Practice these yoga poses to beat that afternoon slump.
The hustle and bustle of our daily lives can be draining. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the energy to get out of bed in the morning, and so when that 2:30 afternoon feeling hits? Forget it. So we turn to coffee and energy drinks in order to get through the day. But did you know you can boost your energy naturally, without caffeine? Just do some yoga!
There below yoga poses can help you to feel more energized. Don’t forget to warm up before you attempt any of the backbends, as they can cause injury if not done properly.
By Christina D’Arrigo
Stand tall and evenly on both of your feet in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). On an inhale, raise your arms up towards the ceiling, palms facing each other, and look up. Engage your arms and fingertips to bring energy up to your hands. Hold for 3-5 breaths and bring your hands back down by your sides on an exhale.
Come onto your stomach, and place your forehead on the ground. Place your palms flat on the floor on either side of your ribs with your elbows pointed upwards. On an inhale, lift your head and shoulders up off the ground using the upper back muscles (keep very little weight in your hands). Keep your hands light on the ground, and keep the tops of your feet down on the floor behind you. On your exhale, lower your head back down onto the floor and repeat 3-4 times.
Come onto your stomach and rest your forehead on the mat, and relax the arms down by your side with palms face-down by your hips. On an inhale, lift your head, arms, legs, and feet off the ground. Energetically reach your hands back towards your feet, and stretch your feet towards the back of the mat. You should feel the muscular work coming from your back, hamstrings, and glutes. Hold for several deep breaths, and release everything back down with an exhale. Repeat 3-4 times.
Set up for Low Cobra Pose. On an inhale, press into the ground with your hands, and lift your entire torso off the ground to come into a backbend. Continue to press into the ground with your hands, and use this energy to spread your shoulders away from each other. Look slightly up and forward. The tops of your legs are on the ground and energized with muscular activation. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths.
Low Lunge with an Arch
From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands and ensure your right ankle is directly under your right knee. Bring your left knee to the mat, and untuck your toes. Press into the ground with both legs, and engage your core as you lift your torso and reach your arms overhead. Clasp your hands together above your head, leaving your index finger and thumb out in Kali Mudra. Begin to bring your back into a backbend, looking upwards and reaching your chest towards the ceiling. Hold for 5-7 deep breaths on each side.
Lie flat on your back with your legs extended long, and place your hands under your glutes with the palms facing down. On an inhale, reach your chest up towards the ceiling and place the top of your head on the floor behind you. Press into the ground with your forearms and reach the heart center upwards. Hold for 3-5 breaths and, on an exhale, gently bring yourself down by placing your upper back and back of the head onto the ground.
Lie on your stomach, bend your knees to bring the heels in towards the glutes, and take hold of the pinky toe side of your ankles in your hands. On an inhale, lift your heels away from the glutes and raise your head, shoulders, and quads off the ground bringing your back into an arch. As you hold, lift the feet and head up higher towards the ceiling and press the abdominals down into the ground. Hold for 3-5 breaths, and on an exhale gently bring the body back down towards the ground.
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All images courtesy of YogiApproved.com.