Yoga is often associated with calmness and relaxation, but in truth, the practice is all about balance and stability. There are postures that help relieve stress so that the body can heal and recover.
However, there are also specific energizing yoga poses designed to build strength and boost energy. And since it works by stimulating the organs and increasing blood flow, the effects are much longer lasting – and more beneficial – than that cup of sugar-laden caffeine.
Some yoga poses should be done before you go to bed to help improve sleep, while others are meant to be used first thing in the morning to help awaken your body and your mind.
They are also a great way to give yourself a burst of energy if you are suffering from fatigue or lethargy throughout the day. Instead of grabbing a mid-afternoon soda, try one or two of the more active yoga poses to get the “pick-me-up” you need.
So, what are considered to be energizing yoga poses? Any posture that extends or bends the spine is a great choice for an energizing pose. These Asanas open up the chest and heart to improve circulation and allow for deep breathing.
Increased blood flow and higher blood oxygen levels will facilitate mental alertness and provide both energy and motivation. Inversion poses, arm balance poses, and many standing poses are also more active postures that will stimulate the body and provide extra energy.
As mentioned, there are several poses that stimulate the blood flow through the body and help boost energy levels, and quite often, the sequencing of specific postures can also make a difference.
The following Asanas are some of the best to awaken the body, get the blood flowing and help counter some of the effects of inactivity, like long periods of sitting.
This standing pose can improve posture which will also lead to better respiration and digestion. When the systems of your body are functioning properly, you will be less tired and sluggish.
Besides helping you feel more invigorated and alert, Mountain Pose will also strengthen your thighs, core muscles, knees, and ankles, and is one of the best postures for relieving back pain.
For an extra challenge, move into Extended Mountain Pose or Chopping Wood Pose.
This is another standing pose that resembles a squat exercise and will invigorate your entire body. It empowers the body by engaging the larger muscles in the lower body.
Upward Facing Dog
This pose requires a gentle bend to the spine which expands the
chest, opens the heart and lungs, and stimulates abdominal organs to improve
digestion. Not only does Upward Facing Dog energize the entire body, it also
helps to stretch and strengthen the shoulders, arms, legs,hips, glutes, and
Downward Facing Dog
This inverted pose is great for increasing circulation and reviving
the body by helping to unblock (or tap into) unused energy. You will experience
improved clarity, concentration, and stamina while also strengthening the
shoulders, spine, hamstrings, and calves.
Warrior Pose I & ll
The standing warrior's are always some of the most effective energizing yoga poses as they help to create energy by working larger muscle groups. These postures are great for strengthening and toning the arms, legs, shoulders, thighs, and glutes.
Again, the slight back bend will help open the
chest and lungs, allowing you to tap into your internal energy. These postures
are also effective for improving balance, circulation, and respiration, increasing
stamina, and relieving back pain.
This pose will help improve circulation since your head is slightly lower than your heart. It is also good for reducing fatigue, relieving back pain and headaches, and rejuvenating tired legs.
The Bridge will also strengthen the buttocks, hamstrings, and back, as well as providing a refreshing stretch for the chest, neck, and spine. For an added challenge, extend each leg individually and hold for a few breaths.
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