Yoga Poses for All-Day Energy

Puppy Pose

-Come on all fours (Tabletop position) with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, your hips stacked over your knees, and the tops of your feet relaxed down on the mat.

-Slowly begin to walk your hands out in front of you, lowering your chest down toward the ground. Keep your hips over your knees and your arms shoulder distance apart, and gently release your forehead down to the ground.

-Activate your arms by pressing into the palms of your hands and lifting your elbows and forearms away from the ground. Draw your shoulder blades onto your back and reach your hips up high toward the ceiling.

-Invite your neck to relax and breathe into your back, lengthening your spine in both directions.

-Remain in the pose anywhere from 5 to 10 breaths, then gently lift your forehead and walk your palms back toward your body to press up to Tabletop

 

The Bridge

- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat, hip-width apart, heels directly below your knees. Leave your upper arms on the floor and bend your elbows alongside your ribs, pointing your forearms and fingers toward the ceiling. Turn your palms to face one another.

- Press your elbows and shoulder heads down into the floor, lift your chest, and bring your shoulder blades onto your upper back, wrapping your outer arms toward the floor. Keep your gaze straight up.

- Press into your feet and slowly send your knees forward, wrapping your outer hips toward the ceiling; then lift your buttocks away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.

- Straighten your elbows and interlace your fingers underneath you, drawing your shoulder blades deeper into your upper back, keeping the tops of your shoulders in line with the base of your neck.

- Gently press the centre of the back of your head into the floor. Broaden your collarbones and lift your chest, bringing your sternum toward your chin. Lightly reach your chin away from your chest, keeping space between the back of your neck and the floor. Simultaneously extend out through your knees as you lift your sternum. Take a few rounds of breath here.

Happy Baby Pose

    -Begin lying comfortably on the back. Bend your knees to your chest and separate the feet and knees wide, holding on to the outer (pinky toe) edges of the feet.

   - Stack your ankles over your knees, bringing the shins perpendicular to the floor, and gently begin to pull down on the feet, finding the action of bringing the knees closer to the armpits.

  -  Lengthen your tailbone down toward the mat to find the natural curve of the low back, and draw your shoulders onto your back.

   - Keep your feet flexed and extend out energetically through the heels.

    If it feels appropriate, you can gently rock from side to side, providing a deeper release in the inner groins.

    -Remain in the pose for 5-15 full, deep breaths. To come out, release the grip on the feet, bend the knees into the chest, and wrap your arms around your legs before extending them straight down onto the mat.

Yoga Poses to Zen Out Your Body

Chair Pose

    -Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. To create the stable platform needed for this deep squat, find the centre of balance on each foot. Play with shifting your weight between the inner and outer edge of each foot as well as between the ball and heel, until you find the sweet spot. You’ll know you’ve found it when you feel a “tripod effect”—a sense of equal pressure between the bases of the big and little toes and your heel. Keep your weight evenly distributed between each leg.

  - Exhale as you bend your knees, sending your buttocks behind you as you sit on an imaginary chair. When you can no longer maintain the tripod effect on your feet, stop bending your knees. Engage your legs and hips by gently pressing the legs toward each other and hugging the hips toward your midline.

    -Raise your arms overhead, with your palms facing each other. If your low back starts to overarch (you’ll feel a sensation of pinching or compression), draw your low ribs toward your hip points until you feel your pelvis level out. Just don’t overdo it—you don’t want to overcorrect to the point that the top of your pelvis tilts backwards. Finally, create a sense of space equally across the front and back body by spreading your upper back, externally rotating the shoulders, and widening across the chest. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.

    -To exit the posture, push firmly through your feet to extend your legs, and then release your arms down to your sides.

Cobra Pose

- Lie on your belly, with the chin on the floor, palms flat on the floor under the shoulders and legs together.

- Pull up the knee caps, squeeze the thighs and buttocks, engage Mula bandha, and press the pubic bone down into the floor.

- Without using the arms, inhale and lift the head and chest off of the floor, keeping the neck in line with the spine.

- With the elbows close to your sides, press down into the palms and use the arms to lift you up even higher. Drop the shoulders down and back and press the chest forward. Keep the legs, buttocks, and Mula bandha strong, and keep the pubic bone pressing down into the floor.

- Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.

-To release: exhale and slowly lower the chest and head to the floor. Turn the head to one side and rest, rock the hips from side to side to release any tension in the low back

 

Yoga Poses for a Quick Break

Overhead Stretch

   - Raise your right arm slowly over your head, gently stretching at the shoulder.

    -As you fully extend your arm, feel the stretch along your side.

    -As you lower your right arm, raise your left arm over your head, stretching at the shoulder.

    -Alternate one arm and then the other breathing easily with each extension.

   - Repeat 3 to 5 times per side.

Knee Stretch

    -Grasp below your right knee with both hands.

   - On your exhalation, pull your knee up to your chest, feeling the stretch in the hip and thigh.

    -Drop the shoulders back and down, lift the chin and pull the knee closer to the chest.

    -Hold for several breath cycles and then repeat on the opposite side.

The Arch

    -Sit up straight with your bottom on the edge of the chair. Stretch your arms out straight behind you and place both hands on either side of the chair, grasping the back of the chair.

    -Inhale slowly and deeply, lifting your chest both forward and upward, arching the lower back.

    -Extend your neck and stretch from the lower back.

    -Hold for two breaths and then relax.

    -Repeat three times.