New research shows that yoga can improve your mood, diminish back pain, alleviate fibromyalgia and even reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation. If you choose them wisely, yoga moves can get energy flowing through your body just when you need it most, or calm you down when that's what your harried mind is calling for. Here are three yoga at home moves to energize you.
High-Energy Move: Downward Dog. One of the most popular poses in most yoga routines, down dog stretches your hamstring muscles, lengthens your spine and opens your shoulders. By bringing added bloodflow to your brain, it energizes your whole body.
Strike the Pose: With your feet hip-width apart, bend over until your hands reach the floor about four feet in front of your feet, so that your back and legs form a V. Suck in your abs and straighten your back and legs to make sure your body doesn't sag into a U shape, then see how closely you can bring your heels toward the floor without compromising the pose. It's more important to get the alignment right than to touch the floor with your heels.
High-Energy Move: Tree. Yoga has been found to increase the sense of balance in stroke victims. This basic pose is a great way to work on your balance and rev up your energy at the same time.
Strike the Pose: Begin by in mountain pose (stand straight, gazing forward, hands at your sides), then lift one foot and place it against the standing leg, either at calf or thigh level (avoid pressing it against your knee). Balance for five breaths, with your hands in prayer pose or lifted like branches above your head. If you fall out of the pose, take a breath and set up the pose again. Once you're completed one side, do the other.
High-Energy Move: Cobra. All backbends are energizers and cobra is a great beginner backbend, less aggressive than upward dog. Cobra opens your chest, strengthens your arms and over time can make your back a little more flexible.
Strike the Pose: Lie face down on your mat with your legs straight behind you and the front of your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the floor at chest level and slowly raise the upper part of your body without lifting your hipbones from the floor. Depending on the flexibility of your back, you may make a gentle curve or a more acute one.
You can use these three yoga moves to create an energizing routine at home.