Tired? Need an energy boost?
Instead of reaching for a coffee or a sugary treat, be good to yourself and try some yoga. It's better for you and your waistline, the energy boost lasts longer, and it doesn't end in a sluggish come down.
Spinal Flex's, Arm Pumps, and Leg Stretches are great poses to generate natural energetic boosts. So great, in fact, that they are regularly part of my morning yoga classes here in Sal. But they’re also handy poses to rejuvenate during an afternoon slump, or before going out in the evening.
Through the movement and breath practiced during the Spinal Flex, blocked energy in the spine is released. The Arm Pumps and forward bends in the Leg Stretches then encourage that freed energy to flow from the spinal column to other parts of the body. Creating a natural energy boost from the inside out.
To practice Spinal Flex
Sitting with your legs crossed, hold on to your legs, just below your knees. (If you feel any discomfort in our knees while sitting cross legged, sit on a cushion to lift your hips.)
Take a few seconds to check that you are sitting strong, and engaging your core muscles to protect your lower back.
Now, inhale and lift your chest forward and up, letting your head tilt back slightly with the movement. Then exhale as you round your spine, dropping your chin toward your chest.
Begin slowly and mindfully, with your eyes closed, concentrating on the lift in your chest with each inhale, and the rounding of your back with each exhale.
Start with a practice of 30 seconds, working your way up to 3 minutes over time.
To Practice Arm Pumps
Sitting with your lower legs under your thighs, interlace your fingers in front of you. Clasp the hands so your knuckles face out, and palms in.
As you Inhale, bring your arms up and overhead. Exhale, and lower your hands down to your knees.
Continue to breathe deeply and mindfully, as you repeat the motion of inhaling your arms up and exhaling them down.
To finish, inhale while your arms are up, hold the breath for 15 seconds, then exhale and release your hands down.
Start with 1-2 minutes and build up to 7 minutes.
To practice Leg Stretches
Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched. With each hand, grab the corresponding big toe. (Or if you can't reach grab your ankles or shins.)
Inhale and arch your back straight and up. Then exhale, bend at the waist, and lower your head toward the floor.
Inhale, and arch your back up and straight, then exhale, and fold down at waist.
As you breathe deeply and mindfully, continue this motion for 1 to 3 minutes.
You might feel a little dizzy, so take a minute to settle before standing up.
Enjoy the high. :)
Have yourself a great day