Sometimes the cold weather can get you down, or maybe you’re doing a little more than you should be, either way, it can be hard to get out of bed feeling energised and keep it that way throughout the day. Our yoga practice can be our best friend, if we know how to use it. There are a number of poses that when done alone, or together, can start your morning off with a bang.
Our favourite poses and breathing exercises for more energy
Kapalbhati Breathing – Breath of fire
Different breathing exercises (or pranayama) can create all sorts of different results within our body and mind. Breath of fire is designed to build heat within the body and therefore is very energising. You practice this pranayama by sitting comfortably. You then begin by taking a large inhale through the nose, then using your core, you exhale short and sharp breaths of air out your nose by pulling your belly in quickly. This allows small amounts of air to be released at a time. Start with 20 rounds of this breath. You will start to clear out your entire system, increase oxygen circulation and blood flow, warm the body, and can help to improve stamina and concentration.
Bridge or full wheel
Backbends are amazing when looking to increase energy. They take a little energy to do, but they give a whole lot back. Often described as the espresso of the yoga world. In bridge pose, you start lying down with the soles of your feet on the mat, close to your sitting bones, with your heels hip-distance apart. Then you press down into both feet to lift your hips up towards the ceiling, while drawing your heart towards the space behind you. Full wheel is when you take your hands beside your ears (fingers face forward) and you create the same shape but lift all the way up onto both hands and feet.
These poses open the heart center, increase blood and oxygen flow, and build heat throughout the body.
Whether you’re practicing Warrior I, II, or III, this series of poses is all about strength. They are also very grounding which is a great way to reconnect and start your day. In warrior I and II, both feet are firmly planted into the ground and your arms are filled with strength. In these shapes you can start to feel the energy rise up from the ground beneath you, increasing your own energy levels.
For even more, warrior III – with only one foot planted and both arms reaching forward – builds a lot of heat and strength. A great way to fire more energy throughout the body and build stamina and willpower.
Sun Salutation A
One of the simplest flows of the asana (posture) series is that of sun salutation A. It’s the combination of high plank to low plank (aka chaturanga), upward facing dog, and downward facing dog. It was designed to work every single muscle in the body, allowing you to warm and energise the body quickly. After just a few rounds of this, you will be feeling awake, energized, and ready to start the day. Plus a little warmer, which is just an added benefit in these cooler months.
Next time you’re feeling lethargic, tired, or simply low on energy, practice one or many of these and notice how you feel. Our yoga practice is here for us as both a way to stay fit, but also a way to heal the body and mind when need be. Don’t forget that, yogis.