Spring is officially here. The dark days of winter are behind us, and yet many of us are still feeling slow and sluggish – like a bear just coming out of hibernation. Now is the time to do something refreshing that will increase your energy levels and help you bounce into summer. Yoga might be just the thing and it’s not as hard as you might think.
In addition to improving sleep quality, relieving stress and anxiety and improving overall physical health, yoga can also be an excellent natural energy booster. Recent studies have shown that certain yoga poses reduce fatigue and increase the hormone cortisol. Low levels of cortisol can zap your energy, leaving you feeling rundown. Enjoying a regular yoga practice will help you maintain healthy cortisol levels.
Active poses that stimulate the blood flow through the body – particularly those that gently stretch the spine – can help combat fatigue and boost feelings of vitality, and might also help to counter some of the effects of long periods of sitting. Instead of reaching for that cup of coffee, try these five yoga moves to increase levels naturally.
- Half Sun Salutation – Sun salutation sequences are traditionally performed as a way to awaken the body. Try this right when you wake up, even before you’ve had your first cup of coffee.
- Chair Pose – For this pose, stand with feet together or hip-width apart, and bend the lower body down as if you were sitting on a chair. Raise the arms to the ears and raise the chest up to complete the pose. This pose literally translates as “powerful pose.” It actually resembles a lightning bolt.
- Camel Pose – The gentle heart-opening stretch of the camel pose performed either with the hands on the lower back or reaching down to touch the heels can be highly invigorating for the entire body
- Warrior Pose II – This pose combines leg strengthening and mild back bending, bringing energy into the body. The pose gets its name because it awakens the warrior within — power and strength, but with ease.
- Triangle Pose – After Warrior II, try going into a restorative Triangle Pose. Straighten the front knee and extend the arm forward and then down to the shin, then to the floor next to the leg, or a block. Reach the other arm up and turn to face the sky, breathing deeply for five breaths. Then, repeat on the other side. This pose encourages fully expanding and contracting