- Adhomukha swanasana
- Prasarita Padottanasana
- Vipreeta Karani
This is something I’ve been wanting to share for months now – and here it is!. There are certain seasons where I end up working 7 days a week, often with 10+ hour workdays, and this is one of them. Since I juggle full time teaching and yoga studio work, along with being a bollywood dance instructor, I have to take on multiple roles on any given day, as I am sure a lot of you reading this understand well. These long days of physical and mental work leave me tired, sometimes exhausted, and doing almost anything seems difficult. But, I have a secret sauce that keeps me going on these low energy days. I have been practicing these top 5 yoga poses to help me on my bad days to regain lost energy and vitality.
This is an excellent pose to recover lost energy. The heart in this pose is below the hips and encourages blood flow back to the heart and brain rather effortlessly, allowing the heart muscles to relax momentarily. The downward direction of this pose also helps to soothe the mind and slow down the thoughts and non-stop activity. It helps to withdraw our senses momentarily and draws the focus inward. It is one of the most accessible poses. This can be practiced anywhere, anytime and by anyone.
Breath – Comfortable breaths
Duration – 30 seconds to a minute – 3 rounds or more
Modifications – Place a block under the head for additional support
There are 2 versions of this pose. If you are relatively new to yoga, Version 1 (Ardha Prasarita Padottanasana, seen below) is best. Once version 1 has been well established, move on to version 2. Think of this as a deeper progression of adhomukha swanasana, as the heart and brain are stacked directly below the hips and the trunk is vertical, encouraging blood flow to happen faster and more efficiently. When the blood is returned back to the heart, lungs and brain, these systems are replenished, rejuvenated and revitalized.
Duration – Hold for a minute or more.
Modifications – If extremely tired, place a block under the forehead for additional support.
A pose like shirshasana demands energy, willpower and muscular strength. It can be challenging on days when you are exhausted, but by inverting completely, we are helping the body to recover lost rigor and vitality. If you are an established yoga practitioner, having learnt shirshasana well under the watchful eye of a teacher, then attempt this pose. If you are not yet at a point in your practice to do this, repeat the earlier pose once more.
On certain days, when I have really late nights at the studio for either yoga or dance, I find this pose particularly demanding the following morning. On such days, I take my shirshasana close to a wall, reduce the duration in which I stay in the pose, and do a second repetition. In this way I am practicing ahimsa (non-violence) towards the body, understanding that when I come out of the pose, I will feel lighter and more revived.
Duration – Hold up to your capacity
Modifications – If extremely tired, use the support of a wall
While this pose is often called shoulder stand pose, the real translation of this is all-limb pose. This pose is one of the best poses to do when you are tired. Why? Because it is a complete inversion (like shirshasana) that is less demanding in terms of muscular strength and will power. The set up of sarvangasana makes it easier to hold for a longer duration of time. This gives the body enough time to effortlessly pull back all the stagnant blood from the extremities, and use that extra blood to replenish the system again. This pose is often called the “mother of all poses”, mainly because it has a nurturing quality to it. It provides blood and nutrients to all the vital glands in the body, helping to keep us young in body, mind and spirit. It is also a more accessible pose as on certain tired days with lost energy when shirshasana can be too much. Hold for as long as possible and finish in halasana. The longer the hold, the greater the effect.
Duration – Hold up to your capacity. The longer the better
Modifications – Better practiced with blankets and shoulders elevated.
I typically use this for shavasana if i have done all of the above poses. I simply find my way to a wall, prop my legs up against it, and slide a bolster underneath my lower back to elevate my hips above my heart. I place my arms as in shavasana or goal post (helps to keep the chest open and spread) and close my eyes. If the room is bright, placing a strap over the eyes will help the facial muscles relax a lot more, making the whole pose more restful. Depending on the time available, one can stay anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes in this pose. It can also be done just by itself if you are having one of those days where you just seem to have no energy for anything else.
Duration – Minimum of 5 minutes. No maximum limit
Modifications – Use a wall to get maximum relaxation in the pose.
There it is! My top 5 Yoga Poses to recover lost energy. As much as you will not feel like moving on tired days, the best thing you can do to help yourself feel better is actually to get up and do a few poses. Trust me, it works. And on that note, I am off to practice my top 5 poses to recover lost energy – I had a late night at the dance studio last night and this is exactly what my body needs.