5 Energizing Yoga Poses to Beat that Afternoon Slump
It usually happens around the same time each day. Your eyelids get heavy, your brain starts to fog up, it gets harder to focus, and all you really want to do is lay down and take a nap. Hello, afternoon slump. How do you re-energize yourself so you can finish the day strong? Yoga. Getting up from your desk to move and stretch will help wake up your mind and your body so you can get back to work. The following five poses are simple, easy, and you can even do them in your office. Pair them with your afternoon cup of caffeine for even better results!
1. Neck Rolls
This is one of my favorite movements. The best part is that you don't even have to get up from your chair. Sit up tall, navel to spine, back straight. Roll your shoulders back and down. Take a deep breath. Slowly look up to the ceiling, but be careful not to crunch the back of your neck. Turn your head to the right so that you are looking past your right shoulder. Keep your shoulders down and feel the stretch along the left side of your neck. Slowly roll your head to toward the left, stopping to look down. Gently roll your shoulders back and down, and feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Roll your head to the left to look past your left shoulder and feel the stretch along the right side of your neck. Repeat this a few times and then reverse your direction. Don't forget to breathe!
2. Forward Fold with a Twist
This is a great, revitalizing stretch. Stand behind or to the side of your desk, feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Roll your shoulders back and down and stand up tall, keeping your abs engaged. Place your hands on your desk and slowly bend forward, feeling the stretch in the back of your legs. Depending on what you are wearing and space, you can choose to fold all the way to the floor if it feels good to you. Slowly roll up, keeping your abs tight to protect your back. When you get back to standing, inhale and reach your arms up toward the ceiling. As you exhale, rotate your upper body to the left, extending your arms straight out from your shoulders. Spread your fingers and stretch your palms. You can do jazz hands or spirit fingers here if you'd like. Inhale and reach your arms back up to the ceiling as you rotate back to facing forward. Exhale and bring your arms back to your side. Repeat, rotating to the right.
3. Modified Lunge or Pyramid Pose
This stretch feels so good in the afternoon, especially after a busy morning. Stand to the side of your desk and face the right side of the room. Put your left hand on the desk and extend your right leg behind you. Slowly bend your left knee, making sure that it doesn't go past your ankle. Keep your hips square and feel the stretch in your hips and legs. If it feels good, you might roll your shoulders and gently arch your back, feeling a nice opening stretch in your chest. Repeat on the other side.
If you are wearing a dress or skirt, a full lunge might not be in the cards. In that case, you could stand behind or beside your desk. Place your hands on the desk and extend your right leg behind you to stretch your calf, making sure to keep your hips square. You can bend the left knee or keep your left leg straight. For an added bonus, place the ball of your left foot on your desk, keeping your heel on the floor. This is a great arch stretch!
4. Triangle Pose
This is a wonderful stretch. Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Turn your right foot out so that it is facing the right side of the room. Turn your left foot slightly to the right so that it is pointing to the right top corner of the room. Extend your arms out so that your hands are reaching to opposite sides of the room. Begin by slowly tilting your hips back and reaching your right arm out, as if you were going to touch the wall. Feel the stretch along the left side of your body as you elongate your torso. When you can reach no further, slowly bring your right arm down to rest gently on your thigh, shin, or ankle. Be careful not to put any weight on your right leg. Rotate your left arm down toward the ground and then reach it up to the ceiling, opening up your torso. You can look down at the ground or if feels good in your neck, look up to the ceiling.To come out of the pose, engage your abs and reach through your left hand. Slowly lift your torso back up and you extend your left arm down to reach back to the left. Repeat on the other side.
5. Seated Twist
This is a great stretch to do while sitting at your desk. Sit up tall in your chair. Roll your shoulders back and down, and engage your abs. Bring your right hand to your left knee and slowly twist your upper body toward the left. If it feels good, Turn your head to look over your left shoulder, feeling a nice stretch along the right side of your neck. Take a few breaths and slowly twist back to face front. Repeat on the other side.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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