by Gabrielle Marchese: For many of us, energy comes and goes…

Awaken

Some days we feel like we can take on the world; others it feels like a nap is the only way to power through. It’s important to honor your energy levels wherever you are and be sure not to push yourself too hard. However, it can be helpful to incorporate some yang energy into your day to boost your energy levels and keep you feeling alert. This upbeat practice is designed to get your blood flowing and invigorate you so you can feel energized and ready to go all day long.

Cat-Cow

Begin in a tabletop position. Stack your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. On an inhale, drop your belly and gaze toward the ceiling. On your exhale, press the mat away and gaze toward your navel. Begin slowly, then increase speed, taking faster inhales and exhaling through the nose for ten rounds. Come back to a neutral spine when you are finished.

Sun salutations

Press back into a downward-facing dog. Hold for a few breaths and then shift forward into a high plank. Hold for an inhale, and then lower either halfway down for chaturanga or all the way down to your mat. Inhale and press up into upward facing dog, shifting back into downward facing dog on your exhale.

Look between your hands and step or jump up to a forward fold. Inhale to reach the arms overhead and come up to stand. Exhale to fold over your leg, then inhale to halfway lift before stepping back to plank. Lower halfway or all of the way to the mat, repeating your vinyasa before meeting back in a downward-facing dog. Practice three to five rounds of sun salutations, meeting in tadasana at the top of your mat when you’re finished.

Chair

Separate your feet hips-width distance apart. Take a deep breath in, then sink your seat to about hip height as you reach your arms overhead. Tuck your tailbone under slightly and ensure that you can see your toes in front of your knees when you look down. Relax your shoulders, engage your core, and hold for ten breaths, straightening your legs and coming up to stand when you are finished.

Wide-legged forward fold

Turn to face the long edge of your mat and turn your toes in while facing your heels out. Place your hands on your hips and take a deep breath in before folding forward, directing the crown of your head toward the floor and placing the palms of your hands on the mat. Maintain a long neutral spine and keep a micro bend in your knees. Hold for ten breaths.

Skandasana

From your fold, inhale to halfway lift, then exhale and bend your left knee, shifting toward your left as you straighten your right leg and flex your right foot. Inhale to come through the center and switch sides. Continue lunging from side to side as you breathe, staying as high or squatting as low as feels good for you. Repeat this motion for up to ten rounds.

Supine twist

Come onto your back and bring both knees into your chest. Scoot your hips a few inches to the left and drop your knees at hip height to the right. Extend your arms out to a “T” at shoulder height and gaze over your left shoulder for a twist. Hold for ten breaths, relaxing deeper with every exhale. Inhale to come through the center and switch sides.

Savasana

Spread your arms and legs out wide, taking up space on your mat. Allow your practice to settle. Let go of any breath control and attempt to control your mind and allow your body to be heavy. Feel your body heavy, relax your muscles head to toe, and come into savasana. Stay here for only a few minutes to maintain your energy. Slowly sit up when you’re ready to return to the space around you and resume your day.

Source: Chopra