A Cure for the Mid-day Yawns

Need to make it through the end of the day but feel like you’re running on empty? Instead of reaching for a sugary energy drink or your seventh cup of coffee, try some simple, SFW yoga stretches to awaken your tired body and lagging mind.

The simplest pose to begin with is mountain pose. Feet together, back straight, arms overhead with palms touching – a great way to remind your shoulders that they need to pay attention. Modify the pose with feet apart, arms overhead without palms touching, and try tilting your head back to increase the stretch through the neck and upper chest. A good first step.

Sitting at a desk or standing for long periods puts a lot of stress on the lower back, and nothing relaxes those aching back muscles like a good forward fold. Standing straight with your feet together, gently roll your head forward, then your neck, upper back, and lower back until you’re neatly folded in half. Feel each vertebra take its turn in the sequential relaxation. Modify the stretch by keeping the knees bent if you need a little more forgiveness, or by clasping the hands behind your back and lifting them high as you bend for a more comprehensive stretch.

If you have the luxury of having a clean space to get down on the floor, child’s pose is a great way to wrap up your mid-day wake-up call. It’s not necessarily an invigorating pose to stimulate you back into work mode, but rather a gentle conclusion to your stretches that allows your mind a moment to focus on the looser muscles, the oxygenated blood flow, and the clearer thought process that has resulted from your private afternoon yoga session.