With all the things we do during the day it’s easy to feel like you’re running on E most of the time. These yoga poses are designed to refuel and revitalize your mind and body to help you get through your busy schedule!
1. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is incredibly easy, and it’s a great way to wake up the muscles in your legs and your shoulders! To do this pose, start by sitting on your yoga mat (if you don’t have a yoga mat, a rug or even a towel will do!). Get into a kneeling position, with your knees touching and your feet hip width apart, toes facing out. Lean back, putting all your weight into the lower half of your body. Stretch your arms out in front of you and lower your head to the mat, in between your hands. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Eventually you will start to feel your shoulders relax and you will emerge feeling energized and refreshed!
2. Cat / Cow Pose
This next pose is really a fluid combination of two separate poses that, when you put them together, work wonders to relieve any tension in your back and instantly delivers a burst of energy! Start out on all fours with your knees aligned with your shoulders. lock out your elbows and let your head drop. Cat pose is first! Take a deep breath in and round out your back, hunching your shoulders in. On your exhale, lift your head and round out your shoulders, pushing down through your tail bone to achieve Cow pose. Repeat this cycle 4 or 5 times until you start to feel that energy kicking in!
3. Standing Backbend
This yoga pose is one of the quickest and easiest ways to energize your body! It’s so easy you can even do it in your office. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place your hands in a prayer position at your chest. Breathe in and reach your hands above your head. Exhale and separate your hands reaching behind you pushing your hips forward. If you do this stretch correctly, you should feel a warm sensation in your lower back right above your tailbone, which should instantly help to invigorate those tired muscles!
4. Cobra Pose
Cobra pose is a great way to stretch your entire body if you feel like you need an all-over wakeup call. Start by laying down on your stomach on your mat. Inhale and bend your arms so your elbows create a 90 degree angle with the floor. Push off your hands and lift, locking your elbows and pushing your pelvis to the mat. Round out your shoulders and try and squeeze your shoulder blades, making your upper body as tall as you can! You should feel this stretch in your core and your lower back / glutes!
5. Downward Dog
This pose is probably the most common yoga pose; and if you’ve ever tried it it’s clear to see why! This pose is great for your calves! Start in Cobra pose (see above). Dig your toes into the ground and push up using your core muscles and exhale. Your booty should be straight in the air and your hands should be directly below you shoulders. Relax through your head and neck, and squeeze those core muscles! Rotate sending each heel to the mat, keeping both knees locked (this is called “walking it out”). Because of the position of your head, this is a great exercise when you have a mental block and need a quick energy surge to your noggin!
6. Triangle Pose
This yoga pose is a great one to try in the morning when you need a little extra help getting those juices flowing. Start by standing with your feet shoulder’s distance apart. Next take both arms and stretch them out, creating a “T” shape. Spread your fingers, and take a deep breath in. Exhale, and send your right (or left, it doesn’t matter which side you start with) arm down to the floor, crossing over your left ankle. Reach your opposite hand to the sky and angle your head upwards to look at your hand. Repeat using your opposite hand and you’re ready to take on the day!
7. Happy Baby Pose
This next pose is one of our favorites! Partly because you just can’t help but feel good during this pose, and partly because this makes all the muscles in our legs want to sing! Start out by laying flat on your back. Lift your legs up, making a 90 degree angle with your hips. Bend your knees and grab the outer part of your foot with your hands. Pull your knees towards your ears to deepen the stretch. You can even gently roll side to side resting on your tailbone to awaken your lower back as well!
8. Yoga Squat
If you saw the word “squat” and freaked out- don’t worry. This is nothing like the squats you do at the gym. The basic principle is there, but this exercise is meant to wake up your muscles, not tire them out! Start in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart (Are we noticing a pattern yet?). Place your hands in a prayer position at your chest and inhale. Exhale and drop it low! Send your booty to the floor, bending your knees. Rest your elbows on your knees and stay in this position for two or three breaths. This is a great stretch to do if you’re looking for a little extra oomph in your morning routine!
9. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is a great way to get rid of that mid-day slump so many of us seem to fall victim to. Look at this pose like your seventh inning stretch- literally! Start by sitting on your mat. Take your right (or your left) leg and bend at the knee, resting your knee on the floor. Send your other leg straight out behind you, keeping your back straight. Inhale and put your hands out in front of you, bending at the elbow. Exhale and lean into it. Try and touch your nose to the floor. Take a few deep breaths and repeat on both legs!
10. Seated Forward Fold
This stretch will have you feeling like you just ran a marathon! But like, in the sense that you can conquer anything. Not in the whole “I can’t breathe and everything hurts” kind of way. To do this pose, sit on your mat with your legs out in front of you. Inhale and lift your hands towards the ceiling, sitting up super straight. Exhale and send your chest to your knees, reaching your hands out past your toes and round out your back . If you find yourself feeling a little tight, that’s okay! Just go as far as you’re comfortable with. This stretch is about gaining energy, not turning into a human pretzel! Once you get to a place where you are comfortable, take a few deep breaths and feel the muscles in your back starting to relax. This stretch is a great way to get rid of any tension you may build up during the day, making room for more energy and self-confidence to help you power through your day!