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During a time of opposition, when there seems to be one tragedy after the next, it’s easy to feel like life is spinning out of control. When we feel powerless it can keep us in a perpetual state of fight or flight which in turn can cause dis-ease in the body. As we are met with great challenges, it is vital to keep our nervous system running as efficiently as possible. The goal in times of challenge is to raise our vibration, so our bodies and minds can rest and digest all that is happening around us. One of the best ways to do this is to circulate more energy or prana throughout the body. When prana flows efficiently, both our voluntary and involuntary functions work at optimal levels from deeper connections with community to healthier digestion to more restful sleep to increased stress resilience! That’s right, allowing more energy to flow through your body can increase your ability to skillfully deal with stress, increasing your overall well-being. Try this sequence designed to first ground and calm the mind before mindfully moving through invigorating poses that focus on connecting breath with movement. Seal the practice by setting an intention to support your day. Breathe deeply and get ready to let your energy flow!
6 Poses to Boost Energy Flow
Rocking Forward Fold
Place your feet hips-width apart. Bend your knees deeply and invite your body to fold with your belly resting on your thighs. Clasp opposite elbow with opposite hand and take 3–5 slow cycles of breath, inhaling to a count of 5 and exhaling to a count of 5. Feel free to sway side to side or invite your weight to shift forward into the tops of your feet and back into your heels. Allowing your body to rock and sway soothes your nervous system, like a mother would rock a baby. When you feel ready and after your breaths are complete, roll up to stand in Mountain Pose.
Empty Coat Sleeves
Step your feet slightly wider than hips-width apart. Allow your arms to extend straight out with palms open. Begin to sway side to side, twisting at the waist and allow your arms to swing with you like empty coat sleeves. As you twist and allow your arms to swing, invite the hand crossing the front of your body to tap your chest around the heart region, the hand swinging behind you will tap your back around the kidney region. Connect your breath to the slow, smooth swings from right to left; inhale when you twist right, exhale when you twist left. Let your body naturally stop swinging after 10–15 rotations and find stillness. Observe sensation.
Breath of Joy
Step your feet a little wider than hips-width apart and allow your knees to slightly bend. On an inhale float your straightened arms forward with your hands in a gentle fist, then out to the sides, then up toward sky, exhale with a “ha’ as you fold and let your arms drop. Inhale the entire time your arms are moving, sipping in a little bit more breath each time they move forward, out, and up. Exhale as you fold. You may find that your body wants to bounce as you move so feel free to keep a slight bend in your knees and allow it to be a dance with breath and body! Enjoy 5–10 cycles.
High Lunge Kicks
Begin in high lunge, allowing your front leg to bend to approximately a 90-degree angle; knee aligned above your heel. Keep your back leg strong and straight, as you root into the ball of the back foot, heel up. Float your arms up above you with palms open and facing one another. On an inhale shift your bodyweight forward, balancing on your front foot as you bring your back leg up, hugging the lifted leg in toward your chest with your foot flexed. As soon as your lifted leg draws into your chest, exhale and thrust your arms down and kick your lifted leg straight ahead, foot flexed with hands in loose fists. Repeat 5 times on each side. Feel free to add a “ha!” as you exhale and kick your foot forward.
Stand tall with your feet hips-width apart. Root down into all four corners of your feet—both sides of your heels, big toes and little toes. With a gentle smile lift your arms up, wider than shoulder-width apart, palms facing one another. Lift your chin away from your chest and with a relaxed gaze lift your chest up victoriously. Focus on your strength and your power as you stand tall for 10 breaths.
Stand tall with your feet hips-width apart. Root down into all four corners of your feet. Invite your spine to grow tall with chest and chin gently lifted. Let your arms rest down by your sides, palms facing forward. Breathe deeply with your belly relaxed and tune in to the energy that is flowing through you after this sequence. Close your eyes and set an intention by choosing a word or phrase that supports how you’d like to move through the rest of your day to help keep your vibration high!
About Our Expert
Teacher Sara Clark is known for her compassionate teaching style and calming presence and has been practicing yoga for over 14 years. Her unique blend of power and intention allows students to safely explore their highest potential both on and off the mat. With a B.A. in Journalism, Clark worked in television post-production for HBO & TruTV prior to teaching yoga. Certified as an Ayurvedic Nutritionist and an ERYT 500-hour yoga teacher, Clark teaches throughout Manhattan and frequents Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health both as a student and faculty. She teaches retreats and events around the world, including thousands in New York City’s Bryant Park for Yoga Journal. Her empowering vinyasa sequencing and mindfulness techniques nourish the soul, inspire you to deepen your practice, and leave you wanting more.