8 Yoga Poses to Help Boost Your Energy

Get a natural energy boost with these invigorating yoga poses.


Wellness, Yoga
Practice the bow pose to help increase your energy.

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You might think of yoga as your go-to activity to calm down and relax. What you might not know is that many yoga postures can actually invigorate your nervous system and make you feel energized. 

Yoga combines mindful awareness of the breath and body while moving through asanas (postures). These poses can either calm down or wake up the nervous system.

When you want to feel calm, forward bending postures like the  child’s pose trigger the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), according to The Yoga Journal. But if you want to feel energized, back bending poses activate the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), to help feel energized and fight fatigue. 

So skip the cup of coffee and roll out your yoga mat!  These back bending poses will have you feeling full of energy naturally!

Energizing Yoga - Series

This posture series suits all levels, start at the beginner level and advance to more challenging poses.

Beginner: Sphinx / Salamba Bhujangasana
For a relaxed backbend, try sphinx pose. Resembling the famous monument of Ancient Egypt, you’ll lie on your stomach. Set your elbows underneath your shoulders, parallel to each other. Lift your upper chest to support the backbend. Press through the bottom of your feet and extend through the upper chest to avoid pressure on the lower back.

Intermediate: Upward Facing Dog / Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
When you feel comfortable in sphinx, increase flexibility with upward facing dog. Lie on your stomach with hands beside your ribs and fingers pointing forward. Straighten the arms as you press the tops of the feet. Draw the shoulder blades onto your back, open the chest, and engage your abdominal muscles. 

Challenge: Bow Pose / Dhanurasana
For an activating challenge try the bow pose. First, lay back on your belly. This time, bend your knees and try to bring heels as close as you can to your buttocks. Reach back with your arms and grab your ankles. Inhale as you lift your chest and legs off the floor. Actively pull from your ankles through your arms as you extend your legs upwards. Keep your belly pressed to the floor, engage the inner thighs, and lift the chest for an open heart. This resembles the shape of an archer's bow.


Yoga class doing the sphinx pose.

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Energizing Yoga Series

This posture series suits all levels, start at the beginner level and advance to the more challenging poses.

Beginner: Bridge / Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Lie on your back. Bend knees and bring heels as close as possible to your sitting bones with arms by your side. Lift your hips while engaging the abdomen and pressing inner feet and arms against the floor. Clasp the hands beneath your body as you bring the shoulder muscles to your back. Broaden the chest and breath in and out deeply.

Intermediate: Wheel / Chakrasana
Now it’s time to really wake up with this intense back bend that will strengthen your spine. Start as you did in bridge, laying on your back with knees bent. Place hands, face down, beside your ears pointing toward your body. Firmly press the feet and hands into the floor as you lift your pelvis and broaden your chest. You will enter a half-wheel shape. Engage and narrow hips. Lengthen the tailbone. Don’t forget to breathe!

Challenge: One-Legged Wheel / Eka Pada Urdvha Dhanurasana
The wheel is certainly a challenge. If you want to take it to the next level, try a one-legged wheel with legs lifted. First, enter the wheel. Center weight on the left foot as you straighten (keep your hips squared). Extend your right leg upwards. Remember to engage the thighs and abdominal muscles. Lower the leg and repeat on the left side.

The wheel is an energizing yoga pose.

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Restorative Counter Balancing Poses

Backbending poses can feel uplifting, and a little intense. When you finish your series, try these luxurious counter balancing poses. They will ease your lower back muscles and release tension.

Happy Baby / Ananda Balasana
Bring out your inner child with this playful pose to stretch the lower back, abdomen, and legs. Bend your knees into your belly. (Give yourself a hug while you’re there). Next, grip the outside of your feet with your hands. Bring knees toward your armpits as you press your feet into your palms. Gently breathe, giving attention to the lower back and arms.

Legs Up the Wall / Viparita Karani
You can do this pose with your legs supported by the wall (or without). It’s up to you! To enter the pose, lie on your back. Bring knees in and give yourself a big hug. Next, extend your legs upward over your head. Breathe into your lower back. You can leave arms beside your body, palms facing up. You can also include a yoga block or a rolled up blanket for extra support on your lower back.

Bring out your inner child with the happy baby pose.

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