Yoga poses that awaken the senses
Though it is often most associated with relaxation and meditation, yoga also helps to tone, improves balance and it increases strength and flexibility. Yoga also offers a number of stimulating poses that help to boost energy naturally.
Downward facing dog
Downward facing dog is often used throughout yoga class from start to finish. It strengthens, stretches and energizes, as it introduces you to the feeling of an inversion pose and the feeling of being upside-down. When in the pose, your body will look like an upside-down letter V. As you master the pose and become more comfortable in it, stay in the pose for longer periods of time to focus on breath, meditation and relaxation.
Inversion poses, backbends and balancing poses are some of the most energizing in yoga practice, so this introductory inversion will keep you energized throughout your practice and beyond. It's also a pose that can be done in your office or living room if you need a little boost.
Warrior III is a balancing pose that builds core strength while it improves your balance. There are three warrior poses (warrior I, warrior II, warrior III) that can be practiced as a vinyasa, or fluid movement through a series of yoga poses.
To perform the warrior III on its own, start in warrior I with your left leg forward, arms extended overhead, palms touching and both feet flat on the floor. Bend at your waist and lower your chest so it is parallel with your left thigh. With your arms straight in front of you and fingertips on the floor, shift your weight forward in your left leg. Straighten your left leg, and raise your right leg off of the floor.
The camel pose is a back bend that opens the chest and increases flexibility of the spine. It also increases lung capacity while in the pose, allowing you to inhale more oxygen and totally energize. This is an advanced pose, so if you are trying it for the first time, it's best to work with an instructor to make sure you enjoy all of the benefits that it has to offer.
To perform the camel pose, start by sitting on your knees. Reach backwards and grab your right ankle with your right hand and your left ankle with your left hand. As you inhale, lift your hips, arching your back and pushing the abdominals forward. Tilt your head back and open your chest. Hold the posture for approximately 20 seconds, and then come out of the pose by slowly placing your hands on your lower back .
This balancing pose is not easy -- especially after a long, stressful day. Balancing in the tree pose requires you to balance all of your body weight onto one foot, as your other foot is positioned on your inner thigh. With your arms extended over your head and your palms together, the tree pose strengthens your ankles, calves, quadriceps and thighs, while also helping you to gain focus and concentration.
As with any new fitness routine, it is important that you consult your doctor before you embark on a new yoga practice.