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  • Writer's pictureLinds

A 10-Minute Yoga Sequence to Energize Your Day

Use this natural pick-me-up to boost your energy in the morning or during midday slumps, minus the jitters.


Life can be exhausting. Some days you just wake up tired. Other days you see a drop in energy in the middle of your day. This short yoga sequence is for when you want to increase your energy and focus without resorting to caffeine or stimulants. Fiery breathwork, dynamic movement, and core work will invigorate you throughout your day.

Kapalabhati (Breath of Fire)

Prep work


Breath of Fire, also known as Kapalabhati in Kundalini yoga, is an ancient yogic breathing technique that uses forced exhales and natural inhales to increase energy.

Start by sitting in Agnistambhasana, Fire Log Pose, a cross-legged position where one ankle and flexed foot rest on top of the opposite inner thigh, or simply a comfortable seat, if that is more accessible.


Rest one hand on your belly and one on your heart. Exhale forcefully through your nose 30 times in succession, inhaling passively between exhales. Switch the cross of the legs and repeat the same process on the second side.


Contraindications and Cautions:

Low back injury or spinal disorder

Knee injury

Pregnancy

Respiratory infection or disorder

Heart condition


Utkatasana (Dynamic Chair Pose)

1 minute, 10-15 breaths

Come into Utkatasana, Chair Pose, and as you exhale fold and fully release your body into a forward fold with bent knees. Let your arms swing behind you and use the momentum to inhale back up through Utkatasana. Stay in fluid motion throughout this process and repeat for 10 to 15 breaths. Feel energetic vibrations of power and fierceness coursing through your veins. Flow through a Chaturanga Dandasana, Four-Limbed Staff Pose, to reset if desired.


Contraindications and Cautions:

Vertigo or balance disorders






Anjaneyasana (Crescent Pose) to Revolved Crescent Pose

30 seconds, 3-5 breaths, each side

From Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), inhale to extend your right leg back into Three-Legged Dog (keeping the foot flexed, toes pointed down, and hips level). On the exhale, step your right foot in between your palms and plant it down for Anjaneyasana, Crescent Pose. Note: you may choose to stay with your left knee on the ground for more stability and support or tuck the left toes under and lift up your left knee up into a High Crescent Pose. Take whatever you are more comfortable with.


Inhale your biceps next to your ears and spin your pinkies in. Exhale your shoulders away from your ears and drop deeper into the right hip. Make sure your right knee is centered over the right ankle or a little behind it (rather than in front of it or leaning to one side or the other).


Move into Parivrtta Anjaneyasana (Revolved Crescent Pose) by inhaling your palms to touch in prayer pose near your heart. Exhale and twist to turn towards the right, placing your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. Gaze up over your right shoulder and attempt to keep your chest as broad as possible. Continue to inhale and pull the left heel and knee forward and the right elbow up. Exhale to deepen the twist by increasing the pressure between your elbow and thigh.


Inhale back through Anjaneysana after 3-5 breaths and exhale to plant your hands on the ground and step back through Adho Mukha Svanasana with an optional Chaturanga Dandasana flow. Repeat the same process on the left side.


Contraindications and Cautions:

Heart problems


Vajrasana Variation (Toe Squat)

30 seconds, 3-5 breaths


From Adho Mukha Svanasana, travel to the front of your mat, meeting in a squat. Bring your feet about hips-width distance apart and gently lower your knees to the ground while keeping your toes tucked under. If this is painful, you can double up your mat underneath your knees or use a blanket for cushion. Sit the weight of your upper body onto your heels to stretch the arches of your feet, something we often use but rarely remember to stretch. Try to stay for 3-5 breaths, placing your hands briefly on the ground in front of you if it ever gets too fiery. Once finished, untuck your toes, sit on your heels, and swing around your feet in front of you.


Contraindications and Cautions:

Knee injuries


Core Work

2 minutes total, 30 seconds per exercise

From seated, bend your knees and bring your heels close to your bottom. Inhale your palms up and slowly lower down to your back, using your core strength for control. I recommend doing a series of Crunches, Bicycles, and Planks for at least 30 seconds each, but you can do any ab work you are familiar with heart to get your heart pumping and energy levels high. Here are a few more ideas, if you are stumped!


After finishing your core work, you can take a brief Salamba Bhujangasana (Sphinx Pose) or draw your knees into your chest. Then make your way onto your back.


Contraindications and Cautions:

Pregnancy

Heart problems


Savasana (Corpse Pose)

1 minute or more


This is the most important part of the sequence. Your restorative and relaxing final pose, Savasana (or Corpse Pose). Do not skip this one! It activates your parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a sustained feeling of calm energy throughout your day (much like an effective cat nap).


On your back, fully extend your legs, let your feet fall out naturally to the sides, and gently rest the backs of your hands on the ground. Wiggle your head away from your shoulders on the mat to create space in your spine. Relax your jaw and flutter your eyes shut. Stay here, focusing on the breath for a minute or as long as you like. Come out of the pose slowly and mindfully.


Share this with someone who is always reaching for that extra cup of coffee or bookmark for your next midday slump!


With Love and Light,


Linds




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