Great question! Lots of people tend to think of yoga as their go-to activity for when they want to relax, unwind and chill out. And it’s fantastic for that. But what about when what you need is a shot of energy pepping you up for your day? Is it possible that yoga can replace your chocolate and coffee boost without the counterproductive sugar and caffeine hit? Absolutely. Try some of these ideas in a yoga sequence to get you going.
Sun Salutations are the classic energizing sequence. Traditionally practiced first thing in the morning, Sun Salutations not only honor the sun, but also help you to channel its energy and power. As a flowing vinyasa sequence, they move and awaken your whole body, leaving you feeling warm, open and ready to face your day with vitality. (Learn more in Why Salute the Sun?)
A great way to follow your Sun Salutations is with some strong standing asanas. These will help you feel grounded and centered while building strength in your legs and body. Asanas such as warrior two and triangle pose are great for providing strengthening and grounding benefits while opening your hips and chest. This will make every part of you to feel more alive. (Read more in Getting Grounded: What it Means and Hot to Get It.)
Backbends are known for their energizing, uplifting effect. So, once you are nice and warm from Sun Salutations and a few standing asanas, you can move safely into some invigorating backbends. Bow pose, camel pose and bridge can bring about a lovely energy buzz. If it’s in your practice, few things beat full wheel pose for helping you to feel on top of the world. (Read more in What's a Yoga High?)
Finally, with your body warm, open and energized, turn yourself upside down with an inversion to increase blood flow to your brain which will leave you feeling alert and ready to take on the world. Choose an inversion that's still challenging for you without being overly strenuous. Use the support of a wall or yoga partner if necessary. Headstand, shoulder stand, handstand and forearm balance can all provide an incredible energy lift.
Once you’ve done your energizing yoga sequence, remember to give yourself a little time in savasana or a couple of minutes of meditation to let your body and mind absorb all the benefits of your practice and leave you feeling amazing. Enjoy!