15 Yoga Poses to Limber Us Up Before Hump Day
It’s almost hump day, which means you are already feeling the effects of the week so far. Maybe your hip flexors are tight from working countless hours at a desk, or you are on your feet so much that you could use some loosening up and a little blood flow in the opposite direction. No matter what you do throughout the week, it is essential to stay limber so that your body can stay healthy for the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. The following poses are not only meant to limber up your body but to energize your Body Mind and Soul. Hump Day is the best opportunity to set yourself up for a great last half of your week, and here are 15 poses to help limber you up before then:
Eye of the Needle Pose
This pose stretches the outer hips and promotes circulation throughout the entire lower body. While we may not readily see or feel it, this pose keeps the low back limber. This pose also increases blood flow to the pelvic area. When we draw our legs toward our mid line, our minds naturally focus inward, helping alleviate stress and anxiety. This is a perfect pose to do when we are looking to let go of the week behind us and set ourselves up for the remainder of the week ahead.
Low Lunge Twist Variation
We may start to feel the effects of sitting at our desks for long periods come the middle of the week. When our hip flexors are tight, it causes pain in the hips and lower back. A low lunge is an excellent hip-opening pose to counteract the effects of our work week. The added twist benefits the spine even more, keeping it flexible and helping alleviate any pain we may feel.
High Crescent Lunge
Sometimes the middle of the week is when life will test us. Sometimes our sleep cycle or gym schedule gets off balance. We need to set the tone for the rest of the week and remind ourselves that we are stable and strong. High Crescent Lunge helps us practice this by promoting stability in the torso and strengthening the lower body. This pose keeps us grounded as we stretch everything from the belly to the chest.
This is another helpful pose for those of us who spend much of the workweek sitting down. Locust pose allows us to focus on spinal mobility and extension as we strengthen the back and core muscles around it. This pose is also a chest opener, and it encourages yogis to focus on their breath, which is energizing.
Dancer Pose is an opportunity to awaken the spirit through freedom of creative expression. It combines flexibility and strength and requires a focus of the mind to maintain balance. Sometimes we are so focused on balancing in this pose that we feel it in the legs but forget that it is also an excellent stretch for the chest and shoulders, keeping us open for whatever lies ahead.
Goddess pose is a deep hip opener and energizing pose that keeps our legs limber and active; it also promotes balance and concentration. If your heels don’t touch the ground comfortably, you can always roll up the sides of your mat and place it underneath your heels. To build some heat and challenge, you can try straightening your legs on each inhale and lower back down with each exhale.
This balancing inversion is pretty challenging. If you haven’t quite worked your way to this yet or don’t feel comfortable, practice kicking up near a wall or stick with Dolphin Pose to practice the same engagement and focus on placing your weight into your forearms. Not only does Forearm Stand strengthen the core, back, shoulders, and arms, but it increases blood flow to the brain, helping to energize us and alleviate stress.
Considering another mid-afternoon or mid-week coffee? Try wheel pose instead. It requires great determination and is sure to leave you energized. Also, think about stretching more in the upper spine to protect the lumbar spine. You might consider a few poses to warm up before this one, such as Bow Pose or Bridge Pose, but don’t get too anxious to get into this one. Wheel Pose is safest when you work into it slowly and mindfully and come down the very same way.
Do not worry if your mermaid pose does not turn out quite as graceful as this pose name suggests. As a dip hip opener and heart-opening back bend, this pose is challenging and will test your balance as well.
This middle of the week is the perfect time to remember the importance of play. This pose is a combination of a back bend and arm balance that opens our hearts and attention to the sky. It is a great pose to fight off your mid-week fatigue, and it’s a lot of fun too!
Downward Facing Dog
We often forget how vital and challenging this pose is because, in Vinyasa classes, it is used as a resting or transitional pose. Although it can help us recharge our batteries, nothing is really restful about it. This pose strengthens the arms and shoulders and stretches the calves and hamstrings, and we bring oxygen into the body and mind when we lengthen the spine in this pose.
Upward Facing Dog
Upward Dog is a great way to practice opening ourselves up to what the rest of the week has in store. In this pose, we must practice drawing the shoulders away from the ears by pulling our shoulder blades back and in, instead of scrunching up in the neck.
Child’s Pose is a wonderful opportunity to stretch the spine and open the hips as we look inward and concentrate our breathing into the back of the torso. Use each exhale to release the body even more and experience the harmonious state of energy and calm that this pose can help us find.
Cobbler’s Pose opens the hips and groin, as we are reminded to focus on posture and to keep a straight spine. This pose is also great for counteracting the effects of office life and is excellent to keep your legs loose and joints limber for the rest of the week ahead.
Legs Up a Wall/Waterfall Pose
This pose relaxes the low back and promotes circulation in your head, heart, and limbs. If you are on your feet a lot throughout the week, this pose will give your feet, knees, and ankles a much-needed break so you can stay healthy and agile through the days ahead. This pose also helps relieve neck tension, helping you find a sense of calm and ease.
So it’s almost hump day and you feel the need to limber up, energize your Body Mind and Soul and focus on reaching goals set for the rest of the week. Choose a pose from 15 Poses to Limber Us Up Before Hump Dayto loosen up and get a little blood flowing in the opposite direction. Whether you choose an easier or more challenging pose, either will still give you the incredible health benefits!