Need a Pick-Me-Up? Try These Full-Body Yoga Moves for an Instant Energy Boost
Practicing yoga can be an amazing way to soothe stress and promote calm—but it's also a great way to wake yourself up, boost your mood, and harness a sense of focused alertness. When you’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated, flowing through a few full-body yoga poses can help clear your head and kick your brain and body into gear for whatever you need to tackle next, whether it's a Zoom board meeting or another Zoom birthday party for the kids.
Follow this straightforward, energizing yoga flow from Beth Cooke, a yoga teacher and an instructor at Obé—the online destination for streaming live, on-demand workouts from home—for an instant mental and physical boost, any time of the day. Cooke combines familiar poses that won't intimidate you for maximum movement, blood flow, and full-body activation. Perfect for anyone, even beginners, who need a mid-day jolt of energy. First, you'll move from downward dog to plank, and then follow with a set of lunging salutations to upward dog.
Move 1: Downward-Facing Dog
A) Start in downward-facing dog with hands spaced shoulder-width apart.
B) Press up through hands to keep hips high.
C) Bend knees slightly, press heels down, and keep sit bones high.
D) After a few breaths, transition into plank....
Move 2: Plank
A) Stack shoulders over wrists and press away from the floor.
B) Align hips with shoulders (don’t let hips pop up or droop down).
C) Pull heart forward, press heels back, and draw belly button into spine.
D) Move from downward dog to plank 5 to 10 times, picking up the pace as much you can to refresh body and mind.
E) Finish in downward dog, then bend knees and walk to the top of your mat.
F) Roll up through the spine to stand tall.
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Move 3: Lunge Salutations
A) Inhale to reach arms up and exhale to fold forward.
B) Keeping eyes forward, step left foot back into a lunge, rising to tops of fingers to open up lungs.
C) Flatten hands on the ground and step right foot back, then lift into downward dog .
D) Transition to modified upward-facing dog....
Move 4: Upward-Facing Dog
A) Stack shoulders over wrists and lower pelvis about 3 inches, keeping arms straight.
B) Pull heart forward and press back through heels (to modify for lower back issues: Transition straight to plank instead of up-dog).
C) Press back to downward dog.
D) Step left foot forward into a lunge (eyes are forward and waist is long!).
E) Step right foot forward to move into forward fold at the top of mat.
F) Repeat entire sequence (from Move 3) on the other side.
Repeat this flow two or three more times, picking up the pace slightly each time. "Lunging salutations get the blood and breath moving and are designed to build heat and open the entire body," Cooke says. "If practiced swiftly, lunging sals are bound to boost energy."