Everyday, around the same time, it happens.
Your eyelids feel heavy, you slowly slump in your chair and your energy drops to unproductive levels. You’ve only got seven or eight hours from the time you wake up until this dreaded afternoon fatigue hits.
So how can you break free from the grips of afternoon sleepiness? Yoga.
A few yoga postures in the afternoon is equivalent to an extra cup of coffee but without the negative side effects, like feeling jittery or anxious.
The combination of movement, stretching and focused breathing provides your body and mind the jolt it needs to survive the afternoon energy slump. Through yogic breathing, which draws more oxygen in per cycle of breath, your body is able to use that added oxygen to function more efficiently.
Yoga can also increase circulation and relieve muscle stiffness and, when combined with deep breathing, your mental and physical stress is reduced, your focus is improved and your energy is boosted back to a healthy and productive level.
Getting a quick punch of energy doesn’t need to be complicated. The seven yoga poses below are simple and appropriate for all levels. Spend one minute with each, and you’ll feel energized and ready to take on the remainder of the day.
Standing Forward Fold1 of 8
Start with your feet hips distance apart. Fold forward at your hips and gently reach towards your toes. Hold for up to one minute.
Standing Side Stretch2 of 8
Start with your feet together. Reach your arms up towards the ceiling. Grab your left wrist with your right hand. Pull up on your left wrist as you lean to the right. Let your hips shift to the left. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then switch sides.
Standing Back Bend3 of 8
Place your hands on your lower back. With your feet together, begin to lift your chest and gaze up as you lean back. Pull your belly in, squeeze your shoulders blades together and engage your legs. Hold the backbend for 15 seconds. Then, relax and repeat three more times.
Downward Facing Dog4 of 8
Start in a plank with your hands under your shoulders and feet hips distance apart. Draw your hips back into Downward Facing Dog. Focus on pressing through your palms, drawing your belly in and driving your heels towards the floor. Hold for as long as comfortable and then repeat.
Upward Facing Dog5 of 8
Start in plank with your hands under your shoulders and feet together. Drop your hips down as you untuck your toes. Press through your palms and draw your shoulder blades down the back and together. Pull your belly in and engage your legs. Hold for 15 seconds and then repeat two to three more times.
Yoga Squat6 of 8
Start with your feet shoulder distance apart, with your toes slightly turned out. Keeping your heels grounded, drop your hips to the bottom of your squat. Bring your palms together and place your elbows on the insides of the knees. Press against the knees as you draw your thumbs toward the center of your chest. Hold the squat for up to a minute and then repeat.
Seated Spinal Twist7 of 8
From a comfortable crossed-leg position, place your right hand on your left knee. Sit up tall and twist your torso to the left. Stay here for 30 seconds and switch sides.
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