3 Simply Energizing Poses
The days are shorter. There is a chill in the air (except this week with record-breaking 80 degree days!). Autumn, even in all its glory, can leave you feeling sluggish and cranky. Morning energy can be difficult to awaken, and some days you are still searching for an evening pick-me-up. Do not be so quick to grab the extra cup of coffee! Just as the trees shed their leaves this season, you can let go of what slows you down through simple yoga poses and meditative breathing.
"And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and Autumn was awakened."
Try one, two, or all three of these…
Half Sun Salutation
Sun Salutations are the yoga standard for awakening the body. To perform a half sequence, stand up straight and tall with feet together and arms at your sides with open palms (Mountain Pose). Inhale and sweep arms up towards the sky keeping them extended, then exhale and gently fold forward letting your body relax. Inhale, lift your torso halfway up to create an “L” shape and extend spine – hands can rest on shins or anywhere comfortable. Exhale and refold. Finally, inhale and sweep arms back up and exhale bringing palms together at hearts center. Repeat this sequence three times. Check out this video inspiration.
Breath Tip: Observe Energy Flows
Bring attention to any unnecessary tension in the body, and allow yourself to soften as you move through each calming breath. With each inhale feel energy flow down the front side of the body from head to feet, and with each exhale feel energy flow up the backside from feet to head as you awaken with the Half Sun Salutation sequence.
Back bends, like Bridge Pose, unlock energy in your spine and nervous system. Lying on your back, bend knees and place feet flat on the floor with arms by your sides. Inhale and lift hips up high with arms remaining at sides or hands interlaced together underneath your body. Breathe deeply for five breaths. On the final exhale, lower hips back down. Repeat five times.
Breath Tip: Focus On Inhale and Exhale
Without thinking, notice your natural breath. Without judgment, notice how you feel. Engage with sensations while simply continuing to focus on each inhale – belly expanding, and each exhale – belly releasing, feeling nourished while holding Bridge Pose.
The entire body is rejuvenated with gentle heart-openers like, Camel Pose. Kneeling, either place hands on your lower back and gently arch or reach down to touch your heels. Having thighs generating energy forward, core stretching, and torso lengthening, this is a total front body opener. As your chest opens, lungs can expand full of breath.
Breath Tip: Count Each Breath
Begin by breathing naturally. Count…inhale 1, belly expands; exhale 1, belly releases; inhale 2, belly expands; exhale 2, belly releases. This requires great concentration and focus. If you become distracted while counting and find the ability to redirect your attention, you are building a stronger foundation for awareness in daily life. Keep counting for ten full breaths in Camel Pose.
Flow your way through the day…and awaken your Autumn energy within.