Allow us to paint the picture: it’s sometime between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and this morning’s venti iced cold brew or matcha has long since worn off. Work emails are flooding your inbox and deadlines are looming. Or maybe you've been up early running errands and the gas tank finally has reached “E.”
It’s here. The mid-afternoon slump has officially arrived — but we’re here to help! Mindful movement is the answer.
We believe that taking a moment to practice a few simple and easy yoga stretches will help bring a boost of energy you’re seeking. Whether you’re a new yogi or an advanced practitioner, whether you have your go-to stretches or need a bit of inspiration, check out three of our favorite yoga poses for feeling more alert when you need it most.
Uttanasana, also known as a standing forward fold, is great for a deep, full body stretch while calming the mind. Though it’s commonly used as a transitional pose in vinyasas, it can also be incredibly beneficial on its own when held for longer periods of time to relieve back stiffness, hip tension and increase hip flexibility. Also, we can’t deny how refreshing it feels to invert your body’s position and get blood rushing to the brain when it’s in a fog.
How to Forward Fold:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart anywhere on your mat
- Lengthen up and slowly fold forward at the hip — swan dive the arms or keep the hands pressed together at the heart
- Bring your fingertips to the floor, reach behind your legs, whatever feels comfortable!
- Take a deep breath and release
- Slowly rise back up on an inhale, then exhale
Okay, we’re obsessed with this sweet and beginner-friendly hip opener. Skandasana, also known as a side lunge, stretches the hips and hamstrings while tapping into core strength. If you’ve been sitting at a desk all day long, it’s the perfect time to re-engage leg muscles that likely have fallen asleep by now. If you’ve been out and about, take this moment to stretch and release any tightness that might’ve built up.
How to Side Lunge:
- Begin with legs wide and feet planted on the mat. The upper body is bent forward with hands touching the ground
- Bend the left knee into a half-squat and extend the right leg out straight with the foot flexed or pointed
- Root your heels on the mat for grounding support
- Drop your hands to the floor for support & switch sides!
- Point and flex the extended foot as necessary
There’s nothing like a deep, juicy twist to engage the body after long hours spent without movement. Think of it as twisting out all those knots of tension that’ve been building up inside you! Whether it's performed standing or seated like this yogi did here, twists are cleansing, open the heart and fire up the lower back and core just enough to get those juices flowing and get you through the day.
How to Perform a Seated Twist:
- Begin sitting cross-legged on your mat or the floor
- Make sure the spine is lengthening toward the ceiling & the pelvis is titled forward
- Inhale then exhale and gently twist the torso to one side
- Use your arms & hands for gentle support to stay balanced if needed
- Hold your twist for 10-15 seconds and then repeat on the other side
BONUS: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
With health and wellness at the core of our brand, we’d never pass up an opportunity to remind you to drink more water! Dehydration can often manifest as fatigue or low energy, so keep a full water bottle nearby when that mid-afternoon slump hits to help maintain natural energy levels. We love water chilled on ice and mixed with hydrating citrus.
Here’s to flowing through the rest of your days with ease! BTW, if you’d rather find a way to recharge virtually, you can join us in the meta verse for a wellness experience unlike anything we’ve ever done before. Follow us @Aloyoga for even more mindful movement inspiration, @AloMoves for new classes and @Alo where we showcase the best of the best studio-to-street looks from our Alo fam.