Have you ever felt a little reluctant to get to yoga, only to realise that after the class, you have bucket-loads more energy than you did beforehand?!
Yoga has the amazing ability to increase our stamina, boost our mood, cultivate mental alertness and bring a sense of vitality to both body and mind. Yoga specifically works on unblocking trapped energy in the body, particularly along the spine. The combination of breath and movement helps to activate the circulatory system and awaken the nervous system, bringing new energy, or prana, into the body.
Active poses that stimulate the blood flow through the body can help combat fatigue and also help to counter some of the effects of modern day life- particularly long periods of sitting. Stress is also one of the leading factors that robs us of energy and leaves us feeling depleted. Yoga helps to lower stress levels and in turn, increases energy levels.
This energizing flow is best to do in the morning- perhaps it will even take over your morning coffee ritual!
Energising Yoga Sequence:
Start on your hands and knees, stacking your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. As you inhale, lift your sitting bones and chest toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to sink toward the floor. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, release your head toward the floor, gently tucking your chin towards your chest. Continue in this rhythmic motion, working in tune with your own long deep inhale and exhale to wake up the body and start to move energy through the spine.
After you have completed a dozen or so undulations, tuck your toes under, press into your hands and come into downward facing dog. Alternate lifting each heel up and down to walk out your legs, make sure your neck is relaxed and your spine long. When ready, walk you feet slowly to the top of your mat, dangling over your body in a gentle forward fold. Slowly, bending your knees slightly, curl your body upwards, vertebrae by vertebrae, head is the last to lift. Stand at the top of your mat in mountain pose, taking a few deep breaths before you begin your sun salutations.
Sun Salutation sequences are traditionally performed as a way to awaken the body. Therefore they are the perfect way to start your energising sequence. From Mountain Pose (Tadasana) sweep the arms up and extend them over the head on the inhale, then exhale to bow forward into a forward bend. On the inhale, lift the torso halfway up, place your hands at your shins and extend the spine. Fold forward again on the exhale. On the inhale, step back into plank position and exhale to bring the body down to the floor in one long line. Inhale into cobra pose or upward facing dog, then exhale to pull back into downward facing dog. Repeat this sequence three to five times.
From downward facing dog, step or jump to the top of your mat. Stand with the feet together or hip-width apart and lower the body down as if you were sitting on a chair. Raise your arms to the sky and lift your chest. This pose literally translates as ‘powerful’ pose.’ It creates a lot of energy in the body by using the big muscles of the legs and glutes, while also creating a slight backbend, which awakens the spine.
Twisting Chair Pose
Stay in chair pose and draw your palms in to your heart center in prayer pose. On your exhale swing your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. Press your palms together to revolve and open your chest to the right, keeping your hips square. Hold for 5 deep breaths and then release, returning to chair before repeating on the opposite side.
Step back to downward facing dog, or do a vinyasa to make your way back to downward facing dog.
High Crescent Lunge
From Downward Dog, step your right foot between your hands and rise to standing. Make sure your back leg is straight and your front right knee is over your right ankle. Soften your pelvis toward the floor, stretching your back hip flexor. Lift the sides of your waist and draw your ribcage in. Bring your arms up towards the sky and hold for 5 breaths.
Twisting High Lunge
From High Crescent Lunge lower your arms and bring your hands to your heart center. Twist your torso to the right, placing the outside of your upper left arm on the outer right thigh. Press your palms together and draw your shoulder blades toward the center of your spine. Keep your neck long and turn your gaze upwards towards the sky. Hold for 5 breaths then step back to downward facing dog or move through a vinyasa back to downward facing dog.
Repeat the High Crescent Lunge and Twisting High Lunge on the left side, making your way back to finish in downward facing dog again.
From downward facing dog, once again, bring the right foot to the top of your mat and come up to stand, keeping the front knee bent. Keep your right foot pointing forwards and angle your back foot out to the left 90 degrees, aligning the right heel with the left middle arch of the back foot. Firm your thighs, the back leg is straight and the front knee is over the front ankle. Stretch your arms out either side of the body parallel to the floor, palms facing down. Keep the spine long and both sides of the torso even. Stay for five breaths.
Just like the name suggests, this pose awakens the warrior within, developing both power and strength, and also mental clarity and perseverance.
From Warrior Two, straighten your front leg in preparation to come into Triangle Pose. Reach out over your straight leg to extend the arm and torso and then place the right hand on the right shin or the floor. Extend your left arm up and turn to face the sky, opening the chest fully. Feel as though you are opening up from the tip of the bottom right hand all the way up to the tip of the top left hand.This pose is about fully expanding and bringing breath and energy to every part of the body. Take five deep full breaths here before stepping back to downward facing dog or moving through a vinyasa.
Repeat Warrior 2 and Triangle pose on the left side, making your way back to finish in downward facing dog again.
From downward facing dog, shift forward and come into plank pose so your body is in one long line. Engage the legs and abdomen and take your gaze slightly forward of the mat to keep your neck long. From plank, place your right hand in the center of the mat and shift your body over to stack the feet on top of each other. Lift your left arm up towards the sky. Your gaze can be down to maintain balance, or up towards the sky if you want to challenge yourself a little further. Breath deeply for five breaths before repeating on the other side. This pose brings the mind to a point of focused attention and also requires both strength and balance.
Shift back to downward facing dog and take a few deep even breaths.
From Downward Dog, lift your right leg into the air and then lift your right arm into the air, pivoting your body on your left foot so that your right foot comes to land on the ground and your body is in an arch. Spin your chest and hips open to the ceiling and reach your right arm up and outwards. Keep your feet parallel to each other, pressing firmly into the floor. Allow your neck to simply drop without holding onto any tension. Breathe here, opening up, expanding your heart towards the sky, then careful pivot back, placing your right foot then hand back onto the mat. Breathe here in downward facing dog before flipping to the opposite side. This pose goes a long way in opening the heart and chest, flipping your perspective, and creating joy and expansion.
After you have completed both sides, come down to knees and bring your torso upright to sit.
One of the most beneficial groups of yoga poses for cultivating energy in the body are backbends. Any pose that elongates the spine energizes the nervous system. These poses work to both lengthen the spine, as well as stretch the chest and open the heart. Backbends help to unlock trapped energy and open your lungs to receive more oxygen.
Camel is a gentle heart-opening stretch is highly invigorating for the entire body. From your shins, stand on your knees, hip-width apart, with your weight distributed evenly throughout your shin bones. Place your hands on your hips, encouraging your tailbone to drop, and then shift your hands to your ribcage, palms facing inwards and your fingertips pointing up. Gently press your back into your hands to lift your chest. Continue to curl your upper body open as lean backwards. Release your hands back to clasp your heels or ankles. Allow your head to gently relax back so you are looking behind you. Breathe here, before rolling back up again one vertebra at a time, lifting the head last. Repeat for three rounds of three breaths each, dropping back to sit on your heels and resting for a few moments between sets.
After your final camel pose, open up your knees a little wider and then bring your sit bones to your heels, draping your torso between your legs to come back and rest in child’s pose. Rest deeply here, taking a few moments to pause after the more active/yang part of the practice. The standing poses and backbends are very energizing on the body and nervous system. While the aim in this practice is to cultivate this energy, just give yourself a moment before transitioning into the final poses.
Seated Twist: Ardha Matsyendrasana
Come to a seated position on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor, then slide your left foot under your right leg and rest the outer left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and press the sole of your foot to the mat beside your left hip so that the knee is pointed upwards. Twist your body to the right and bring the palm of your right hand to the floor behind you. Raise your left arm into the air, bring the outer left forearm to rest on the outer right thigh. As you twist, open the chest and lengthen the tailbone into the floor, looking over your right shoulder. Breathe here for 8 long deep breaths, then return to the original seated position and repeat on the opposite side.
When you are done, come back down to lay on your back.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
From your back, bend your knees to bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your thighs to drop toward the floor to gently open your hips. Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your lower belly. Close your eyes and let your belly expand as you inhale and contract back towards the spine as you exhale.
When you’re ready, slowly straighten your legs and come into savasana, allowing your whole body to relax into the floor. Let go of any stress or tension in the body and enjoy the energising and rejuvenating benefits of the practice wash over you.
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali yoga retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.