by Sarah Bowman
CN Digital Studio Is it the weekend? Do you look as tired as you feel and need to rally before the evening's festivities? On the one hand, you're probs psyched to go out and have some fun with friends, but on the other hand you're totally exhausted from a jam-packed week. Check out these 5 yoga poses that will re-energize you, calm you, and give you a mini dose of that yoga-glow before you head out.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog (left) is an all-around energizing pose. In fact, B.K.S Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar Yoga, says that this is THE pose to do when you're exhausted, as it relieves fatigue and brings back lost energy. It's also a great pose to prepare for a night spent in heels as it specifically stretches areas like the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles tendons that can become tight from wearing high heels or standing for extended periods of time. Not wearing heels? It also strengthens and tones the arms, relieves tension in the shoulders, and lengthens the spine all of which will help you feel good before you head out.
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Standing Forward Bend
Ever flip your head over to blow dry the underside of your hair and when you flip back over your face looks kind of rejuvenated and amazing? Yup, that's exactly what we're talking about here. Standing Forward Bend will help you look and feel refreshed. Folding forward over your legs sends fresh blood and oxygen to your head and face, giving your cheeks a nice flush. It also calms the brain, reduces fatigue, and reverses the weight of gravity on the spine, bringing relief to tense back muscles -- all of which you'll likely need at the end of a crazy week.
Bridge Pose Sitting at a computer all day can contribute to rounded shoulders and back pain. Bridge Pose is a backbend that stretches the spine and opens the chest, neck, and shoulders to counteract this daytime slumping. Going to dinner? It also stimulates the abdomen and improves digestion. Looking for love? Backbends are heart openers -- a great way send out just the right vibes.
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Seated Spinal Twist
Wake yourself up and pre-detox with Seated Spinal Twist. This simple twist energizes the spine and stimulates the internal organs, encouraging detoxification. If you're planning on having a few drinks, why not flush out toxins with this easy twist? Seated Spinal Twist also stretches the back and neck muscles which feels great after a long, stressful week that's likely led to some serious muscle tension.
Sit & Breathe Relax and feel confident by -- yes it's this simple -- breathing! Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position (try sitting on a pillow to elevate the hips). With your spine tall and eyes closed, breathe through your nose, inhaling to a count of five and exhaling to a count of five. While not exactly a "pose" controlled breathing (called pranayama) is extremely balancing and helps to calm your thoughts. It also allows you to take a minute to check in with yourself, something we don't often make time to do during the week.
TIP: Try taking 10 deep breaths in each pose as a way to re-energize and feel your best before you head out for the night. You won't regret it!
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by Sarah Bowman