legs long and strong, belly pulled into spine. Shift your weight onto the outside of your right foot and stack the left foot on top of the right. Re-engage your core, and with your next inhale allow the left hand to sweep up towards the ceiling. As your hand sweeps up the torso should follow so that your whole body, including your hips, is square towards the long side of your mat. Plug the left shoulder into the socket, draw all of your energy towards the midline and breathe. Repeat on opposite side.
Fish pose is an incredible heart opening pose, and as you crack open your chest you allow yourself to invite in more energy giving you the boost you need to continue your day.
Start in Staff Pose. Lower down onto your back, and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Traditionally this pose is done with ‘Lotus’ legs but because that is an advanced hip opener we can practice with either our knees bend or legs fully extended on the floor. Using the strength of your legs, lift up your buttocks and slide your hands, palms down, under them. Your arms should be tucked as close as you can (or slightly under) your body as possible. With your next inhale, lift your torso up, press your forearms into the mat, and bend your elbows. Your arms should form a shelf for your torso. Open your chest by pressing your shoulder blades flat onto your back and allow your head to lower down to rest on a block or the floor. You can keep your knees bend or extend your legs long, flexing your feet towards your body. Breathe deeply.
Have a question about any of these heat-building, energy-enhancing poses or want to add one of your own? Let me know in the comments below! Psst… rocking some awesome prAna gear here!