Yoga for the Post Thanksgiving Break

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Yoga for the Post Thanksgiving Break
[Excerpt from Yoga Journal, by Erica Rodefer Winters]

Some of our yoga members have asked for a quick energy boost to get their days started while traveling during the holidays:

Below are 5 poses to energize and lift your mood:

Backbends : Backbends are the most obvious poses for energizing—even gentle backbends can be stimulating. Since it’s cooler, darker weather, I’ve been playing a lot with the “backbend” in forward-bending poses. For example, Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose) with my hands in prayer behind my back is both energizing and soothing. It’s exactly what I need during the holiday season.

Sun Salutations: As the days get shorter approaching the Winter Equinox, it’s tempting to curl up with a bolster and call it a day. There are certainly times when that’s just what the doctor ordered. However, when I’m just feeling sluggish and stagnant, there’s nothing more effective than a couple of quick Sun Salutes to help me feel like myself again.

Inversions: Headstand and Handstand in particular are energizing for me. And if I only have a couple of minutes, this is my practice.

Floating: (or more often “thudding”) from Down Dog to Uttanasana isn’t exactly a “pose,” but it is one of my favorite things to practice right now. It’s fun to feel a split second of weightlessness. It makes me feel strong and accomplished. But I think that practicing ANY pose that makes me feel happy and playful would leave me feeling energized.

Savasana: My first yoga teacher said that 10 minutes of Savasana was equivalent to four hours of extra sleep. This sounded like music to my ears as a college sophomore. I remember thinking, “Perfect. That means I can stay up all night studying then just take a 20-minute Savasana before my finals and I’ll be good to go!” I learned the hard way that my teacher was either exaggerating or just plain wrong (I’m still not sure which). But she was right about one thing: A nice, long, restful Savasana definitely gives me more energy when I’m feeling over stimulated, exhausted, or just plain stressed out.

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