Most people think of relaxation and peace when they think of yoga. But did you know yoga can also energize you? There are many different energizing yoga poses that help calm you, but they also serve as a workout and make you feel revitalized and alive.
These poses are great to do as part of your morning yoga routine or when you hit your mid-day slump. They can also make for a fantastic practice when you are recovering from an illness or you’ve been feeing down in the dumps.
It’s no secret that yoga helps you feel better and improves overall health and well-being. Opening up the spine, stretching tight muscles, and expanding the lungs with breathing are some of the best things you can do for your body.
Nevertheless not all poses are created equally. Some are meant to relax you and are better for preparing to go to sleep, while others get the blood flowing and give you energy.
A good yoga workout in the morning is about more than just a quick sun salutation, though that’s a good place to begin.
Eight Energizing Morning Yoga Poses
Before you get started there are a few things to go over.
Try and practice the following sequence of poses three times in a row. Eventually, you can work your way up to five.
Practicing yoga is this way is more of a vinyasa flow, so you can move briskly between poses. However, if you are new to yoga or fast transitions don’t feel comfortable, you can slow your movements. Each pose should be held for up to 10 breaths.
You need nothing more than your yoga mat to perform these moves. No straps or bricks are needed, but you can use them if they help you perform the poses more stably and comfortably.
After you complete the sequence, take a few moments to relax and cool down. You don’t want to completely relax out of your energized state, but you want to ease back into your activities after your practice. Make sure you are practicing deep breathing and breathing deep into your abdomen.
You should aim to perform this sequence two or three times a week, but if you want to do it more often, go for it!
If you’re ready to get started, here are our suggestions for energizing yoga poses.
1. Mountain Pose
- Begin in a standing position with your arms at you sides.
- Your feet should be hip width apart with your toes facing forward.
- Make sure you are not leaning backward or forward. Aim to have your posture in a straight line.
- Roll both shoulders back, bringing your shoulder blades together. You should feel it opening your chest.
- Tuck your chin in so your ears are in line with your shoulders.
- Take a deep breath through your nose and exhale. Roll your shoulders back.
In Mountain Pose, you aren’t just standing still. Focus on your posture and your breath and feel your exhale expanding your chest and lungs.
2. Standing Forward Bend
- From Mountain Pose, bend forward from your waist until your fingertips touch the floor.
- Bend in a way that keeps your spine long.
- If possible, place your hands flat on the floor.
If this isn’t possible, place your hands on your shins or thighs. Don’t force the stretch, but allow the pose to lengthen your spine.
- Hold the position for one breath with a soft gaze toward the floor in front of you.
- From this position, inhale and bend your knees so you’re able to reach the floor with your hands.
Though it’s not necessary, you can use a yoga brick to ease yourself closer to the floor as you limber up.
- Be sure to keep your neck relaxed during this pose.
3. Staff Pose
- Sit on your yoga mat or the floor
- Stretch your legs out in front of you, keeping them together. Keep your toes pointed up.
- Sitting up straight place your hands on the floor, slightly behind your hips, and keep your fingers facing forwards.
- Press down with your hands, slightly lifting yourself and stretching up through the spine to the crow of your head. Inhale as you complete this step.
- Pull your shoulders down and exhale as you draw in your lower abdominal muscles.
- Keep you eyes focused straight ahead and hold the pose for 10 breaths.
4. Child’s Pose
- Begin by kneeling on your yoga mat.
- Next, bring your big toes together until they touch and sit on your heels—separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
- Take a big exhale and lay your torso down so that it is resting on your thighs.
- Lay your arms, palms up, beside your torso, and rest your forehead on the floor.
- Spend this time focusing on your breath as you round your back.
- For an added spine stretch, reach your arms forward, keeping the palms of your hands on the floor.
- Hold this pose only for 5-10 breaths.
5. Upward Dog
- Exhale and straighten your legs out behind you from the previous position (Child’s Pose).
- To move into Upward Dog pose, keep your hands, feet, and thighs on the floor with your toes pointed and the soles of your feet facing the ceiling.
- Your hands remain in line with your shoulders.
- Inhale, straighten your arms, and press your hands toward the floor.
- Push your hips off the floor and slide them forward toward your hands.
- You should feel your chest opening as you exhale and slide your shoulder blades down.
- Keep your knees and feet on the floor. Hold this pose for one breath and then release.
6. Downward Dog
- You’ll move from Upward Dog into Downward Dog.
- Keep your spine long and your neck and chest soft.
- Keeping your palms on the floor, curl your toes under and lift your hips skyward.
- Straighten your legs and press your heels into the floor (they don’t need to touch, just push them toward the floor).
- Pull your abs in (you’ll lose the strength in your abdomen muscles).
- Spread your fingers and toes wide.
- Keep the crown of your head pointing toward the floor.
- Hold for one breath and release.
- Bend your legs and return to kneeling.
7. Cow Pose
- From a kneeling position, raise up onto all fours.
- Press your palms into the floor with fingers pointing forward and keep your back straight (Table Top Pose).
- From this position, inhale and push your navel downward and raise your tailbone and head skyward.
- This should create a deep arch in the back.
- Exhale and return to Table Top Pose.
8. Bridge Pose
- You can end your energizing session with cow pose, but you might want to add one last energizing pose: the bridge pose.
- Roll over onto your back.
- Push with your heels and shoulder blades into the floor to arch your back.
- Clasp your hands together under your back.
- Hold for three breaths, exhale, and lower your spine to the floor.
The Final Word on Energizing Yoga Poses
Yoga can provide so many benefits to your health and wellbeing. By creating tailored sequences you can target specific needs at different times of the day or week as they are required.
This sequence of poses will provide a thorough and complete workout that leaves you feeling energized and ready for the challenges of your day.
As always if you have any concerns regarding specific poses leave them out. While yoga is an effective workout it should not be painful to practice. Similarly correct posture is vital for full effectiveness and to avoid injury. If you are unsure consult a yoga practitioner or reputable source for clarification.