Guest Blog: Yoga Poses with Becca
To my fellow Midwesterners,
We live in the home of extreme weather changes. The physical adaptation from winter-summer can be a bit intense. In the summertime, the air is heavy and humid and the blazing sun can really take a toll on your energy levels.
No fear, yoga is here. In addition to improving sleep quality, relieving stress and anxiety, and improving overall physical health, yoga can also be an excellent natural energy-booster. If you’re on the struggle-bus this summer and a nap is nowhere in site, go somewhere quiet and try these yoga poses known to quickly boost energy levels.
Holding a plank fires up your core muscles. Your core muscles houses a large amount of your physical power. When we awaken the physical power in our core, our body’s energy increases along with the mental feeling of power. The more powerful we feel, the more energy we have access to.
Tips: Hold the plank as long as you can. Perform several planks with small breaks in between until you feel your energy boost. If this pose is too much or if it urts your back, modify by placing both knees on the ground for added support.
Awaken your mind and body with this beautiful pose! Any time you’re in a pose that requires balance, you are tapping into that core strength along with a deep mental focus. As you learned with the plank pose, the core is always a great place to tap into for an energy boost.
It may be not as obvious that diving deep into a focused mental state will also boost energy. The area of your brain responsible for responding to stress is called the amygdala. Balance poses require a mentally focused state-of-mind which decreases activity to the amygdala. Stress is an energy thief. Protect your energy mentally and physically with balance poses as often as you can.
Tips: Hold tree pose around 30 seconds on each side. Don’t forget to mimic what you did on the other side/other leg to balance your spine. Avoid placing your foot on your knee joint. Rather, place your foot above (thigh height) or below your knee (calf height).
Spinal Flex/Camel Ride
Drained? Exhausted? Take a breather! Some simple spinal movement may be all you need. The spinal flex/camel ride pose will help release all of that blocked energy in your spine, oxygenate your blood, and utilize your full lung capacity to help boost energy.
Tips: Inhale as you lift your chest forward and up. Exhale as you round your spine, chin to chest. Start slowly and increase pace steadily. Continue for at least 3 minutes.
Bridge pose is one of the most versatile poses out there offering a wide variety of benefits. This pose is considered a back bend pose. Back bends are all about unlocking the energy of the spine and nervous system.
When you awaken the nervous system and stimulate the blood flow throughout the body, you release pent-up and blocked energy. Poses that gently stretch and bend the spine are a great way to combat fatigue and boost energy.
Tips: Lift your hips as high as possible while interlacing the hands together. You can also leave the arms at the sides of the body. Breathe deeply for five breaths and repeat several times.
Note: this pose not advisable for people with pre-existing or active neck injuries.
Hopefully this gives you a good toolkit of poses to crank up your energy this summer. After practicing yoga for 6 years and going through 200 hours of yoga teacher training, these are definitely some of my favorites. However, there are a ton of poses to explore at your local studio or by doing a quick Google search. If you find a pose that serves you better, go for it!
Until next time, namaste