8 Yoga Poses for an on-the-Go Energy Boost

woman doing a high plank

Let’s face it—life is busy, and unless you take the time to consciously make room for the things that are important to you, it’s quite easy to get swept away in the everyday hamster wheel of your daily routine. It can be hard to recognize that the constant “Go! Go! Go!” is often the very thing that perpetuates feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and anxious, not to mention all that accompanies these debilitating states. Unless you’ve adopted strategies for maintaining a high level of discipline in your daily routine, you may be missing a very key ingredient to creating and maintaining a life of vitality, joy, and fulfillment: balance.

Whether you’re a busy mom constantly on the go, a solo entrepreneur jet-setting to build your empire, or an executive who’s managing a fleet of employees, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing a shortage of two very important resources: time and energy. And, usually when you have one, you don’t have the other.

According to Integrative Psychology, you are made up of four bodies: the spiritual body (or energy, if you don’t subscribe to spirituality or religion), the mental body, the emotional body, and the physical body. Science and medicine now recognize what all ancient cultures have known for thousands of years: that each of the four bodies is interconnected. What affects one affects all. If you’re mentally overwhelmed and emotionally drained, it’s going to directly affect your energy levels and how you’re feeling physically. Tending to each of the four bodies equally is what strengthens you holistically and yields the fruits of the lifestyle you are all so desperately seeking.

It’s no secret that you would love to feel more energetic as you navigate your busy days. While there are many approaches to creating balance in your life, research shows that physically active people are less depressed than inactive people because of the increase in serotonin, which can boost your mood and promote restful sleep, known to have protective effects on the brain. Yet, the greatest challenge remains: how do you maintain optimum energy levels when your days are jam-packed from beginning to end?

Yoga as a form of exercise has gained much popularity over recent years and is trending as one of the most popular forms of exercise practiced worldwide today. What makes yoga ideal – especially when you’re on the go – is that it requires no props. All you need is your body, your commitment, and a few feet of space to practice.

Here are some great yoga poses to keep you active, limber, and energetic on the go (even in a hotel room).

Cat/Cow

woman doing cat cowPurpose/Benefits: This pose stretches the front torso and neck and provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs, while also increasing circulation, flexibility, and energy levels in the body. Here’s how to do it:

  • Come to a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
  • Place your palms shoulder-distance apart and your knees hip-distance apart. 
  • Stack your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
  • As you inhale, slowly arch your back while simultaneously lifting your chin and hips toward the sky, creating space along the front channel of your body.
  • As you exhale, slowly engage your core and round your spine while tucking your chin and pelvis toward your abdomen, creating length along the back channel of your body.
  • Do this sequence for 1-2 minutes, synchronizing your movement to your breath.

High/Low Plank Pose

woman doing high low plankPurpose/Benefits: This pose Increases circulation, builds heat, strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine, and tones the abdomen. Here’s how to do it:

  • Come to a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
  • Place your palms shoulder-distance apart and your knees hip-distance apart.
  • Curl your toes under, straighten your legs, and press up into high plank (push-up position).
  • Stack your palms below your shoulders.
  • (If you prefer, you can curl your toes under and rest on your forearms (forearm plank).)
  • Engage your core by ever so slightly tucking your pelvis.
  • Your body should be in one straight line from the crown of your head through the heels of your feet.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.

Downward Facing Dog

woman doing downward facing dogPurpose/Benefits: This pose calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression, while also energizing the body. Here’s how to do it:

  • Come to a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
  • Place your palms shoulder-distance apart and your knees hip-distance apart. 
  • Curl your toes under, straighten your legs, and lift your tailbone toward the sky.
  • Work your heels toward the ground, although they needn’t come to rest on the ground.
  • Press through your palms and activate your arms, slightly rotating your forearms inward toward one another.
  • Slightly tuck your chin toward your chest and gaze up toward your belly button.
  • Your body should be in an upside down V-shape.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.

Warrior 1

woman doing warrior onePurpose/Benefits: This pose strengthens and stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas), thighs, calves, and ankles, while also increasing circulation, energy, and stamina. Here’s how to do it:

  • From downward facing dog, bring your right knee toward your chest and place your foot between your hands.
  • Plant your left foot firmly on the floor at a 45-degree angle
  • Both feet should be in one line from heel to heel. (If this feels uncomfortable, it is fine to separate your feet a few inches.)
  • Keep your right leg bent 45-90 degrees with your knee directly over your ankle, and inhale as you lift your torso upward.
  • Raise both arms straight up toward the sky, while continuing to face forward.
  • Begin to make subtle adjustments to rotate your hips and shoulders toward your center line.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.

Warrior 2

woman doing warrior twoPurpose/Benefits: This pose strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles, groin, chest and lungs, and shoulders, while also stimulating abdominal organs and increasing circulation, energy, and stamina. Here’s how to do it:

  • From Warrior 1 on the right side, keep your right leg bent 45-90 degrees with your knee directly over your ankle.
  • Rotate your torso to the left.
  • Lower both arms until they are parallel with the floor, your gaze should be looking forward over your right hand.
  • The heel of your front foot should align with the arch of your back foot.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.

Reverse Warrior

woman doing reverse warriorPurpose/Benefits: This pose increases blood flow throughout the body, which reduces fatigue and helps calm the mind, while also increasing energy, building stamina, and helping to relieve low back pain. Here’s how to do it:

  • From Warrior 2 on the right side, pivot your torso toward the sky.
  • Your right fingertips should point toward the sky and your left fingertips should lightly graze the back of your left leg.
  • Look up toward the ceiling .
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.

Full Wheel Pose

woman doing full wheel Purpose/Benefits: This pose stretches the chest and lungs, stimulates the thyroid and pituitary, increases energy, and counteracts depression. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor near your buttocks.
  • Bend your elbows and place your palms on the floor beside your head, fingers pointing toward your shoulders.
  • Pressing the heels and inner arches of your feet firmly into the floor, lift your hips toward the sky, arching your back. Keep your thighs parallel. Take 2 or 3 breaths here.
  • Next, firmly press through the palms of your hands into the floor and lift up onto the crown of your head. Keep your arms parallel. Take 2 or 3 breaths here.
  • Press your feet and hands into the floor and with an exhalation, lift your head off the floor and straighten your arms.
  • Your body should take on the form of an upside down U-shape.
  • Hold from 10-20 seconds (longer if you prefer), breathing normally.

Seated Spinal Rotation

woman doing seated spinal Purpose/Benefits: This pose stimulates the liver and kidneys, stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck, and energizes the spine. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Bend both legs, placing your feet flat on the floor.
  • Bring your right leg down onto the floor and place your right foot to the outside of your left hip.
  • Cross your left foot over to the outside of your right knee.
  • Inhale your right arm overhead, and as you exhale, rotate your torso to the left.
  • Place your left palm or fingertips on the floor behind you at the base of your spine.
  • Bring your right arm around the front of your left knee to help you with your spinal rotation.
  • With each inhalation, lift the crown of your head toward the sky.
  • With each exhalation, gently rotate your spine and gaze out over your left shoulder.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds.

With any yoga poses, be sure to check for any contraindications to ensure your safety. Also keep in mind that you want to adequately warm up your body before doing full wheel pose.  


Discover ancient yoga, meditation, and Ayurvedic healing practices that are easy to integrate into your modern life at our signature retreat Seduction of Spirit. Learn More.


 

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About the Author

Tris Thorp

Vedic Educator and Lifestyle & Leadership Coach
Tris Thorp is one of today’s leading experts in the field of emotional healing. Having spent the last decade traveling the world, being trained by and sharing the stage with Dr. Deepak Chopra in the field of consciousness and mindfulness-based practices, Tris has a real gift for integrating the ancient spiritual teachings with modern-day mindfulness to help people all over the world let go of their past and create an empowered new future. You can learn more about Tris’s work at www.tristhorp.com . Tris is Board Certified by the Association of Integrative Psychology as a Trainer of NLP, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis,...Read more