When you're stuck in an afternoon slump or waking up bleary-eyed after a late night, yoga may not be the first thing you turn to for a jolt of energy. But an invigorating Sun Salutation or Virabhadrasana (Warrior II) could be exactly what your body needs to fight fatigue.
"Yoga works on unblocking stuck blocks of energy along the spine. You bring what the yogis call prana, or 'life force,' into the back and all these areas of the body through breath and movement," Vyda Bielkus, yoga instructor and founder of the Health Yoga Life studio in Boston, tells the Huffington Post. "You're moving the circulatory system and awakening the nervous system -- basically bringing new life into the body."
Active poses that stimulate the blood flow through the body -- particularly those that gently stretch the spine -- can help combat fatigue and boost feelings of vitality, and might also help to counter some of the effects of long periods of sitting.
"As we sit throughout the day, the energy in the spine gets stuck and stagnant," Bielkus says. "So when we elongate the spine, it energizes the nervous system. That's why the back bends are so invigorating. And when you're moving in a back-bending way, you're also bringing more emphasis to the heart and opening up the chest muscles, which really opens up the body."
Consider these 10 poses your yogic espresso shot -- a quick, effective way to give you the boost of energy you need in the morning or throughout the day.