Spice up your end of summer yoga routine with these 5 energy boosting poses the have added muscle building and mood-lifting benefits.  

 

 

Down dog split, knee to nose. 

From downward-facing dog, inhale and lift your left leg as high as you can behind you while keeping your hips square. Exhale and slowly bring your left knee to your nose, drawing your belly in toward your spine. On your next inhale, lift your leg back up to down-dog split. Repeat 5 times, then switch sides and repeat.

Works legs, arms, shoulders, upper back, abs + butt. 

 

Bow pose

Lie facedown, forehead resting on mat, arms on the floor by your sides, palms up. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing heels as close to your butt as you can. Reach back and take hold of your ankles, keeping knees hip-width apart. Inhale and lift your chest and thighs off the floor, pushing heels away from your butt. Make sure to keep your lower back relaxed, pressing your shoulder blades down and back. Continue to take deep inhales and exhales; work your way up to holding for 5 or more breaths. Slowly lower and release your ankles to return to start.

Works your back, chest, shoulders, arms, abs, legs, hips

 

Twisted Chair pose

Yoga’s version of the squat, improves the lymph system and the digestive system. It is a great way to work thighs, butt, abs and arms.

Inhale and raise your arms above your head, perpendicular to the floor. Exhale as you bend your knees, bringing your thighs as parallel to the floor as they can get. Your knees will project out slightly over your feet and your torso will form an approximate right angle over your thighs.

 

Shoulder stand

The shoulder send is known for boosting metabolism and balancing thyroid levels as it strengthens upper body, abs, legs and helps improve respiratory system and sleep.  

  1. Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
  2. On an inhalation, use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs and hips off the floor. Curl your torso and bring your knees in toward your face. Then, lift your hips and bring your torso perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Bend your elbows and place your hands on your lower back with your fingertips pointing up toward the ceiling. Keep your elbows on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Do not let your elbows splay out to the sides.
  4. When you are comfortable, lift your thighs so they are vertical to the floor, keeping your knees bent. Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone. Then, straighten your legs fully and reach your feet up to the ceiling. Lift through the balls of your feet.
  5. Try to bring your shoulders, hips, and feet into one line.
  6. Keep your head and neck in line with your spine and do not turn your head. Draw your shoulder blades firmly into your upper back. Keep a space between your chin and chest, and soften your throat. Gaze toward your chest.
  7. Hold the pose for 10-25 breaths.

 

 

Low Lunge

A low lunge, works to lengthen your muscles while opening your heart and helps balance and concentration. 

From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands. Place your left knee down on the mat. Bring your hands to your right knee or sweep them up to the sky and hook your thumbs. Slide your shoulders down your back as you relax your forehead and jaw and look up slightly. Lift from the back of your heart, from the thoracic spine, to find a small backbend. Stay for 5 full breaths. Bring your hands back down to frame your right foot, tuck your left toe and step back to Down Dog. Repeat on the left side.