It's afternoon, you're only halfway through the work day, and you really just want to take a nap. Instead of grabbing a coffee, why not try some yoga to help boost your energy levels? Here are a few of my favorite poses. The first two can be done from your chair.
1. Seated Side Stretch - Raise both arms above your head, and lift your arms and head as long as possible. Place your left hand on the chair and reach your right arm up and toward the left while keeping your right hip heavy. Keep your head moving back and rotate your right palm to face down. Work on reaching your pinky finger just as long as your index finger. Hold for several breaths before switching to the other side.
2. Seated Backbend - Reach both hands to the back of the chair, palms facing toward each other. Avoid locking your elbows, and rotate the front of your shoulders out (this should open the chest and bring the shoulder blades together). Lean into the stretch by reaching the top of your breast bone forward and up. Hold for several breaths, and repeat as necessary.
3. Inversion - You can pick any inversion that is currently in your practice, but handstand is my current favorite. Inversions can provide a great energy boost and can be practiced in a short amount of time. If you are new to handstand, try starting with an shortened downward facing dog, or place your feet on a chair for a half handstand (make sure the chair is secure against a wall). It is important to work on upper body and core strength before attempting the full pose.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good cup of coffee or chai as much as the next guy, but your body may be craving a little yoga break instead.
Namaste - Beth