A busy lifestyle takes a heavy toll on your energy level. Maybe you are constantly on the move from early morning until late at night. Even if you aren’t on the move physically, you are under a lot of mental stress due to the constant demands of everyday life. This eventually leads to a feeling of fatigue and tiredness.
One of the obvious reasons for fatigue is lack of sleep. It can also stem from lack of physical activity, jet lag, side effects from medications, or an unhealthy diet.
Chronic fatigue could also be due to medical conditions like thyroid disorder, diabetes, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, depression, or other many other issues.
Indulging in any sort of physical activity when you are feeling tired or fatigued may not seem like a very appealing thought; however, if you want to drive away the fatigue and feel fresh and relaxed, then yoga is exactly is what you need.
Multiple studies have shown positive effects of yoga when battling fatigue.
Yoga works as an excellent natural energy-booster and even helps improve sleep quality. When practiced, it can relieve stress and anxiety, stimulate blood flow throughout the body, and improve the overall physical health.
Several studies have proven the beneficial effects of this safe therapeutic intervention.
A 2011 study published in Biopsychosocial Medicine suggests that long-term yoga training can reduce anxiety, anger, and fatigue.
In addition, a 2013 study published in Rheumatology International notes that yoga can help fight fatigue as well as help manage fibromyalgia symptoms.
According to a study published in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 2005, yoga can improve mood; therefore, it can be a useful modality for reducing stress during inpatient psychiatric treatment.
Isometric yoga can be a feasible and successful add-on therapy. A 2014 study proved that it relieved fatigue and pain in some therapy-resistant patients with CFS.
The American Cancer Society, in 2011, published a study that states that when breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue symptoms were treated to a targeted yoga intervention, they experienced significant improvements in energy levels.
There are numerous yoga poses that can help combat fatigue and boost feelings of vitality.
The following are the best yoga poses that have been proven to fight fatigue.
1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This yoga pose helps the practitioner to feel a sense of calm and a connection to the earth.
This pose helps to open the hips and release any tension in the back muscles. It also stimulates digestion and elimination of toxins from the body.
- Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels.
- Leave your arms loose by your sides or stretch them out straight.
- Exhale and slowly lean forward, until your forehead touches the floor and your torso rests on your thighs.
- Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds or longer while breathing slowly.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
Caution: This yoga pose is not recommended for pregnant women and those with recent or chronic injury to the knees.
2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
The Cobra Pose, a part of the sequence of yoga postures in Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation, is a great pose for beating fatigue.
This pose helps reduce fatigue and stress, while improving blood circulation throughout the body. It also strengthens your arm and back muscles, stimulates your abdominal organs, and opens up the heart and lungs.
- Lie down on your stomach with your legs stretched out.
- Place your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders and keep your elbows bent.
- Your chin and all your toes should be touching the floor.
- Inhale and slowly raise your chest up, bending backward as much as you you are able.
- Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level.
- Exhale and slowly lay flat, relax and take a few deep breaths.
- Repeat this at least 5 times, relaxing for 15 seconds between each round.
- Finish with the Child’s Pose and relax for some time before standing up. Be gentle as you transition.
Caution: This yoga pose is not recommended for pregnant women or those suffering from headaches, a back injury, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
This simple yoga pose also helps relieve fatigue. It relaxes and stretches the muscles of the inner thighs and hips.
This pose also aids in digestion and improves flexibility in the hip region.
- Sit on the floor with your legs spread straight out and your back straight.
- Bend your knees and bring your feet inward.
- Place the soles of your feet together, about 6 to 8 inches away from your pelvis.
- Hold your feet tightly with your hands.
- Inhale deeply, pressing the thighs and knees down toward the floor.
- Breathe normally and bounce both legs up and down simultaneously.
- Start slowly and gradually increase the speed, continuing for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Slow down and then stop.
- Take a deep breath in and breathe out as you bend forward.
- Take a few long, deep breaths, try to relax and slowly straighten your legs out in front of you.
4. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose helps relieve fatigue by rejuvenating the whole body and improving blood circulation. It also stretches the shoulders, legs and spine, while building strength throughout the body.
Down Dog also boosts immunity and aids digestion.
- Place hands and knees on the floor.
- Keep your palms flat on the floor, with your fingers spread out in front of you.
- Exhale, lift your knees off the floor (as if going into a push-up) and your hips upward toward the ceiling.
- Hold the position for a few minutes, taking deep breaths.
- To release, exhale and bring your knees to the floor.
- Relax in the Child’s Pose for a minute before standing up slowly.
Caution: This pose is not recommended for people who have severe carpal tunnel syndrome or suffer from an injury to the back, shoulders, or arms.
5. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
This yoga pose strengthens and relieves your tired back muscles, thus bringing a feeling of relaxation.
Bridge pose also strengthens the back, legs, and glutes.
- Lie down on your back.
- Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground hip-width apart.
- Stretch your arms alongside your body, keep your palms facing down.
- Inhale and raise your hips off the floor, pressing your feet firmly on the floor.
- Raise your back along with your hips, shifting your weight to your shoulders.
- Hold the position for 5 to 8 deep breaths.
- Exhale and slowly return to your starting position.
Caution: Those suffering from neck or back injuries should skip this pose.
6. Cat’s Pose (Marjaryasana)
The Cat’s Pose is another popular yoga pose that relaxes the mind and improves blood circulation to help get rid of fatigue. It works wonders for an achy, sore back.
This pose also brings flexibility to the spine and strengthens the wrists and shoulders. It even improves digestion.
- Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and flat on the ground.
- Position your knees hip-width apart.
- Look straight ahead.
- With an inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downward and raise your tailbone.
- Hold this pose and take long, deep breaths for 1 minute.
- Slowly return to the initial table-like stage.
- Do 5 or 6 rounds before you come out of this yoga pose.
Caution: This pose is not for pregnant women or people who have back or neck related issues.
7. Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Once you are at the end your yoga session, it’s time to practice Corpse Pose. This restorative pose is very effective for combating adrenal fatigue.
This pose allows complete relaxation in a neutral position and also improves your focus and concentration level.
- Lie down on your back, relaxing your legs out in front of you.
- Place your arms alongside your body, palms facing up.
- Close your eyes and focus on breathing deeply.
- Stay in this position for at least 10 minutes.
- To come out of the pose, roll over to one side and slowly rise into a sitting position.
- Boehm K, Ostermann T, Milazzo S, Büssing A. Effects of Yoga Interventions on Fatigue: A Meta-Analysis. Current neurology and neuroscience reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3443845/. Published September 6, 2012.
- Yoshihara K, Hiramoto T, Sudo N, Kubo C. Profile of mood states and stress-related biochemical indices in long-term yoga practitioners. Current neurology and neuroscience reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3125330/. Published June 3, 2011.
- Langhorst J, Klose P, Dobos GJ, Bernardy K, Häuser W. Efficacy and safety of meditative movement therapies in fibromyalgia syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00296-012-2360-1. Published February 15, 2012.
- Lavey, R., Sherman, T., Mueser, K. T., Osborne, D. D., Currier, M., & Wolfe, R. The Effects of Yoga on Mood in Psychiatric Inpatients. PsycNET. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2005-04063-014?doi=1. Published 2005.
- Oka T, Tanahashi T, Chijiwa T, Lkhagvasuren B, Sudo N, Oka K. Isometric yoga improves the fatigue and pain of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome who are resistant to conventional therapy: a randomized, controlled trial. Current neurology and neuroscience reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4269854/. Published 2014.
- Bower JE, Garet D, Sternlieb B, et al. Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.26702. Published December 16, 2011.