By Kathryn Budig
Let us give you a reason to bend over backwards – and we do mean literally.
Putting a fresh twist on your yoga practice can deliver a mega shot of instant energy, which, let’s face it, we could all use at this time of the year.
We’re always talking about the calming and restorative powers of yoga and for good reason – there are plenty of them! But the exercise is no one-trick pony. Backbend poses (like wild thing, for example) are amazing for releasing endorphins and increasing energy. Crescent lunge opens the heart, which releases tension in the chest and can actually make you feel lighter and brighter. Other twisting postures stimulate the digestive system, help improve circulation, or rev your internal fat burners to help you torch more kilojoules throughout the day – even when you’re just sitting at your desk in a panic, thinking, “How is it September already?” What’s more, it doesn’t take long to score all of these benefits – we’re talking as little as 10 minutes, people!
So whenever you need a pick- me-up – whether it’s first thing in the morning, before an important meeting or after a frustrating argument with your significant other – follow this flow. Hold each pose for one to five breaths and repeat on both sides. Aim for three to five rounds total.
Ready, set, energise!
1 Downward Facing Dog
Begin in plank pose with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders, fingers spread wide and feet hip-width apart; raise your hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V-shape.
2 Open Three-Legged Dog
From downward-facing dog, inhale as you raise your left leg off the floor, rotate your hips to the left and bend your knee to bring your heel toward the right side of your bum.
3 Crescent Lunge
Step your left foot in between your hands; keeping your left knee bent and right leg straight, raise your torso directly over your hips and extend your arms overhead
4 Crescent Lunge With Chest Opener
Without moving from crescent lunge, reach both hands behind you and interlock your fingers, straightening your arms; lift your chest and keep your hips facing forward.
5 Crescent Twist
Release your right hand from behind your back and place it on the mat, stacking your right shoulder over your wrist. Inhale, then rotate your torso to the left as you extend your left arm overhead.
6 Wild Thing
Look down as you roll onto the outer edge of your right foot. Bring more weight into your right hand as you pick your left foot up and over the hurdle of your right leg. Land on the ball of your foot
and rotate your hips and torso toward the ceiling. Extend your left arm overhead, rotating the palm toward the floor as you relax your head completely.
7 ￼￼￼Rock Star
Look down and place your left hand onto the floor and reverse the movement to return to plank position; rotate your hips and torso to the right while bringing your left leg under your right, keeping both legs straight. Reach your right arm overhead.
8 Ninja Plank
Without moving your legs, rotate your chest toward the floor and place your right hand on the floor directly under your shoulder. Make sure your hips are raised and your back is flat.
9 Ninja Chaturanga
From ninja plank, bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor, keeping your back flat and core engaged; pause, then press back to ninja plank.
Looking for more ways to energise with yoga? Here are three free yoga classes you can take on Facebook Live (no gym membership required), plus 10 real hot yoga struggles only bikram lovers can understand.