When the week starts drawing to a close, the energy and motivation you need to get through the rest of day feeling, well, not like a total zombie, can sometimes be hard to come by. I mean, we all have those moments at work or school when even the mere thought of getting up to go get some lunch seems daunting. Listen, if you don't want to rely on an iced coffee or that sugary bag of Sour Patch Kids to wake you up, I recommend simply taking five and trying the very best yoga pose for energy, as recommended by an actual yoga teacher. After all, what's better than a totally natural pick-me-up you can do in under 10 minutes?
According to Lizzie Brown, CEO of Yoga Wake Up, an app that wakes you up with yoga and meditation from bed, if you're looking for a quick burst of energy, heart-opening poses are where it's at — but there's one in particular that she uses to reinvigorate her spirit when her energy reserves are low.
"One of the best heart-openers is ustrasana, or camel pose," Brown tells me in an interview with Elite Daily, adding that this move will get your blood pumping in no time.
To practice camel pose, Brown explains, start by standing on your knees. You can do this with your feet facing down, pointed at the floor, or they can be flexed pushing away from the floor through your toes. This will give you a little more height when you reach back to place your hands on your ankles.
The goal with camel pose, Brown says, is to lift up through your sternum as much as you possibly can.
Then, as you press up and out through your hips, be careful to keep your core engaged to protect your lower back. Allow your upper body to fall back until you can gently place your hands to your ankles behind you. If you're not quite flexible enough for that yet, Brown says, that is totally OK. You can place your hands on your butt or lower back, instad.
"What matters most in this pose is that you’re opening your heart, pressing up through your upper back and shoulders, and lifting through your thoracic spine," Brown tells Elite Daily. "At the same time, you counter that action by continuing to press out through the hips and front of the body."
Vanessa Dunleavy, a certified yoga instructor based in New York, agrees that camel pose is definitely one of the best asanas to move through for a surge of energy.
However, to make the pose even more powerful, Dunleavy recommends topping the whole thing off with some very simple, energizing breath work.
"What we call the 'breath of fire' is incredibly energizing," Dunleavy tells me in an interview with Elite Daily. "Even doing it for a minute or two will be transformative. The surge of oxygen to the brain and bloodstream feels basically like a shot of espresso."
Here's how to do it: Simply sit, take a deep breath in, and initiating from your core, exhale rapidly and repeatedly through your nose. Your inhale and exhale should be equal, and the whole time, you should think of your breaths as "pumping" your navel.
To finish this off, inhale deeply through your nose, and hold your breath for just a moment before letting it out in a strong exhale. Pro tip: Add a loud "ha!" as you breathe out. I know, it seems weird, but trust me, it feels so good.
Combine your camel pose with a healthy dose of breath of fire, and you'll be ready to tackle the day with a newfound boost of energy.