When we’re tired, overcome with a feeling of heaviness and lethargy, we often reach for cup of coffee or a piece of chocolate — a pick me up. But, the truth is, you don’t need to “borrow” energy. Instead, you can use yogic techniques to rejuvenate. By increasing circulation and stimulating the chakras, you can invigorate yourself without the calories. Here are 5 Kundalini Yoga poses for boosting your energy. Give them a try!
1. Stretch Pose is a fantastic Kundalini yoga pose that will leave you feeling transformed after just one minute of practice. A workout for the abdominal muscles, stretch pose activates the navel chakra. Begin by lying on your back and lifting the legs six inches off the floor. Then, raise your head off the mat. Keeping your eyes open, look straight at your toes and perform breath of fire for one minute. Be sure to take a few moments lying on the back afterward to experience the benefits.
2. Sat Kriya is said to be among the most powerful Kundalini yoga pose. It targets and activates your Kundalini energy, which resides at the base of your spine. If you only have three minutes for yoga on a given day, do sat kriya. Start by sitting on the heels in rock pose. Then, interlace your fingers and steeple your pointer fingers (women cross your left thumb over your right; men do the opposite). Maintaining the mudra (hand position), raise your straight arms up overhead, so they are hugging your ears. In this posture, begin chanting the mantra “Sat Nam” (“Truth is my identity”) aloud. As you chant “sat,” pull the navel in powerfully. As you chant “nam,” relax the navel. Continue for three to seven minutes and then relax. To experience the precise rhythm, use Mantras of the Master by Santokh Singh (Track 57: Sat Kriya, Sat Nam).
3. Frog Pose is a vigorous Kundalini yoga pose and a wonderful energizer. Frogs activate the first, second, and third chakras and move the energy up to the higher centers. To perform frogs, stand up and place the heels together with the toes turned out. Then squat down, raising the heels (ideally keeping them together), aligning the knees over the toes, and placing your fingertips on the floor in front of you. Inhale, raising the hips and straightening the legs. Exhale and return to the squatting position. Continue 26 times.
4. Pelvic Lifts are also known as pick-me-ups. They activate the second and third chakras and circulate the spinal fluid in the lower spine up through the neck. To do pelvic lifts, lie down on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on your mat. With your hands around your ankles or palms-down on the mat, begin raising your hips as you inhale and lowering them as you exhale. Your shoulders remain on the mat. Continue for one to two minutes.
5. Although they may seem strange, Bundle Rolls are very invigorating. Doing bundle rolls stimulates the entire body and massages the muscles. Begin by lying on your back with the arms pressed tightly against your sides and your straight legs pressed tightly together. You’re essentially holding the body in one cohesive unit. Then, begin rolling over and over in one direction and then come back the other way like a rolling log. Enjoy it for one to two minutes.
All of us have days when we feel like we just can’t motivate ourselves. Those are the days when hitting the mat can be the most rewarding because you can really feel the difference between your before-yoga and after-yoga states. And, it just takes a few minutes to show yourself — prove to yourself — that you have all the energy you need within you.
The above Kundalini Yoga poses can be found in the book Kundalini Yoga: Unlock Your Inner Potential Through Life-Changing Exercise by Shakta Kaur Khalsa. Sat Kriya is described on p. 40 and the other four poses can be found in the chapter entitled “Everyday Yoga Poses,” pp. 54-59.
If you’re in or around Montclair, New Jersey, I’m teaching an ongoing class entitled Energy-Boosting Kundalini Yoga at Aquarian Yoga Center (www.aquarianyogacenter.com) on Mondays at 11:15am. Come join me and leave feeling great!
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