Whether you are a high-powered executive or a stay-at-home mom, some afternoons inevitably make you feel like crawling back into bed. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee to remedy your post-lunch sleepiness, how about reaching for your yoga mat? Practicing yoga on a sluggish afternoon can revitalize you.
Mountain Pose to Energize
Remove your shoes and stand up as straight and as tall as you can. Reach both arms overhead and stretch vigorously from your feet to your fingertips. Hold for 20 seconds, and for the last five seconds lift your heels up to balance on your toes. Immediately feel light and vibrant.
Standing Twist to Invigorate
Cross your right foot over your left and place it to the outside of your left foot. Stand equally on both feet with your ankles crossed. Straighten both arms directly out to the side. Begin to reach your left arm forward and your right arm back, twisting from the hips. Turn your head and look out over your right arm. Hold for five deep breaths and then switch sides. Notice an energizing tingle through your spine.
Wide Leg Forward Bend to Revitalize
Step both feet out to the side about a leg length in distance. Fold forward at the hips and lower your head towards the floor. Bend both knees if necessary to keep your spine straight, not curved at your lower back. Relax your arms, head, neck and upper back. Hold for up to one minute, then come up slowly. Feel your lower back and your hamstrings releasing tension and fatigue.
Upper Chest Stretch to Reawaken
While sitting or standing, interlace your fingers and place your hands onto the back of your head. Press the back of your head into your hands, look up, and squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades as you pull your shoulders down and back. Feel the front of your chest open up. Hold for up to 5 deep breaths and repeat up to 3 times. Release the weight of the world from your shoulders and feel ready to take on the afternoon.
Yoga Breathing to Refresh
For a flood of fresh oxygen to the brain, take a deep breath in. At the top of your inhale take in just a little bit more air. Feel your lungs stretch and your ribcage expand. Exhale slowly and completely. At the end of your exhale, let out just a little bit more of your breath. Pause, and then repeat, up to ten times. Awaken to a bright and sunny new you!