When you work for yourself, or you are a CEO, energy can feel like something you have a very limited supply of. So many of us consume large amounts of coffee just to stay in the game. Does this sound like you? I know it sounds like me sometimes.
One of the glorious things about yoga is that practicing it can give you energy rather than expending it. Here I have written out directions for a 15-20 minute yoga sequence that boosts energy by getting the blood flowing and connecting you to your breath. Do this sequence in the morning to set the mood for the day or in the afternoon when you need a pick me up.
Start in a seated position, legs folded in any way that is comfy, crossed, one on top of the other, whatever. Take a deep breath in, reaching the arms high. Exhale and bring your palms together over the heart. Repeat two more times. Transition to a tabletop position, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips. Once you feel stable here, inhale and gaze forward, reaching your heart forward, belly droops, tailbone turns up. Exhale and reverse this, belly to spine and spine to sky, head bows and tailbone turns under. Cycle through these two poses, cat and cow, a few times to warm up the spine.
Then, when it feels right, turn the toes under, exhale and send the hips high, pressing into all ten fingers, for down dog. Walk out your dog, bending one knee and then the other, and wag your tail, stretching out the sides of the body. Take your time here and then when you feel ready, walk your feet up to the top of the mat and come into forward fold. Inhale and reach for the sky, keeping your knees soft. Exhale and lower the arms into Mountain Pose. Breathe here for a few breaths.
When it feels right, inhale and lift the hands to the sky. Exhale and fold over your legs. Inhale and come halfway up, reaching your crown away from your tail. Exhale and fold, pressing hands into the mat.
Walk your feet back and inhale in plank pose. Exhale and lower to chaturanga or bring your belly to the mat. Inhale, lifting head and heart into baby cobra, or pressing into hands and the tops of your feet for Updog. Exhale and roll over your toes, lifting the hips into down dog.
Take a deep breath in, and a long breath out.
Walk the feet back up to the front of the mat as you inhale and exhale in forward fold. Inhale, lifting the torso up halfway, reaching crown away from tail, and exhale as you lower back down to forward fold. Inhale and reach all the way up to the sky. Exhale to mountain pose.
Take a breath here, then repeat all of this two more times.
From mountain pose, slide the right toes back, coming into a high lunge. Lower the right heel to the mat, open the hips to the right, and bring your arms out long, left reaching to the front of the mat, right reaching to the back of the mat. Warrior 2.
Breath here for a few breaths, maybe lifting your hips and arms with the inhale if it feels good, then exhaling and settling back into Warrior 2. 3-5 breaths.
When it feels right, turn your hips to face the front of the mat, lift the right heel, and step back up to mountain.
Repeat on the other side.
From Mountain pose, slide your right foot back, then turn toes and face to the right into a wide legged stance. From here, turn the toes out slightly, at a diagonal, and lift the arms to the sky with an inhale.
Take up a lot of space.
As you exhale, bend elbows and knees, sinking the hips down into Goddess pose. Inhale and lift the hips and arms up to the sky. Exhale down into Goddess.
Do this a few more times, and then gently make your way back down to a seated position.
Seated once again with legs folded, this time the opposite one in front or on top. Bring your hands to your knees or thighs, gently resting palms up or palms down. Whichever feels better. Close your eyes. Bring your focus to your breath. Feel how the body responds to the breath.
Notice your energy. Take some time here to simmer in that energy and breath. Whenever it feels right, open your eyes. Maybe it would feel good to inhale your arms up again, like stretching after a nap.
Then you can move on into your day.