6 Yoga Moves For Energy and Focus During the Day
We’ve all been there. It’s 3pm and suddenly you feel like your eyelids weigh a thousand pounds and you can’t imagine how you’ll get through the rest of the day. But there’s still hours left in the work day, maybe you have a kid to pick up at daycare, dinner to make, and chores to do. It all feels, overwhelming. Here’s where yoga comes in. It’s amazing how rejuvenating and energizing a few minutes of yoga can be during the day. While also making you feel calm and at peace, there are so many different poses, movements and breath work you can to do to give you that boost you need to get through the day.
If the afternoon slump is getting to you and that latte isn’t quite doing the job, today’s post is for you. Here are a few of my favorite ways to beat the afternoon slump with a quick and easy yoga practice.
6 Yoga Moves For Energy and Focus During the Day
Easy Pose- Sukhasana
It is always important to start your practice by checking in with the mind, body and soul. Sukhasana or Easy Pose is a simple seated position. You can find yourself in whatever seated position feels good for you. Feel free to use a block or blanket to prop you up. You can cross legs or sit on your calves, truly whatever feels good. You are also welcome to lay down if that is what your body is needing.
Take a few minutes to close your eyes and rest your hands, either on your knees, lap or maybe one hand on your heart and the other on your belly. Settle in and notice your natural breath. Check-in with your body, mind and emotions. Try not to pass judgement, but instead a sense of curiosity.
Begin to deepen your inhalations and lengthen your exhalations. Imagine your breath moving through your body like a wave. Moving in and out slowly, peacefully and gracefully. Your breath begins in your nostrils and moves down through your throat into your diaphragm, stomach and down into your pelvic floor. It reverses direction as you exhale.
Find your way into table-top position. Check your alignment to be sure hands are below shoulders and knees are below wrists. You can move your hips from side to side here, do hip circles and eventually come into cat-cow. Inhale as you arch your back and reach through your heart and chest into cow and exhale as you round the length of your spine and come into cat. Continue at your own breath and pace.
Sun Salutation- Surya Namaskar
Sun Salutations are a great way to build some heat and give your body a beautiful range of motion in a short amount of time.
From table-top, lift your hips and come into downward dog. Root your hands into the ground like suction cups and press your heals down towards the ground. Walk your dog by bending one knee at a time.
Step or jump forward to forward fold. Feel your body hanging freely over your legs. Nod your yes and shake your head no, relax your jaw. Inhale to flat back, exhale fold.
Inhale, arms sweep up as you come up to prayer. Let your hands relax down on either side of you palms facing out. Tuck your tailbone under and engage your core. Take one breath here checking in with any changes in your mind or body.
Arms sweep up on the inhale and fold as you exhale. Inhale to flat back.
Plank, Chaturanga & Sphinx
Exhale, plant hands, step back to plank pose and lower either knees-check-chin or chaturanga. Inhale to sphinx, cobra or up-dog. Exhale back to down dog and repeat Sun Salutation sequence 2 more times ending in Mountain pose.
Breath of Joy
Breath work is such a lovely way to get oxygen flowing throughout the body and re-energize. The breath of joy is one of my favorites. Starting in Mountain Pose take three sharp inhales in through your nose as you sweep your arms up out to the side and up again into the sky. On the exhale bend your knees and fold at the waste as you sweep your arms down and back as you breath “Ha” through your mouth. Continue this cycle, following your breath 10-20 times. If you feel dizzy at any time always feel free to come back to your natural breath and take a break.
Legs Up the Wall- Viparita Karani
Inversions are poses where the heart is higher from the ground than the head. Inversions are said to increase alertness by increasing oxygen and releasing endorphins, which can also improve your mood. I love legs up the wall because it can be both relaxing and challenging. Lift your hips and place a block under your sacrum. Either scoot your hips up against a wall to rest your legs or hold your legs up straight towards the ceiling. Take a few minutes to hold this pose and breath. Allow your blood flow to reverse and cleanse your body.
Corpse Pose- Savasana
Finish your practice in Corpse Pose or Savasana. It is amazing what just 5-10 minutes of quiet, meditation after a yoga practice can do for your entire being. It can help to create such a beautiful sense of calm and peace and energize you for the remainder of the day.
Bring your attention back to your breath. Again deepening your inhalations and lengthening your exhalations. Allow your body to melt into your mat and feel the sense of warmth, light and love radiate throughout your body. Know there is nowhere else to be and nothing else to do in this moment. When you are ready slowly begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, turning ankles and wrists, stretching your arms up over your head and bringing your knees into a gentle hug. Turn onto one side and gently sit up without disturbing the peace you’ve created within.
I hope you enjoy all the benefits of this practice. The light in me, honors the light in you. Namaste!
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